It’s the end of an era. After more than 30 years, one of Walt Disney World Resort’s most iconic attractions — Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom — closed once and for all. The attraction will be shuttered for more than a year, and when it reopens, it will be Splash Mountain no more. In late 2024, the attraction will reopen with a new theme and a new name — Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The Princess and the Frog is one of Disney’s most popular recent animated films, but that didn’t stop the change from being extremely controversial.
On January 22, the last day Splash Mountain was in operation, wait times rarely got below three hours. So many people wanted to ride that the queue extended all through and outside Frontierland. Magic Kingdom Park also had to stay open late to accommodate all the people in line. However, the last rides of the night did not go to those who had waited in line. Instead, they went to the people who have made riding Splash Mountain such a fun and memorable experience — Walt Disney World Resort Cast Members.
Theme Park reporter Scott Gustin shared a video of the crowds watching Cast Members ride the attraction for the last time. Instead of being full of sadness, the crowds were cheering and celebrating as Cast Members took the final plunge.
Walt Disney World Cast Members were the last people to ride Splash Mountain. And the crowd went wild. ??
Walt Disney World Cast Members were the last people to ride Splash Mountain. And the crowd went wild. ?? pic.twitter.com/EbsqYlCg7W
— Scott Gustin (@ScottGustin) January 23, 2023
At this time, Disney has only given us a few glimpses of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Here’s what we know so far, courtesy of Disney Parks Blog:
First announced in 2020, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film. Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome. Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.
Walt Disney World Resort’s Splash Mountain is not the only one that is closing — Splash Mountain will close at Disneyland Resort later this year, although a date has not been announced. Both attractions are scheduled to reopen as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in late 2024.