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Disney retheming Splash Mountain at WDW & Disneyland to The Princess & The Frog

nadroJ

Well-Known Member
This has been a completely unrealistic dream of mine for ages.

Unfortunately it's all about the IPs and the ka-ching though.
I hate this attitude. Firstly the ride was already an IP so this change isn't an instance of the dreaded evil IP taking over a classic Disney original idea. Secondly, it's a damn business. Given the choice between something aesthetically nice but not that interesting to joe public and the inclusion of a character/IP the public love and that will be easily marketable of COURSE they're going to go with the one that more people will enjoy. It's honestly the most annoying take :rolleyes:
 

Jamesss

Member
I hate this attitude. Firstly the ride was already an IP so this change isn't an instance of the dreaded evil IP taking over a classic Disney original idea. Secondly, it's a damn business. Given the choice between something aesthetically nice but not that interesting to joe public and the inclusion of a character/IP the public love and that will be easily marketable of COURSE they're going to go with the one that more people will enjoy. It's honestly the most annoying take :rolleyes:
Obviously this is the better choice from the perspective of Disney executives.

If I wasn't interested in theme park design I would be the same in their position.

Fair play to them.

But for me personally, having always been interested in original theme park attractions, I prefer non-IPs, generally speaking.
 

Hutch

Well-Known Member
I prefer non-IPs, generally speaking.
Like @nadroJ said, the ride was already attached to an IP to begin with lol.

It is also cool to see Princess and the Frog get more attention. I actually haven't seen the film, but if I'm not mistaken, it wasn't a hugely popular movie commercially was it? Ok, it looks like it grossed some $200+ mil, but when you look past this decade and see Disney killing it in the box office with their more recent animated stuff (not to mention their Marvel and Star Wars success), you would think they would go for something more popular, like a Moana theme or something.
 

Ethan

Well-Known Member
It's definitely a favourite among many fans, though! :)

Anyway, as I'm sure many would agree, I think it's about time we saw some representation of people of colour in the parks, they're pretty whitewashed currently. And heteronormative, but that's a discussion for another thread.

Annoyingly, the large white, conservative audience that the parks have (mostly WDW) will kick and scream whenever people try to "ruin" their childhood memories, but I'm glad the company are going through with this retheme, even if it is a bit of a knee-jerk. You can tell they're trying to do the right thing and putting the right people behind it (Creative Lead is a woman of colour as I mentioned previously), although they obviously don't want to alienate the suburban Karens too much because the Karens & family bring in the cash!

you would think they would go for something more popular, like a Moana theme or something.
WDW is adding that Moana walkthrough to EPCOT so I doubt that was on the table, although I can see your thinking there. I can't imagine a Polynesian Island theme but look that cohesive next to BTM! I actually think a southern-bayou theme could nestle is very nicely, especially next to New Orleans Square but also in Magic Kingdom.
 

Crazycoaster

Active Member
So.. instead of having a great fleshed out character filled ride, you’d rather have a generic “western log flume?” Because that’s all you’d be left with. And you can ride one of those in practically every single park in the world.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
I know.

I love Splash but would’ve preferred it without an IP from the outset.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
If you’re looking for your rides not to have IPs attached, I suggest you don’t go to Disneyland

Getting back to the topic of Splash Mountain changing. I'm probably not the olny one who's warming to it. But I dont think princess and the frog will fit in Magic Kingdom because it's in the middle of Frontierland. If they only did that theme to Disneyland and retheme the one in Florida to a modern version of the Western River Expedition concept.
This ‘it doesn’t fit in to Frontierland’ argument is so dumb. Princess and the Frog is based in Louisiana which might not be ‘frontier’ but Splash Mountain is set in Georgia, even further from the Frontier!

Splash is all gators, rabbits, briar patches and yknow, water. None of which is Frontier! If that theme was going in now everyone would be complaining it doesn’t fit, it’s just you’re used to it because it’s been there forever. Literally the only thing that ties it in is the colour of the rocks, but it’s still covered in grass and foliage that doesn’t fit Frontierland.

No it might not fit perfectly, but Splash doesn’t anyway and it fits the ride perfectly, if not the land.
 

Jamesss

Member
Me: I generally prefer rides without IPs and original stories

Normal person: ok

Theme park enthusiasts: “but it’s a business!!!” “But Splash Mountain is an IP!!!!” “Don’t go to Disneyland then!!!”

Alright


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I can sort of get where @Jamesss is coming from.

Dark rides (any well-themed and -paced amusement ride, really) are a storytelling medium in themselves. You move through the ride at a set pace, with the whole package of sights and sounds carefully timed to play at the right moment as you go by, plus all the little details you only notice in repeat viewings. Sort of like a big 360 degree movie, only there are effects and drops and the moments of anticipation and relief before and afterwards. They can be used to tell a story in a way that's not possible in any other medium. Disney has done this quite masterfully before. Expedition Everest or DLHK's Mystic Manor are great examples.

However, with the involvement of new IPs on a ride, there is a certain risk that the needs of the IP override the coherent narrative. Take for instance The Little Mermaid or Frozen Ever After at Disney World. The need to include certain songs, characters, and scenes from the source material makes the rides play out more like a clip show of the movies they are based on. You jump from one scene to another, possibly with impressive transitions between them, but there's not that same sense of narrative. The story is not told in the ride itself, but in a movie you're supposed to have seen before you ride it. The ride only sums up the highlights. The full experience requires recognition on part of the rider. I'd say it's a poor utilization of the medium, in the same way a highlight reel is not a movie.

A ride built from scratch doesn't have to make concessions to an IP. It can tell a self-contained story, at its own pace, without the need to shoehorn in certain characters, scenes, or songs, and without requiring the audience to be familiar with the background material before they ride. It can tell a story made specifically for the medium.

That being said, IP-based rides can do that too. Tower of Terror is a classic example. Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway does this too. Flight of Passage, that Terminator ride at USF, possibly Jurassic Park ... there are many examples of IP-based rides that don't require more than passing familiarity with the IP to deliver the full experience. Splash Mountain itself is possibly one of the best ones out there. You don't even have to know it's based on an IP (which was probably what Disney banked on when the ride was built, but ... well, here we are).

But an IP-based ride can also go the highlight reel route, which would be a downgrade. And it feels like every time an IP-based ride is announced, it's a coin toss whether it will rely heavily on recognition or tell its own story. That's what we mean, I think, when we say we hope the ride isn't based on an IP. It's not the IP itself that makes the ride bad, it's how the IP could potentially overshadow the medium it's told in.
 

TPSou

Member
The recent rethemes based on IPs have all been hits in my opinion. I did Tower of Terror at DL and California Screamin', and then I've been back and done Guardians of The Galaxy and Incredicoaster and I actually prefer the new versions. GoTG is a whole new story, just set in that universe and with a coherent narrative that even stretches out into the queue, Incredicoaster somehow manages to tell a whole story on a rollercoaster, which seems crazy to me.

They did a really good job with those, that's partly why I've got pretty high expectations for this.
 
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