Disney’s Splash Mountain To Be Re-Themed To ‘Princess And The Frog’
Update June 25, 2020, 1:00 p.m. PST: Disney is the latest company to stand by its commitment to stand with BLM, it seems. The famed Splash Mountain ride in Disney World and Disneyland will be revamped to purge the park of a standing monument to racist film “Song of the South.” Instead, the ride will now be used to promote “Princess and the Frog.”
It’s official. Disney World and Disneyland are erasing a part of Disney’s racist history.
Splash Mountain is easily one of Disney’s most recognizable attractions. The log flume ride is a relic of Disney’s most racist film “Song of the South.” The 1946 film is so problematic that the company keeps the film locked away. After a petition with tens of thousands of signatures, Disney has announced that the ride will now be re-themed to reflect “Princess and the Frog.”
“It speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year,” a spokesperson for Disney told CNN Money. They added: “Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou.”
The news has received mixed responses of support and anger but others are surprised to learn the truth behind the ride.
Some Disney fans were completely unaware of the history behind Splash Mountain. The long-standing ride stood as a lasting reminder of Disney’s long history of racism in their cartoons and entertainment. Some of it has been so subtle that fans are just learning about it. It is a problem the world, especially entertainment, is being forced to confront and do better.
Original: BLM is coming for you Disney.
On Wednesday, supporters of the Black Lives Matter movement petitioned Disney to remove its Splash Mountain ride and to have all of its related themes changed at the company’s parks. In the true style of Disney fans, pitches about how to change the problematic ride are being floated and shared on Twitter so much to the point that a call for change is now trending on Twitter.
On Wednesday, Disney fans managed to get #PrincessAndTheFrog trending on Twitter as an option to replace Slash Mountain.
Currently, Splash Mountain is an attraction featured at both Disneyland and Disney World.
The ride draws themes from Disney’s 1946 film Song of the South which is likely one of the most problematic movies Disney has ever produced. It revolves around the character Johnny, a seven-year-old boy living in the Reconstruction-era South (the 1860s and 1870s) who befriends a former slave named Uncle Remus who now works on a plantation. The film’s problems come about primarily at points in which it paints the relationship between Uncle Remus and his white employers as one between a willing Black man happily living and working on a plantation in which he was formerly enslaved. The film is best known by those unfamiliar with the movie for its song “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah.”
Song of the South is a film that Disney has, in recent decades, distanced itself from quite a bit in recent years. In fact, late last year we reported the production company’s plans to keep it from being available on its Disney + streaming service.
In an effort to make the change, users created a petition on Change.org.
So far the petition has 351 signatures to change the theme to the Princess and The Frog. If you’ve yet to see the Disney classic, check it out! The film centers around Tiana, Disney’s first-ever Black princess. In the film, Tiana is on a mission to pursue her dreams to open up a restaurant in New Orleans. Things come to a head when she is faced with a massive detour when she meets Prince Naveen, a spoiled man who has been turned into a frog.
“There is a huge need for diversity in the parks and this could help fill that need. Princess and the Frog is a beloved princess movie but has very little representation in the parks. Tiana could be one of the first princesses with a thrill ride, as well as giving her a much-deserved place in the parks. The framing of the ride is such that it could be easily changed to tell the story of Tiana while not compromising too much of the ride/costing a fortune in remodeling for Disney. This change could kill two birds with one stone, remove the offensive stereotypical theming the ride currently has and bring a much-needed diversity to the parks. As well as a much bigger merchandising opportunity for Princess and the Frog,” reads the description of the Change.org mission.
Fans of the idea of removing Splash Mountain and replacing it with The Princess and The Frog have even created templates to push for the change.
And they’re pretty incredible!
The concepts fans are coming up with for the park are pretty incredible and also inspiring. Primarily because the idea of children being exposed to the first Black themed attraction at Disney is so exciting and uplifting. In the future, children who enter a Princess and the Frog theme park will feel celebrated and included in an Entertainment realm so beloved and prevalent in our world. Here’s hoping Disney listens to the voices of petitioners and signs up for what they’d like as well.