LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. (WFLA) – After previously announcing that Splash Mountain would undergo a “reimagining” in the coming years, Disney has confirmed that the ride will temporarily close at its Florida theme park in January 2023. The popular attraction will then re-debut as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in late 2024.
“Since the attraction was announced in 2020, Imagineers have been hard at work designing an immersive experience inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios film ‘The Princess and the Frog’ and the heart and culture of New Orleans,” wrote Carmen Smith, an executive with Walt Disney Imagineering, in a blog post published Friday.
News that the ride would be “re-imagined” using elements from the 2009 Disney film “The Princess and the Frog” was first announced back in June 2020, and additional details—including its new name—were revealed in July 2022. In November, a Disney Parks official said the reimagining would be expedited.
The attraction will pick up where the story of “The Princess and the Frog” left off, according to the Disney Parks Blog. “In Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, you’ll join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis during Mardi Gras season as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans.” The ride will also feature zydeco music, a blend of rhythm and blues that originated in Louisiana.
Additional information about Splash Mountain at Disneyland will be shared at a later date, the blog post indicated. A closing date for Splash Mountain in Disneyland has yet to be announced.
The decision to re-theme Splash Mountain came amid an earlier outcry on social media to change the attraction, which originally contained elements from Disney’s controversial 1946 film “Song of the South.” The movie, which had been heavily criticized for its depiction of Black people, came into the spotlight once again amid civil unrest in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.
“The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today,” a representative for Disney Parks wrote in a blog post in June 2020. “The new concept is inclusive — one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.”