Splash Mountain: Upcoming Princess and the Frog Update to Disneyland

Disney releases the new concept art for the princess and the frog ride.

Disney

Disney releases the new concept art for the princess and the frog ride.

Ariana Garibian, Staff Writer

Disney fans, it’s time to say goodbye to the historic and notorious ride that has been one of the staples at the U.S. parks since July 17, 1989. Disney announced that the celebrated Splash Mountain, a loved and well-known attraction around the world, would come to a close in 2023. 

As of June 2020, it was announced that both Splash mountains in Disneyland and Disney World would be receiving a new makeover based on Disney’s 2009 film, The Princess and the Frog. The new ride, which will be titled “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure,” is scheduled to open at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom in 2024. Splash Mountain is speculated to officially close by the end of January at Disney World, leading many Disney fans to feel nostalgic.

Based on the 1946 Disney film Song of the South, Splash Mountain is an attraction that resides at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland, and Magic Kingdom. Song of the South is a mix of live-action and animation that features an old Black plantation laborer named Uncle Remus who tells stories to a young White boy. According to the Los Angeles Times Splash Mountain closing day: Why Disneyland’s long goodbye is long overdue, it was never released to the public because of the racist stereotypes implanted into the movie. Because of this controversy,  the public came on board with the idea of reimagining Splash Mountain into a ride about a much different movie: The 2009 animated The Princess and the Frog, which features Disney’s first black princess, Tiana.

This will bring in more inclusivity than before, and Princess Tiana will be the first princess to have her own thrill ride, meaning a ride with intense drops, at any of the parks around the world. Although in each of the three locations the ride has its own characteristics, all the attractions begin with a peaceful outdoor ride on a log that leads to a dark indoor segment, with a climactic steep drop that’s followed by an indoor finale.The idea for the renovated ride is to still maintain that same structure, but change the theme. Cycling around the riders, fireflies and water lilies will start to  shine up the scene as the sound of frogs bring riders deeper into the story being played out in front of them.

This new attraction will also introduce a new version of the Tiana Disney fans know from head to toe. The design process involved research into the fashion trends of the 1920s, which is when the original movie takes place, making sure the clothing was historically accurate while not taking away from the Tiana people know and love. 

The Princess and the Frog ride will have many elements necessary to be as successful, if not more so than the original Splash Mountain ride, with the inviting environment, a hair-raising villain, goofy animal friends, and lots of action that mostly takes place on and around a river. The inclusivity will also bring in love from people of  different backgrounds, allowing children especially to see themselves in the ride. It seems that Tiana was always supposed to take residence here at the Disney Parks.