The stars of Disney’s Princess and the Frog are expressing their excitement over the company’s decision to reimagine the Splash Mountain ride with a story inspired by the animated movie
Splash Mountain, a fan-favorite attraction at both Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida, is currently based on the 1946 Disney film Song of the South, which has long been criticized for its problematic portrayal of the post-Civil War South and for employing racist stereotypes.
On Thursday, Disney revealed that they will update the theme of the log-flume ride to instead highlight 2009’s Princess and the Frog, which features its first Black princess, Tiana.
The announcement comes weeks after several petitions began garnering attention on the site Change.org urging Disney to rethink the theme (with one even suggesting Princess and the Frog). Imagineers were clearly on the same page. According to a statement from the company, they have been secretly working on the project since last year.
According to a press release shared with PEOPLE, The ride’s storyline will pick up “after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.”
“The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today,” the release explains. “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.”
While both the California and Florida theme parks remain closed due to the coronavirus pandemic and no timeline for the update has been shared, the press release indicates that “conceptual design work is well underway and Imagineers will soon be able to conduct preliminary reviews and develop a timeline for when the transformation can start to take shape.”
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