25 June, 2020 – Disney Imagineers have shared a first glimpse of a retheme of the Splash Mountain water ride at at both Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida. The new theme is inspired by the 2009 animated movie, “The Princess and the Frog.” The ride will pick up the story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance. In line with the movie, the ride will be set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou.
In recent weeks, the Splash Mountain rides have come under intense public scrutiny due to their links with the racially controversial movie, “The Song of the South”. On their official blog, Disney says the retheme has been in the works “since last year” and that, “with this longstanding history of updating attractions and adding new magic, the retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today. The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.”
Conceptual design work is well underway. Disney Imagineers will soon develop a timeline for when the transformation can start to take shape. Out of the three Splash Mountain rides, Tokyo Disneyland’s version has not been mentioned in the retheme plans.