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Disney Parks has revealed that the Splash Mountain at Disneyland in California will close on May 31. The attraction closed at Disney World in Orlando in January.
Original story below:
Just over two years after activists called for Disney to remove Splash Mountain from Walt Disney World because of the ride’s roots in a 1946 movie with racial stereotypes, the company announced On Friday, it would replace the ride with one aimed at the company’s first black princess, Tiana.
Disney said it will remove the ride from Disneyland California at a date to be announced.
Splash Mountain, which opened in the park in 1989, will close in 2023 and be replaced by a new ride called “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.” The ride features new and old characters from The Princess and the Froga 2009 movie that follows Tiana’s magical adventures in New Orleans.
The new attraction will open at both parks sometime in 2024, the company added.
Tiana’s ride is “symbolic of what we always strive for with our attractions — bringing people from diverse backgrounds together through timeless Disney stories,” wrote Carmen Smith, senior vice president of creative development in a blog post.
In the wake of George Floyd’s death in May 2020, activists started a Change.org petition Asking Disney to redo Splash Mountain and put a new attraction on Tiana.
Splash Mountain is the source of the classic Disney “ride” picture. It is a popular decades of riding, due to its sometimes soaking wet ride and high descents.
In honor of closing Splash Mountain forever… pic.twitter.com/maG7EB66du
— Courtney Marabella (@CourtMarabella) December 2, 2022
The ride features characters from a 1946 Disney movie Song of the Southwhich has been criticized for racist stereotypes and framing, including when at one point in a romanticized southern post-Civil War, a black man recalls that things were better “a long time ago,” per The protector.
Following the petition, the company announced in June 2020 that year that it would replace Splash Mountain with a ride targeting Tiana, from The Princess and the Frog, which debuted in 2009.
“The new concept is inclusive – one that all 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,” the company wrote in a statement. a blog post at the time.
The announcement comes as the company faces a barrage of criticism over increased ticket and park prices, CEO changes and a stock loss of some 40% this year.
Related: Disney fans slam CEO Bob Chapek after more price hikes at the park
In Tiana’s movie, she’s a hard-working waitress in New Orleans who wants to open her own restaurant, ends up catering to a ball – and then kisses a prince in frog form, who then turns her into a frog.
The company said the ride will begin at the end of the movie and riders will be able to join Tiana on a journey to “prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans.”
Just like in the movie, the ride will revolve annually around New Orleans, Louisiana culture and Mardi Gras carnival-like celebration just before Lent with colorful masks, parades and balls.
The ride also includes Zydeco music, which was created by people of Afro-Caribbean backgrounds and mixed with French Louisiana culture.
“We wanted to see that spirit reflected in this scene (and throughout the attraction) so that all our guests feel welcome to join the party. It is symbolic of what we always strive for with our attractions – people from different backgrounds bringing them together through timeless Disney stories,” the company wrote.