One of Disney Parks' most beloved rides is closing — it also happens to be based on one of Walt Disney Co.'s most controversial films: "Song of the South."
The 1946 movie is set just after the end of the Civil War on a Southern plantation and has been criticized for racist depictions of Black Americans. The movie is so contentious that you won't find it on Disney+ and has never been released for home video in the U.S.
Still, since its opening at Disney World's Magic Kingdom in 1992, the log flume ride featured characters from the movie like Br'er Fox, Br'er Bear, Br'er Rabbit, and more — and until recently, "Song of the South's" notorious “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” song played on the ride as well. But that's all about to change as Disney World has set Jan. 23 as Splash Mountain's closing date, according to the Disney Parks blog.
The Florida theme park is reimagining and redesigning the ride to instead pay homage to 2009's "Princess and the Frog."
@waltdisneyworldparks Tiana's Bayou Adventure First look at the retheme model #splashmountain #disneynews #princessandthefrog #disneyrides #disneyworld #disneytiktok #disneylife #disneyimagineer #Vlog #wdw #disneyfyp #waltdisneyworld ♬ original sound - DisneyWorldTom
Since "Princess and the Frog" takes place in New Orleans and a Louisiana bayou, the ride will still have a Southern vibe with singing animal characters but will emphasize culture with a special emphasis on zydeco music, according to the Disney Park's blog. Princess Tiana, who is celebrated as Disney's first Black princess, will also be a prominent part of the revamped ride. The new attraction is "emblematic of what we’re always striving for with our attractions — bringing people of different backgrounds together through timeless Disney stories," according to the blog.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is expected to open at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort sometime in 2024.