Disney Is Removing A Familiar Feature In Its Splash Mountain Makeover

Scale model of new Disney attraction
Disney | Disney

Disney fans are always eager to know about the newest attractions at the company's various theme parks.

One highly anticipated change coming in the next few years is a revamp of Disney's iconic Splash Mountain at its parks in Florida and California. Eagle-eyed observers spotted a significant change in a scale model of the ride, one that will give it a different feel entirely.

Splash Mountain's been around since 1989.

Splash Mountain at Disneyland
Wikimedia Commons | Cd637

The log flume ride is present at Disneyland in Anaheim California, Tokyo Disneyland, and the Magic Kingdom near Orlando. While the three variations of the ride vary slightly, all are based on the 1946 film Song of the South.

It's getting replaced by a theme based on a different film.

Splash Mountain at Disney's Magic Kingdom
Wikimedia Commons | Michael Gray

The ride will get a revamp based on the 2009 Disney film The Princess and the Frog in late 2024 and will be renamed from Splash Mountain to "Tiana's Bayou Adventure." It'll still be a log flume, but the theming will be different.

We've had our first glimpse at what it'll look like.

Disney's "Wonderful World of Dreams" expo pavilion
Disney | Disney

On the Disney Parks Blog, images of some of Disney's newest upcoming attractions were shared. We got a look at Tiana's Bayou Adventure — not as concept art, but as a full-blown scale model.

Here it is.

Scale model of Tiana's Bayou Adventure Disney attraction
Disney | Disney

As might be expected, the ride looks quite similar to Splash Mountain, as it'll be built on the same framework. If you've seen Splash Mountain, though, one thing stands out: the twisted, gnarled tree at the top of the attraction is no more.

It's clearly still a work in progress.

Twitter user Scott Gustin noted another peculiarity: Br'er Rabbit is shown in the new ride, an apparent holdover from Splash Mountain. This will presumably be changed in the finished ride, since Br'er Rabbit has nothing to do with the newer franchise.

There's more to the story.

Scale model of Tiana's Bayou Adventure Disney attraction
Disney | Disney

The revamp represents a big change for Disney. Splash Mountain was based off of Song of the South, a film that hasn't aged well and is full of racist tropes. The Princess and the Frog, on the other hand, is a movie with Disney's first Black princess.

Petitions suggested that Disney make this exact change.

change.org petition asking Disney to re-theme Splash Mountain
change.org | Alex O

Numerous petitions on change.org urged Disney to re-theme Splash Mountain in order to distance itself from its racist overtones. One petition, in fact, asked Disney to re-theme it to The Princess and the Frog — the very move that Disney wound up making.

Did Disney cave to the pressure?

Castle at Disneyworld
Unsplash | Younho Choo

While it would seem that the petitions accomplished exactly what they set out to do, Disney said it was their idea all along, claiming that they'd been working on re-theming the ride for a long time.

It'll be interesting to see what Tiana's Bayou Adventure will bring.

Gif from 'The Princess and the Frog'
Giphy | Disney Princess

Of course, it'll be quite similar to Splash Mountain as it's still a flume ride, but Disney always does a good job of bringing new twists to existing rides.

What do you think?

Castle at Disneyworld
Unsplash | Jingxi Lau

The new Princess and the Frog ride might just be enough motivation for Disney fans to make another trek to Disneyworld. Let us know what you think of this change, and the drama surrounding it, in the comments section.