Splash Mountain Re-Theme Situation – What We Know So Far

Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain / Credit: Disney

After a long closure period for refurbishment, Splash Mountain reopened at the Walt Disney World Resort. But, the reopening was not what some Guests were expecting. The recent events at Magic Kingdom Park have left some fans confused and a little worried.

Disney announced that the closure was only for routine maintenance, but it was hoped by some that Splash Mountain was closed due to Walt Disney Imagineers finally removing Brer Rabbit and the rest of the Song of the South characters from the log flume ride and adding the highly-anticipated Princess and the Frog retheme. After all, it’s been over 18 months since the announcement was made.

While the enduring anthem “Zip-a-dee-doo-da” continues to be the soundtrack of Guests’ speculation of why it’s taking Disney so long, it appears that the Splash Mountain page on the Walt Disney World website no longer mentions the retheme at all.

The entire situation begs the question: is the retheme still going through?

Splash Mountain

Disney’s Art Rendering

At this point–February 14, 2022–Fans and future Guests should still expect Disney to execute the retheme of Chik-a-pin Hill. It is clearly just a question of “When?”. Imagineering takes time, and prolonged silence should not be equated with a change of mind. Until an official Disney spokesperson comes out to say they’re not doing the retheme anymore, the plan should be expected to go through.

Splash Mountain Re-Theme Re-Cap

Splash Mountain

Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

The iconic Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park attraction found itself the victim of a wave of cancel culture. Fans across social media rejected the attraction due to its connection to what is arguably Disney’s most infamous film yet. Song of the South has been labeled as “racist” and “backward,” among other things. After having the attraction in the parks for 30 years, fans criticized Disney for pursuing and maintaining such a piece of Imagineering.

In response, Disney announced its initial decision to retheme Splash Mountain to Princess Tiana and her movie, Princess and the Frog, at Disneyland Park and Walt Disney World Resort with Senior Creative Producer Charita Carter leading the project.

Disney Parks Blog released the statement in June 25, 2020, saying:

Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou. In 1966, Walt himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first new “land” added to Disneyland park, so it feels natural to link the story and the incredible music of “The Princess and the Frog” to our parks.

However, there has been relative silence ever since.

Splash Mountain

Credit: Disney

Disney describes Splash Mountain on its website as the following:

A Hare-Raising Ride

Gently drift through a colorful Southern bayou along with happy-go-lucky Br’er Rabbit as he looks for his “laughing place.” But be warned: Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox are in hot pursuit of this wayward hare. 

Glide by over 100 adorable Audio-Animatronics geese, frogs, raccoons, possums, bees, alligators and other down-home critters as they sing classic Disney ditties, including “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and “Ev’rybody’s Got a Laughing Place.”

Then hang on to your hats—this delightful musical cruise ends in an exciting 5-story splashdown into a thorny Briar Patch!

You Will Get Wet

This attraction includes 950,000 gallons of water, 3 dips and a 5-story drop. Where you’re seated will determine how wet you’ll get. Riders in the back may experience a sudden splash or spray; those who opt for the front can expect to get soaked. 

For Guests looking to ensure their personal items remain dry, lockers are available to rent near the Main Entrance.

We at Disney Fanatic will work to update our readers as more information on this attraction story comes to light.

Splash Mountain at Disneyland Park closed for “standard refurbishment” on January 10 and is expected to remain closed until March 9.

About T.K. Bosacki

Born and raised in Tampa, Florida, TK Bosacki is a professional writer, amateur adventurer, and lifelong Disney Fanatic. His Disney Park days include Space Mountain, Tower of Terror, Kilimanjaro Safaris, and Nomad Lounge. He believes in starting at the Canada pavilion (IYKYK), and the Monorail is superior to all Ferry Boats.

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