Splash Mountain rides to be rethemed to Princess and the Frog

Posted | Contributed by BrettV

From the blog:

Today we are thrilled to share a first glimpse of a project Imagineers have been working on since last year. Splash Mountain – at both Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida – will soon be completely reimagined. The theme is inspired by an all-time favorite animated Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog.” We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.

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Jeff's avatar

Even if you ignore the baggage that comes with Song Of The South, this is a great idea because the existing IP is probably the least recognizable thing in the parks.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

I bet the Disney fan sites are taking this well.

I completely understand the retheme because of the issues with the movie itself. Btw I am all for these name changes and statue removals. If they remind anyone of oppression they need to go!

The current Splash Mt just took the cuteness from the movie and the ride itself had a storyline one could follow. It’s a shame it was tied to this movie.

I don’t think Princess and Frog is a good choice for Frontierland theming however. It’s very Paramount of them

Last edited by super7*,
eightdotthree's avatar

Well the current ride is set in the south which is very much not the frontier.

hambone's avatar

super7* said:

I don’t think Princess and Frog is a good choice for Frontierland theming however. It’s very Paramount of them

Technically in Disneyland, Splash Mountain is in Critter Country, which also has Winnie the Pooh - so not really a coherent theme there I would say. However, the ride could become part of a larger New Orleans Square.

In the Magic Kingdom ... uh, yeah, it's a little less of a fit.

If it's a poor fit, the average guest won't know and even fewer will care.

100% agree. What children even know what Song of the South is anymore?The Princess and the Frog is much more current and relevant to today’s youth.

This comes up quite a bit, but I think IP is generally less important than we often make it out to be around here. The question is whether or not the attraction delivers a good experience. The current Splash delivers a top-tier experience, despite being drawn from a story that isn't well known, and problematic for many who do know it. There aren't many films in the Disney canon that they flat out refuse to distribute in the US, but Song of the South is one of them.

Another good example is the Pandoraverse. The consensus around here was that the land would be a dud, because the movie was nothing more than eye candy on top of what was essentially the Pocahontas plot, with characters no one remembered and a story that didn't really touch people. The Disney purists were also up in arms that it was "just screenz like Universal." But the key attraction was well into its third year as one of the top 2-3 hard-to-get FP+ experiences, and routinely drew standby lines north of a couple hours. Even the secondary attraction was still doing reasonably well, despite being short and very much in the eye-candy-without-a-story genre.

Last edited by Brian Noble,

Jeff said:

Even if you ignore the baggage that comes with Song Of The South, this is a great idea because the existing IP is probably the least recognizable thing in the parks.

But it's a great ride! Why mess with perfection here? I'd also argue the music here (even detached from the problematic movie) is more memorable and better then any music from Princess & the Frog (which I can't remember a song from).

This would've been the perfect place to leave one, re-theme one (the inferior mountain in Anaheim ...that is next to New Orleans Square).

I understand why.... Although I'd argue the ride is already divorced from the little known source material enough that it stands alone. Hopefully they'll recycle the critters a 3rd time.

Not a Disney purist by any means, I'm pissed cause this was my favorite ride on the property.

Last edited by Kstr 737,

bigboy said:

I bet the Disney fan sites are taking this well.

What would make you think that?

I have a bad feeling this will usher in a new era where Disney feels they can touch anything, including the untouchables, as in full on replacements...

As an African American, I want to thank all of those who complained without understanding that SPlash was the last big remnant of my ancestors stories in the world. This SERIOUSLY does wonders to the black community....This is an absolute joke. I am beyond disappointed..My all time favorite attraction, the one that made me feel close to My heritage, My stories.

Ugh. I'm not surprised Disney is doing this what with how incredibly cowardly they are, but I'm still angry.

if disney keeps up with this type of stuff and their non-glitches system...they may not need the park reservation system to limit guests

And pull down the Partners statue while your at it. He's the one that started all this controversy.

an absolute classic will be destroyed. One reason less to visit WDW.

Song of the South, one of Disney's best movies. Nothing wrong with it at all . There is just too much PC right now. Enough !

also got a box of Aunt Jemima pancake mix hidden in my safe. Liberals are worse than Mao's red guard.

I am done with DISNEY!

The minority wins again. I will not be renewing our season pass.

When enough of us refuse to do our $7,000 trips to WDW every other year, it will hurt their bottom line. They should not change it!

Maybe they can call it Snowflake Mountain. I will never go there again.

I spend 10-15k per trip to Disney. Family of 4. I'm Chinese. But enough of this PC bulls. I think I'd rather go to Busch gardens for 3k and have a blast. We went to Busch gardens Williamsburg and Water country USA. Lived, played, ate like kings. 4 days, maybe 4000 dollars. Including the private cabanas and fine Williamsburg dining. A bargain comparing to Disney. And no PC bull ship...

I'm a huge Disney fan. we visit Disney world 1-2 times a year from Massachusetts. heck I even got married there but this is gone too far! right now I am very soured on Disney, maybe spent my last dollar there.

Disney is a joke. That's why I don't have my kids watch any of the new movies they put out. Everyone of their "films" pushes a certain agenda not suitable for a young audience.'

and of course - from the other side:

Let's be honest here and acknowledge there was (and apparently will continue to be) a log flume themed to the American south next to a runaway mine train in the American west. Not exactly rock solid adherence to a theme to begin with...

If the story and quality are along the lines of Frozen Ever After, I predict that people will have forgotten about this by the time it reopens. I get that Maelstrom was nowhere near as beloved as Splash Mountain, but there were plenty of people acting as if that retheme was the end of the world.

Disney nerd commenters always come through. While they lag behind other commenters in poor spelling and grammar, they more than make up for it with their own brand of hyperbole and hysteria.

Jeff's avatar

I love that CoasterBuzz even approaches the Disney topics as un-enthusiasts. High five!

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

The best thing about Maelstrom ride though was the Nordic aura of the ride, which was somewhat maintained through the Frozen re-theme.

The best thing about Splash Mountain is the current music and the current animatronic characters... Otherwise, it's just another rocky mountain.

Last edited by Kstr 737,
ApolloAndy's avatar

I love Splash in its current theme and don't really see the need to retheme, but if Disney thinks it's a good idea, then "go for it" I guess. I mean, Frozen Ever After, Mission Breakout, and Space Mt. 2005 are all very strong attractions in spite of replacing some very long standing beloved fan favorites.

BUT, maybe it's just me but I didn't find Princess and the Frog to be an all-time favorite. I think I saw it once on DVD when it finally hit Redbox (or maybe Netflix mailed it to me...remember that?) and promptly forgot the story, characters, and music. I am a huge sucker for Disney, but in terms of emotional impact for my family, Princess and the Frog was probably one of the biggest duds of the last 20 years.

Hobbes: "What's the point of attaching a number to everything you do?"
Calvin: "If your numbers go up, it means you're having more fun."

I could see that. If it wasn't my daughter's favorite princess movie I would probably be in that camp as well. However, I do appreciate that Tiana is a strong determined character. As a father I appreciate that my daughter found a role model in someone who is hard working instead of someone waiting for a prince to wake them up with a kiss.

Jeff's avatar

This is obviously "corporate synergy" at work, but after they rethemed the restaurant on the Disney Wonder to Tiana's Place, I "got it." It's the single best dining experience I've had with anything Disney. It changed how I viewed the movie.

Jeff - Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog

I think we’re forgetting “Zip a Dee Doo Dah”, as one of the most memorable Disney songs, featured prominently in the Song of the South movie, Splash Mountain, and just about every Disney parade and show that ever existed. It’s like an upbeat anthem and it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t know it. There will be a hole in the Disney songbook if it goes away.
And not that it’s necessarily a bad thing- the song was written for the movie and was the second Disney song to win an Academy Award. It’s purported to be influenced by a pre civil war minstrel ditty called “Zip Coon”. It was sung to the tune of Turkey in the Straw and was racist af. So I guess it’s gotta go.

New times, these days.

99er's avatar

I enjoyed the movie and some of the music is my favorite but as Jeff said, once I got to eat at Tianas Place on the ship, it made the movie all that much better. After that I was really hoping that if something were brought into Magic Kingdom for Princess and the Frog that it would be a restaurant themed to Tiana. While I am glad Splash is getting a new theme, Id have enjoyed a different theme from what was announced.


eightdotthree said:

Well the current ride is set in the south which is very much not the frontier.

That’s true but overall the entire ride fits into Frontierland well with its country feel.

Nothing with a princess fits with the Frontier or Critter Country.

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