The trip on the record channel, which is based on the controversial 1946 film “Song of the South”, is going nowhere. Instead, it will be reprized to star in the characters from the 2009 animated film, “The Princess and the Frog,” which features Disney’s first black princess.
Splash Mountain has been a mainstay in Disney (DIS) parks since its inception in 1989. New ride changes will be implemented at Disneyland Park in California and Magic Kingdom Park in Florida.
The move comes amid fans urging Disney to retheme Splash Mountain due to racial stereotypes of the film it is based on. Best known for the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” “Song of the South,” has been criticized for its stereotypical and offensive depictions of African-Americans, as well as for a romantic glimpse of the anteroom of the South. .
The film is so controversial that Disney has locked it in for decades, even keeping it out of the extensive library of its new streaming service, Disney +.
More than 20,000 people signed an online petition on Change.org asking the company to change the theme of the trip from “Song of the South” to “Princess and the Frog.”
“While travel is considered a beloved classic, its history and its history are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes,” the petition said. “There is a great need for diversity in the parks and this could help meet that need.”
Recent Black Lives Matter protests across the country have stimulated deep conversation and introspection in Hollywood regarding representations of the breed in popular culture. Movies like “Gone with the Wind” and television episodes that included the use of the black face have been re-evaluated or, in some cases, withdrawn.
Disney says Splash Mountain’s new concept is “inclusive” and “one that all of our guests can connect with and get inspired by.”
“It speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year,” Disney said Thursday.
Disney added that the new trip, on which the company has been working since last year, will resume the story of “The Princess and the Frog” after “the final kiss” and will join Princess Tiana and her trumpet crocodile Louis “on a musical adventure”. It will feature “some of the movie’s powerful music as they prepare for their first Mardi Gras performance.”
“Tiana is a courageous and empowered modern woman who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important,” Disney said Thursday. “It’s a great story with a strong main character, in the context of New Orleans and the Louisiana swamp.”
Disney did not give a date for the new Splash Mountain, but noted that “conceptual design work is underway.”
“Imaginators will soon be able to conduct preliminary reviews and develop a timeline for when the attraction transformation can begin,” the company said.