Splash Mountain — an iconic ride at Disneyland and Walt Disney World — will be “completely reimagined” in the near future, the company announced Thursday.

What’s going on?

  • Splash Mountain, which is based off the 1946 Disney film “Song of the South” will be reworked and rethemed around characters from the 2009 film “The Princess and the Frog,” which includes Disney’s first Black princess.
  • Splash Mountain has been a longstanding ride at the theme park since it was added in 1989.
  • The ride will pick up after the events of “The Princess and the Frog.” Guests will “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,” according to Disney.
  • “Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures. I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun-filled experience to our guests.” — Charita Carter, the senior creative producer leading the project at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Why the change?

Controversy over Splash Mountain sprang up earlier this year after Disney fans urged the company to change the theme of the ride because of its connections to “Song of the South,” which has been criticized in recent years for its portrayal of African Americans and reliance on racial stereotypes, as I reported for the Deseret News.

“Song of the South” has been hidden in the Disney archives. The company did not add it to the Disney Plus streaming service.

Disney fans signed a petition to retheme the ride, hoping it would rely on “The Princess and the Frog,” a tale that takes place in New Orleans. It looks like protesting worked.