A new age for Disney


Splash Mountain has been one of Disney World’s biggest park attractions for over 30 years, with people waiting countless hours to experience the stories about Uncle Remus; however, it is time for a makeover. With the attraction being based on the Disney film “The Song of the South,” a story with a racist depiction of African Americans and plantation life, critics have advocated against the ride for years. Finally, Disney is rebranding the theme, and Splash Mountain will become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. 

Though Splash Mountain has long been a beloved ride for Disney fans since 1992 with its cute animal characters, playful music, and an exciting drop to finish off the water coaster, the ride’s racist backstory has caused many to speak out in anger that it is still running, even in the middle of a major era for civil reform. Many are unaware of the stereotypical racist analogies embedded within the animatronics as well as the scenery replicating that of a plantation, all while depicting a story about a master and his slaves. While the fox, bear, and rabbit characters seem to innocently act out a story of banter and friendship, they, in reality, represent a period of extreme racism and injustice that Black people had to endure for hundreds of years before being able to secure their rightful freedom and a country where they are seen as equals to their White counterparts. In this modern age, it is time that this outdated ride comes to a close. 

“I am happy that the ride is closing. I think this will help to erase all the racism in a lot of really old Disney movies,” Astrid Medina, senior, said. 

To replace Splash Mountain’s racism, Disney is reworking the ride to be based on the movie “The Princess and the Frog.” Those who advocated for the coaster’s end are very excited, for not only are they replacing it, but they are centering the new theme around a movie with a Black princess and prince as the main characters. The movie is filled with a lively depiction of the predominantly Black city, New Orleans, Louisiana, and a wholesome community with energetic music, colors, and decorations. Many Disney fans are very excited to visit the ride and see how “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure” brings new life to this attraction.  

“I think that Disney replacing Splash Mountain with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a good thing because Disney is supposed to be the happiest place on Earth, and while some people enjoy it, others may not because of the theme and its racist qualities. Replacing it with ‘Tiana’s Bayou Adventure’ will make it more enjoyable for others with those thoughts,” Kelsie Mattson, freshman, said. 

While many are celebrating this shift away from the racist backstory, other extreme Disney fans are furious that they are “destroying” what they consider to be a historic landmark at Disney. Some have left stuffed animals of the characters outside the ride as a shrine, and many others have come to the park just to protest the change. Water from Splash Mountain is being sold online for thousands of dollars as a way for people to savor the memory of the ride.  

“For weeks, my TikTok [For You Page] has been filled with love letters to the ride and odd reactions about it closing. I swear I was one day away from seeing ‘I Will Remember You’ by Sarah MacLachlan over footage of the ride. But the behavior has been taken one step further as fans of Splash Mountain are coming out of the woodwork,” Rachel Leishman said in a Mary Sue article. 

The ride is set to reopen in late 2024, so be on the lookout for flying Mardi Gras beads and delicious New Orleans beignets.