Movies | June 26, 2020 7:30 am

Disney to Reimagine Splash Mountain Ride to Make It Less Racist

The log flume will now feature a "Princess and the Frog" theme

Disney's Splah Mountain log flume ride
Did you know Splash Mountain is inspired by "Song of the South"?

In light of recent Black Lives Matter protests and a growing national conversation about race, Disney announced on Thursday that its popular Splash Mountain theme-park ride will be reimagined to eliminate any connection to the problematic 1946 film Song of the South.

Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will both revamp their Splash Mountain rides to instead feature characters from the 2009 animated movie The Princess and the Frog, which featured Disney’s first Black princess. Song of the South on the other hand, perhaps best known for the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” has frequently been criticized for its stereotypical depictions of Black characters and its romanticization of the antebellum South.

“The approach to retheming or ‘plussing’ attractions (as Walt Disney referred to it) begins with Imagineers asking the question, how can we build upon or elevate the experience and tell a fresh, relevant story?” Disney said in a statement. “It’s a continuous process that Imagineers are deeply passionate about. And with this longstanding history of updating attractions and adding new magic, the retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today. The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.”

Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Princess Tiana in The Princess and the Frog, also issued a statement, writing, “It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized! As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon. The Imagineers are giving us The Princess and the Frog Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it!”

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