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Disneyland confirms Splash Mountain closing date and replacement ride details

The countdown is now on to the end of the highly popular, if not somewhat controversial, attraction.

Mama Odie will appear frequently in Tiana's Bayou Adventure.

The end of an era is approaching at Disneyland, with 31 May marking the final day for Splash Mountain before its permanent closure to be developed into a brand-new attraction.

The log ride, themed on the company’s film ‘Song of the South’ operated at both Disneyland in California and Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida since 1989 and 1992 respectively, delighting travellers with its colourful sets and famous musical numbers.

However, the theme didn’t age well through a more modern politically and socially correct prism which viewed the ride’s portrayal of the 1946 film as controversial due to its setting in mid-1860s Georgia’s during the post-Civil War Reconstruction Era and its use of African American labour after the abolition of slavery.

Splash Mountain closed at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Florida in January this year.

Original actors from The Princess and the Frog are reprising their roles for the new ride.

The ride itself features only animated characters and storylines from the film, however Disney made the decision in recent years to scrap Splash Mountain in its current form and replace it with a re-themed attraction based on the 2009 film ‘The Princess and the Frog’.

To be named ‘Tiana’s Bayou Adventure’, the new ride will open at both Disney parks next year. It is expected to be a similar log flume, albeit themed with the original voiceover actors all reprising their roles from the film for use in the ride.

The story of the ride will see Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen hosting a Mardi Gras themed celebration for the people of New Orleans on a salt dome she has purchased. But on the day of the party, she realises a key ingredient is missing, which guests are tasked with helping to find by joining Louis for a trip through the Bayou, encountering a range of new characters along the way.

Other characters from the film such as Mama Odie, Eudora, Charlotte, ‘Big Daddy’, Prince Ralphie and the King and Queen of Maldonia will also appear at various stages of the ride.

Riders will encounter a recreation New Orleans’ famous French Quarter along with elements of the city’s famous jazz music scene and other modern elements in consultation with local academics and cultural institutions.

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Written by: Matt Lennon
Published: 14 April 2023

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