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Disney Fans Mourn 'Splash Mountain' Closure & Their Reactions Are Dubbed As 'Embarrassing'

Photo: Instagram / TikTok 
splash mountain ride, disney, retheme

If you’re an avid Disney park goer, you are very well familiar with the tune “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-yay, my oh my what a wonderful day,” and you most likely know what ride the catchy tune plays repeatedly on. 

Splash Mountain, the beloved log flume attraction located in Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland California operated for over three decades and portrayed the story of the cartoon Brer Rabbit as he leaves his home in search of an adventure. 

The ride featured over 100 animatronics, three drops and was popular among guests, with wait times reaching up to well over two hours on hot days. 

The attraction was a fan favorite among Disney park enthusiasts, and many were sad to learn of the ride's permanent closure which was announced in 2020 amid its depiction of race. 

However, some believe that Disney fans are taking the news of the ride’s shutdown too far, and are embarrassing themselves by mourning it as if it were a beloved family member rather than a boat ride. 

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Splash Mountain was closed after concerns regarding the ride’s racist undertones. 

The ride opened at Disneyland park in 1989 and was later added to Disney World in 1992.

It was based on Disney’s 1946 film, “Song of the South”  which features the Uncle Remus folk stories and incorporates animated segments in the film, that include the story of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear, the fictional animals featured in Splash Mountain. 

However, over the last few years, the controversial film’s offensive portrayal of African Americans living in the postbellum South encouraged Disney Imagineers to consider doing away with the flume ride that had ties to the movie to create a more inclusive environment. 

In 2020, Disney announced that Splash Mountain would be permanently closing amid the controversy. 

The ride will be rethemed into “The Princess and the Frog” attraction. 

Along with Splash Mountain’s closing announcement, DisneyParks Blog revealed that the ride’s original track and structure would remain, although it would undergo an extensive retheme based on Disney’s 2009 frog, “The Princess and the Frog.” 

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The beloved cartoon movie follows Princess Tiana of New Orleans as she dreams of opening her own restaurant.

However, that all changes after she is convinced to kiss a prince who was turned into a frog after a voodoo spell, believing her kiss will transform him back to his original form. 

Instead, Tiana turns into a frog herself. 

The new ride, renamed “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure” will follow Princess Tiana alongside other characters of the movie as they prepare for the Mardi Gras celebration. 

The ride is set to open in late 2024 in Disneyland and Disney World. 

Splash Mountain fans mourned the loss of the beloved attraction. 

On January 22, 2023, Splash Mountain took riders down its final splash before its permanent closure. 

TikTok videos showed thousands of people flocking to the queue areas hoping to catch one last ride. Wait times reached up to five hours. 

   

   

Many people were sad to see their favorite ride go. 

“So sad they are changing this,” one TikTok user commented. “I rode for the last time tonight and cried the whole time. Now I’m crying again,” another user shared. 

“I’m so devastated. This retheme was so unnecessary,” another user wrote. 

However, others believe that people are taking their feelings about the ride’s closure too far. 

Some ride-goers left behind Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear plush animals and other merchandise outside of the attraction. 

Many people poked fun at the fact that they were memorializing the ride as if it were a person. “People are making a memorial for a RIDE. Embarrassing!” one TikTok user pointed out. 

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“They act like the ride is being demolished...to my knowledge the log ride will be the exact same but the theme just isn't racist anymore,” another user shared. 

“I just don’t understand why people are making a big deal of it changing?? Walt Disney himself said Disneyland will always be building/new lands?” another user pointed out. 

“I'm no longer calling myself a Disney adult! This is too embarrassing!” another added. 

Other people shared their excitement for the upcoming Splash Mountain retheme. 

“I’ll miss the old theme as it’s nostalgic for me. But it will be nice having a whole new theme,” one user expressed. “That’s what memories are for.” 

“Princess Tiana finally having her own ride is what we’ve all been waiting for!” another user wrote. 

And for those sad about Br’er Rabbit and his friends leaving the Disney Parks for good, head on over to Disney World’s Magic Kingdom to snag your free plushie from the “memorial!” 

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.  

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