LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WFLA) — Sunday marked the final time fans had the chance to ride the Walt Disney World attraction Splash Mountain before it closed for good on Monday.
After more than three decades in service, the drop ride stopped operations and closed its doors to make way for an Imagineering makeover.
According to Disney Parks Blog, the attraction will be re-themed based on Disney’s 2009 film “The Princess and the Frog,” and be renamed “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.”
“Since the attraction was announced in 2020, Imagineers have been hard at work designing an immersive experience inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios film, ‘The Princess and the Frog’ and the heart and culture of New Orleans,” wrote Carmen Smith, an executive with Walt Disney Imagineering.
On the ride, guests will join Princess Tiana and the jazz-loving alligator, Louis, during the Mardi Gras season as they prepare to host a “one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans,” Disney added in the blog post.
The decision to re-theme the ride comes after calls to change the attraction, which originally contained elements from Disney’s controversial 1946 film, “Song of the South.” The movie was heavily criticized for its plantation setting and depiction of Black people, criticism which returned to the spotlight amid broader conversations about race following George Floyd’s death in 2020.
Disney said the new park 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.”
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is scheduled to open in 2024.