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Disney Parks to re-theme Splash Mountain after 'Princess and the Frog'

Posted at 9:42 AM, Jun 25, 2020

Disney Parks announced Thursday that one of its most beloved rides will be getting a makeover.

According to a press release, "Splash Mountain" at both Disney World and Disneyland will be re-themed after Disney's 2009 name film "Princess and the Frog" — the first Disney movie to feature a Black princess character.

"Splash Mountain" opened at Disneyland in 1989 and at Disney World in 1992. Since its opening, the ride has been themed after the 1946 film "Song of the South" — a movie set in the Antebellum South that, since its release, has been criticized for its handling of race.

Earlier this month, a viral petition called on Disney to re-brand the ride at all of its parks amid nationwide protests against systemic racism. However, in its press release, Disney says that it has been working on re-imagining Splash Mountain since last year.

"(The Princess and the Frog is) a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou," the company said in a blog post. "In 1966, Walt (Disney) himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first new "land" added to Disneyland park, so it feels natural to link the story and the incredible music of "The Princess and the Frog" to our parks."

Disney says a timeline on the project will be available "soon."

A version of Splash Mountain also exists at Tokyo Disneyland in Japan. It's currently unclear if that ride would also be re-themed.