Splash Mountain, a Disney ride based on a controversial film, will be reimagined

New York(CNN Business)Splash Mountain — one of Disney’s most popular but problematic rides — will be “completely reimagined,” the company announced on Thursday.

The log flume ride — which is based on the controversial 1946 film “Song of the South” — isn’t going anywhere. Instead, it will be rethemed to star 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 at Disney (DIS) parks since its creation in 1989. The new changes to the ride 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 because of the racial stereotypes from the film it is based upon. “Song of the South” — which is best known for the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” — has long been criticized for its stereotypical and offensive portrayals of African Americans as well as a romanticized view of the antebellum South.

The film is so controversial that Disney has locked it away for decades — even keeping it off 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 ride’s theme from “Song of the South” to “Princess and the Frog.”

“While the ride is considered a beloved classic, its history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes,” the petition read. “There is a huge need for diversity in the parks and this could help fill that need.”

This is going to be good!

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I think to avoid controversy but to still link the ride to a piece of traditional Disney animation they should use the 1943 Disney animated classic ‘Education for Death’ as the theme of the ride.

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Disney has changed rude motifs before.

Alien encounters used to feature a scary alien, was changed to Lilo and Stitch.

A ride in Epcot having to do with the ocean was changed to a Finding Nemo motif.

Princess and the Frog is a much more relevant film to younger people.

I assumed it was the kind of thing they did semi-regularly. A lot of the rides at Eurodisney have changed over the last decade or so, including ones that aren’t based on any Disney IPs from animations (such as Space Mountain).

Ya gotta take the good with the bad.

Disney is just like any corporation…they bend to the wind of public opinion to protect the corporate bottom line…it wasn’t many years ago that at one time or another “dress codes” were enforced in the park to make sure those perceived to be hippies, gay, or gang members were kept out of the park.

I was just speaking from experience, I’ve only been about 3 times.

But I guess yes, the rides get updated according to the popularity of the films.

Seems a bit silly given that 99.99% of people have never even heard of Song of the South and have no idea that the log ride is somehow associated with it, but meh.

Love the ride, and love my rare DVD copy of the movie. Going to show my kids soon too. Disney can do what they want with their rides, even if it changes nothing in terms of a good cause.

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Is that the one that portrays how turn a little kid into a Nazi?

I LOVE the movie The Princess and the Frog!" It’s my FAVORITE of the “princess” movies!

The movie is so complex and deep, and the music is amazing. It’s sooooooo good!

And yet, it hasn’t received a lot of press or visibility. So sad!

I have been to Disney World once in my life and didn’t enjoy it much, but I am actually tempted to go now so I can ride the log ride and see how they incorporated my favorite princess movie!

I think it’s pretty popular with tweens and teens who like Disney.

My daughter is 16, she saw it at the movies when it came out. She went with dad, I think I was in the hospital after the birth of my youngest. ( I don’t remember, otherwise I would have gone too. I had to have a good reason to miss it)

She still likes some of the songs.

Tiana is considered a Disney a Princess along with Belle, and Snow White.

Before the splash part, the log goes through a pretty long and winding tunnel with vignettes of the film, and songs and dialogue from the film piped in.

I had no idea of the film when I went about 20 years ago. Brer Rabbit was a character I had never heard of. I think he was a garden pest. I can’t remember.

I remember him from grade K. Along with Uncle Remus and the Jim Crows. The teacher played it for the class.

Jim Crows? :woman_facepalming:

Oh. I think I was thinking of a different log ride. They seem to be pretty common.

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Hmmm…actually, that may have been from Dumbo. I might be getting the racial stereotypes depicted in the old Disney films mixed up.

The 1940 version of Fantasia had some things in it too. Disney has since edited it while retaining the labeling as being the 1940 version.

Yeah, the black centaur who served the white ones.

Specifically styled as a “pickininny” [msp].

Surely that’s what makes it a better marketing move? Associate the ride with a more popular film and get kids more excited for it.

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