After months of speculation, Disney officially let fans know when they can expect Splash Mountain to be rethemed from Song of the South to Princess and the Frog at Disneyland Park in California and Magic Kingdom Park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.
The news comes from Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana. On June 2, 2022, she appeared on the morning show, Live with Kelly and Ryan.
Ryan asked, “Are they making a ride?”
Rose said, “They are making a ride, it will be out in 2024.”
Walt Disney Imagineers first announced the retheme in 2020, but an official opening date and refurbishment timeline have yet to be released. The opening year is the first glimpse at any such confirmation of when fans can expect the change.
It seemed that every time Splash Mountain closed for a multi-week refurbishment, the fan speculation has orbited around the question, “is it finally happening?” But the constant reopening of the current version continued to answer that question.
Opening in the 1980s, Splash Mountain redefined the log flume ride, immortalized by its iconic 50-foot drop down the side of Chik-A-Pin Hill. However, Imagineer Tony Baxter used the opportunity to recycle the characters and story of Disney’s live-action/animation hybrid feature film, Song of the South, which has been the topic of much controversy over recent years as fans blast the film for its inherent racism.
The attraction has become an enduring target of “Cancel Culture,” and voices across social media continue to demand it change. Disney confirmed that the outspoken’s wish would be granted in 2020, and they have already begun eliminating elements of the ride from the Park experience. This includes omitting the song “Zip-a-dee-do-dah” from the Festival of Fantasy parade.
Beyond the little concept art and the opening year, little is still known about specific changes that will be made to the attraction. We at Disney Fanatic will continue to monitor this story and update our readers as more developments come to light.