The iconic attraction that's a longtime favorite of Disney fans everywhere is getting a makeover.
Splash Mountain at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort will be re-themed to reflect the story of The Princess and the Frog, the company said Thursday. The re-themed ride has been planned since at least last year.
"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," the Disney Parks Blog reads.
"We continually evaluate opportunities to enhance and elevate experiences for all our guests," said Carmen Smith, Creative Development and Inclusive Strategies executive with Walt Disney Imagineering. "It is important that our guests be able to see themselves in the experiences we create. Because we consider ourselves constant learners, we go to great lengths to research and engage cultural advisors and other experts to help guide us along the way. I am incredibly proud to see this work continue to move forward with great support from leadership across Disney."
The ride had featured characters from the controversial 1946 film, "The Song of the South," which is set during Reconstruction, and has long been criticized for its racist and offensive depiction of Black people as well as creating a false narrative surrounding 19th century culture in the South.
Surrounding areas of Splash Mountain differ at Disneyland park and Magic Kingdom park, and Imagineers are developing concepts for both that create a more seamless story. At Disneyland park, the attraction is adjacent to New Orleans Square; at Magic Kingdom park, the attraction sits on the Rivers of America, directly across from Tom Sawyer's Island, a story that takes place on the Mississippi.
Voice talent for the re-themed Splash Mountain includes Tony-award winning Anika Noni Rose (Princess Tiana); Jenifer Lewis (Mama Odie); and Michael-Leon Wooley (Louis).
Disney has not shared a timeline for the completion of the project, though the company did say due to the unexpected park closures, Imagineers were unable to access the attraction to be able to advance the project further. Soon, the digital scans and facility assessments will take place, Disney said.
Both parks will reopen with the existing Splash Mountain attraction.
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