Disney has long decided to take one of their most popular attractions, Splash Mountain, and reimagine it to tie into their Princess and the Frog animated film that features Tiana, Disney’s first African-American Princess. Of course in the times we live in, the decision naturally sparked controversy. Disney was replacing a beloved attraction in what many saw as another “woke” decision trying to appease certain constituencies. Others praised the move as the attraction would remove any lingering stains from the film Song of the South that Disney doesn’t even sell commercially but was the inspiration used for the popular flume attraction Splash Mountain. For me the main gripe is that you’d be hard pressed to find a single person who’s ever ridden Splash Mountain and come off saying the ride is racist. But even more of an issue for me is that Disney obviously could have built Tiana her own brand new attraction from the ground up. It’s what the African American community and the Animated film with what it represents for The Walt Disney Company deserved and in my opinion required. It should have been a source of pride for all Americans and an example to tourists from around the world that America is healing from the traumas of its past. That could have happened at any point in time years ago, something I called for, and it would have truly shown a commitment to improving Disney’s representation of minority groups and in this case African Americans that are severely underrepresented within the Walt Disney Company despite the goals Disney may have and the messages they are trying to portray to the world. Setting aside all of the latter Disney has now moved to share more information about what this new attraction will entail and I think there are some small details that should get Disney fans excited despite any reservations they may have on the way Disney has handled this whole process.
The first major detail shared of note is that this attraction will be a continuation of the animated film giving riders a story that is set after “the final kiss as Naveen and Louis join Tiana on her latest adventure.” Guests will be greeted by a “one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome.” During the festivities, guests will be treated to original music inspired by the songs from the animated film as they immerse the guests into the party atmosphere. Disney also let us know to expect Tiana to share in the fun with characters from the film and she may even meet some all-new friends along the path of the attraction. Disney shared one new piece of concept art detailing what this setting that continues the film’s narrative will look like. As always stay tuned for more as Disney continues to flesh out its reimagined log flume attraction with a New Orleans bayou, Mardi Gras twist.