Say goodbye to Splash Mountain

It’s time for an iconic park staple to swap spit and hit the road

Time to kiss this Southern stain away and welcome a new attraction for families to enjoy. Via Disney.

Time to kiss this Southern stain away and welcome a new attraction for families to enjoy. Via Disney.

We are counting down the final days of one of Disneyland’s iconic park staples.

Disney announced that Splash Mountain in both Disney World and Disneyland would be reimagined into a new attraction called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, inspired by “The Princess and the Frog.”

In Disney World, located in Orlando, Florida, the ride has already permanently closed and renovations have begun with a tentative date to finish rebranding sometime in late 2024.

Disney CEO Bob Iger has confirmed that Splash Mountain will officially close in Disneyland in Anaheim, California, tomorrow, May 31.

Meaning the last day to ride the attraction will be today, May 30th.

Splash Mountain remains open for fans to say their final goodbyes. But not for long, soon, it will see its final climb and drop down the rapids before washing away into the distant past.

Soon Splash Mountain will be redesigned into a salt mountain design inspired by a Louisiana landmark. (Robbie Doctor)

Some may be wondering why this childhood favorite is going through a drastic change and rebrand.

Simply put, the ride’s content has ties to past media which glorifies and highlights the portrayal of plantation life, making it offensive, not family friendly and not in alignment with Disney’s beliefs.

Splash Mountain opened to the public in 1989 with the theme of Br’er Rabbit, a story tied to “Song of the South,” a 1946 song and movie inspired by Uncle Remus stories, which have long been criticized for their idealized portrayal of bondage and plantation life in the South.

Uncle Remus is a fictional titular character and narrator of a collection of African American folktales from the late 1800s written and adopted by Georgian writer Joel Chandler Harris.

Though the film “Song of the South” has never been streamed on Disney+, its troubled past lures over this theme park’s attraction.

In March of 2020, Iger lamented the ideation of anything non-family oriented, non-inclusion based and promoting slave culture at any of Disney’s resorts and theme parks.

“I’ve felt as long as I’ve been CEO that ‘Song of the South,’ even with a disclaimer, was just not appropriate in today’s world. It’s just hard, given the depictions in some of those films, to bring them out today without in some form or another offending people, so we’ve decided not to do that,” Iger said.

In wake of the Black Lives Matter movements and the murder of George Floyd in 2020, the rise of petition signers for a rebrand since March 2019 grew exponentially. Parks located outside of the United States including the Tokyo and Paris locations joined in the petition for a total rebrand.

With so little time to say goodbye, wait times for the iconic ride during the last few weeks of its existence have not dropped below 55 minutes and have been as long as 120 minutes in the Stand-By Entrance. Even the Lighting Lane and Single Riders line can’t bypass the crowds of fans waiting to part ways with one of their childhood favorites.

Lines to ride the cult classic stretched as far as The Haunted Mansion entrance. Even a light drizzle did not deter fans from parting ways with their favorite ride one last time. (Robbie Doctor)

With construction and design for the rebrand underway, Disney engineers have announced that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will feature characters from the 2009 motion picture, “The Princess and the Frog.” Musical scores for the new attraction will be inspired by the film and New Orleans sound, with the redesign even featuring a salt dome inspired by Louisiana’s Avery Island, a historic landmark hidden in the bayou.

Disney Parks announced “Mama Odie will reprise her role as the catalyst to that magic” in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Actress Jenifer Lewis, who voiced the Bayou fairy godmother in the film, will also reprise her role.

Characters like Tiana, Prince Naveen, Louis the alligator and several others from the film along with their original voice actors will also be featured in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

While it’s unknown if this rebrand ingratiates itself into classic Disney lore, fans and Disney cast alike are excited about embarking on a new river adventure.

Saying goodbye to Critter Country one last time before construction starts and makes some fans tear up. (Robbie Doctor)