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Mushroom

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Feb 12, 2011
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Big news out of Disney:


I’m not going to comment on the political side of this change, but I will say that I’ll miss Splash Mountain for what it is. It was one of my all-time favorite rides, with its storytelling, world-building, cheerful music, and carefree charm that always put a smile on my face. I’ll miss it a lot. But Walt always believed in progress, so here’s to hoping that the new Princess and the Frog ride is a success.
 

Dombot

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Genuinely pissed off at this decision. Splash Mountain is one of the reasons I love theme parks as much as I do now- it was the first "big ride" I ever rode when I was three years old. Song Of The South is a controversial movie, but the characters represented in the ride aren't offensive in any way, shape, or form. Also, this doesn't fit AT ALL in Frontierland. I can see it working much better in California's Critter Country, but this is NOT gonna work in Florida unless they do a huge reimagining of Frontierland, which I personally don't see happening anytime soon.

Now I know that most of Disney's IP-based rethemes are usually extremely successful- take Guardians of the Galaxy taking over Tower of Terror and Frozen taking over Maelstrom as examples. This is just... not gonna work. I'd much rather have some form of an ORIGINAL story over lazily tacking Princess And The Frog characters on a classic ride. That would be more understandable than this mess.

TLDR- Splash Mountain is one of my favorite rides of all time and this makes me very very upset
 
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Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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I am absolutely THRILLED by this. As much as I love Splash Mountain, Princess and the Frog was in dire need for some good representation in the parks. I'm happy with this change.

I love me some Princess and the Frog. My big concern is that it doesn’t fit thematically into Frontierland at all. Splash Mountain, with its westernized version of the unspecified American South was already a questionable fit, but a story that explicitly takes place in New Orleans doesn’t make any sense at ALL. I wonder if Disney will do anything to “westernize” the MK version like they did for Splash Mountain.
 
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So it’s story time with Uncle Pretzel Kaiser. Last year when I came back from my trip, a friend picked me up from the airport. On the way home, I was talking about the trip and got on about how Jungle Cruise was sketchy. His response was “At least they don’t have that racist water ride anymore.” The point I guess I’m making is that it has a reputation with people who have never been to the park as well as a running joke in pop culture. Ultimately I think this is the right choice and I’m excited by it.

I hope there’s a Dr. Facilier room, that would be amazing.
 
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Nicole

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I think that Princess and the Frog is an easy update to Song of the South in terms of theming. And I think the current theme is... fraught.

I see the concerns about putting a story set in New Orleans in Frontierland, but Song of the South had that same problem. Regardless of the claims about fitting Splash Mountain into the area, it always read as Deep South to me.
 
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Zachary

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I love me some Princess and the Frog. My big concern is that it doesn’t fit thematically into Frontierland at all. Splash Mountain, with its westernized version of the unspecified American south was already a questionable fit, but a story that explicitly takes place in New Orleans doesn’t make any sense at ALL. I wonder if Disney will do anything to “westernize” the MK version like they did for Splash Mountain.

This is exactly where I am too.

I love Princess and the Frog for Critter Country—I think it’s a perfect fit for California’s Splash Mountain (and Tokyo’s if they do it there too). I don’t think this is a good solution for Frontierland in Florida AT ALL though. Shoving New Orleans between Big Thunder and Pecos Bill seems like a real thematic disaster to me.
 

Dombot

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I am absolutely THRILLED by this. As much as I love Splash Mountain, Princess and the Frog was in dire need for some good representation in the parks. I'm happy with this change.
Just as a side note- I do 100% think that Princess and the Frog needs park representation. The movie is fantastic, and Dr Falicier and Louie are two of my favorite Disney characters, period. But I would much rather have some sort of slow-moving boat ride similar to, say, Pirates than a thrill ride like Splash Mountain.
 
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Applesauce

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Splash is close enough to Adventureland in wdw, that I'm unbothered.

WDW doesn't have New Orleans Square like DL has (nevermind the fact that I believe-and I could be wrong, I don't have a map open- that splash in DL is in Critter Country. So that's also... Sketchy.)

Not matter what it won't fit. And at this point, with what they're doing with Epcot, I really don't give a shit. Splash was wildly outdated in the year... 1989. It has long needed to be fixed.
 
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Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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My big hope is that they carry over the whimsical, sunny, upbeat charm of Splash Mountain. I’m don’t want them make the ride seem overly serious or “magical” like Frozen Ever After or even the Little Mermaid ride (although I think both of those rides are well-done; we just don’t need more of that tone). What made Splash Mountain fun was its constantly upbeat, down-to-earth style, with singing critters and catchy songs that made you feel caught up in the adventure. I think Princess and the Frog has the potential to keep that very specific type of spirit alive, so I hope it does.
 
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mtorange

Grand Carnivale, Haunt, and WinterFest Aficionado
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I’ve only been to Disney World once in my life, but I enjoyed this ride a lot and I hope to return one day to see the new version.

Admittedly, I wasn’t familiar with Song of the South when I rode it since I was younger, but I did appreciate the upbeat and catchy songs and I do think that Disney can easily replicate this with some New Orleans jazz music. I do think the exterior theming will focus more on the swamp aspects and the New Orleans theming will likely be more prevalent inside of the mountain.

Regardless, I’m excited to see these changes!
 
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Splash is close enough to Adventureland in wdw, that I'm unbothered.

Thats like saying DarKastle is close enough to New France to be themed French.

Overall my opinion echoes those of others, the concept is great, but the theming is out of place. Is Disney really that strapped for a western story? How many movies and TV shows do they own, yet they can't come up with a single decent popular western story? What about Zorro, Davey Crockett, Old Yeller, Home on the Range, The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Lone Ranger?

I mean heck, The Lone Ranger was a fairly recent movie. It wouldn't have been any worse than how they decided to add Tron to Tomorrowland.

The only place Princess and the Frog might easily fit in would be Liberty Square. Even still, that is kinda a squeeze.

I would also argue that Disney is supposed to be super huge and big on theme, show and story. Yet, they can't come up with a better themed replacement?

With all those thoughts said, I will sit back and watch and hope that Imagineers come up with something really good.
 

Applesauce

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Thats like saying DarKastle is close enough to New France to be themed French.
Except it's not. Splash is definitely in frontierland, however the back entrance from Adventureland leading to frontierland, is honestly separated and by itself enough and it's basically a straight shot from Adventureland to seeing Splash. Unlike Darkastle, which can't be seen from New France at all. So ?‍♀️

Overall my opinion echoes those of others, the concept is great, but the theming is out of place. Is Disney really that strapped for a western story? How many movies and TV shows do they own, yet they can't come up with a single decent popular western story? What about Zorro, Davey Crockett, Old Yeller, Home on the Range, The Apple Dumpling Gang, The Lone Ranger?

I mean heck, The Lone Ranger was a fairly recent movie. It wouldn't have been any worse than how they decided to add Tron to Tomorrowland.

The only place Princess and the Frog might easily fit in would be Liberty Square. Even still, that is kinda a squeeze.

I would also argue that Disney is supposed to be super huge and big on theme, show and story. Yet, they can't come up with a better themed replacement?

With all those thoughts said, I will sit back and watch and hope that Imagineers come up with something really good.
To the rest of this:

Is it out of place though? You're replacing a ride that is based on the movie Song of the SOUTH. It never fit with Frontierland to begin with. Replacing a ride theme that was based on the south, with another theme from the south, is about equal, doesn't change anything other than the fact that more people are aware of the new theme being southern. Which again gets back to my previous point: its a straight shot from Adventureland to Splash already.

The Lone Ranger is a really, really, poor example. Not only was the movie a box office failure, but replacing a ride that already is heavily influenced by racism, with another movie that features a rather large stereotype for a completely different race, would not make the ride any better. (Although from my understanding, Johnny Depp did get permission to play a person from that Native American nation. However, its definitely still a white man playing a Native America. So. Not a great look. Plus do we really need more Johnny Depp animatronics in Disney?) In addition to all of that, western films aren't popular anymore, and haven't been for a very long time. Sure those films and shows you mentioned, most are classic films that maybe your parents showed you when you were young. But I don't think most of today's families are sharing those movies anymore. (Exception being Home on the Range as it came out in 2006, that was just a bad movie, and definitely played a hand in "killing" 2D animation.)

Nevermind the fact that, when you think about the Old West, "water ride" isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But Bayou does come to mind when thinking New Orleans.

I honestly feel like they will do this right. IMO They have a lot riding on it, considering its their only black princess, and people are already skeptical of Disney's ability to make anything related to poc that doesn't turn them into an animal or what ever the hell Soul is supposed to be? I assume he gets turned into his soul? who know. The animation trope is old and tired and needs to stop, but that's besides the point.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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Except it's not. Splash is definitely in frontierland, however the back entrance from Adventureland leading to frontierland, is honestly separated and by itself enough and it's basically a straight shot from Adventureland to seeing Splash. Unlike Darkastle, which can't be seen from New France at all. So ?‍♀️


To the rest of this:

Is it out of place though? You're replacing a ride that is based on the movie Song of the SOUTH. It never fit with Frontierland to begin with. Replacing a ride theme that was based on the south, with another theme from the south, is about equal, doesn't change anything other than the fact that more people are aware of the new theme being southern. Which again gets back to my previous point: its a straight shot from Adventureland to Splash already.

The Lone Ranger is a really, really, poor example. Not only was the movie a box office failure, but replacing a ride that already is heavily influenced by racism, with another movie that features a rather large stereotype for a completely different race, would not make the ride any better. (Although from my understanding, Johnny Depp did get permission to play a person from that Native American nation. However, its definitely still a white man playing a Native America. So. Not a great look. Plus do we really need more Johnny Depp animatronics in Disney?) In addition to all of that, western films aren't popular anymore, and haven't been for a very long time. Sure those films and shows you mentioned, most are classic films that maybe your parents showed you when you were young. But I don't think most of today's families are sharing those movies anymore. (Exception being Home on the Range as it came out in 2006, that was just a bad movie, and definitely played a hand in "killing" 2D animation.)

Nevermind the fact that, when you think about the Old West, "water ride" isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But Bayou does come to mind when thinking New Orleans.

I honestly feel like they will do this right. IMO They have a lot riding on it, considering its their only black princess, and people are already skeptical of Disney's ability to make anything related to poc that doesn't turn them into an animal or what ever the hell Soul is supposed to be? I assume he gets turned into his soul? who know. The animation trope is old and tired and needs to stop, but that's besides the point.

For what it’s worth, Splash Mountain is separated from Adventureland by several Frontierland-style buildings, including the far side of the huge Pecos Bill facade. It may be geographically close to Adventureland, but it is inarguably part of Frontierland. Furthermore, Adventureland isn’t New Orleans-themed either. MK’s Pirates eliminates the New Orleans part of the story from the ride altogether, and it takes place entirely in the Caribbean, which fits the tropical theme of Adventureland. Princess and the Frog would be just as out of place there as in Frontierland, but that’s really a moot point since Splash Mountain, despite being close to Adventureland, isn’t in Adventureland.

And that’s not to mention that the ride’s queue and entrance are between the Frontierland railroad station and Big Thunder Mountain, about as far back into Frontierland as you can get. I’d put the chances of them relocating the queue and entrance to the other side of the attraction at just above zero.

On a different note, while the film Song of the South took place in the Deep South, Disney clearly took steps to give MK’s Splash Mountain a more western setting than its California counterpart. The mountain has a sandier and grittier appearance, the outdoor portions of the ride are more barren and scattered with western props and scenery, and the queue takes place in an old western-style shed. Plus, while the soundtrack of the California version is based on brass instruments (evocative of the Dixieland jazz of the South), the Florida version’s soundtrack is backed by banjos, fiddles, and guitars to create a more western sound. That doesn’t make Splash Mountain a thematically perfect fit for Frontierland, but the Imagineers clearly tried to create a blend between the western Frontierland theme and the source material of the ride. Setting a ride specifically in New Orleans is definitely not an improvement there.

In fact, is the fact that Splash Mountain isn’t a perfect fit for Frontierland even a good justification for putting a New Orleans themed ride there? Just because a ride’s predecessor caused thematic problems, that shouldn’t be a pass to repeat that problem (or exacerbate it, really) with its replacement. It should be an opportunity to fix the problem, not an excuse to make it worse. In my opinion, this placement is just as problematic as putting Frozen in Epcot’s Norway pavilion.
 
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I concede on the DK and NF simile.

However, I would argue that just because you are replacing an out of theme ride with another out of theme ride doesn't make it any better. If anything they should be pushing for improvements not static change. That is of course what Disney is supposed to be well-known for in their parks, is making advancements right?

I can not lie, western movies aren't exactly the hippest thing, but I would say that they aren't out altogether. The western genre is iconic and timeless. In fact there is current entertainment (not Disney owned, but still relevant) that is airing recently that is gaining popularity -- WestWorld. Granted that show and the book have a different take on westerns, so could Disney. Does Disney not have the ability to create or reimagine any existing stories? Have they lost all the creative juices they are known for?

They don't have to make an exact recreation of The Lone Ranger in the ride. The story and the characters can be different. I mean, even with all the Depp-ified changes to Pirates of the Caribbean, the ride still doesn't really follow the movie all that much. The ride actually veers pretty far off from the movies. The only truly likeness from the movie is the very few characters they added to the ride, as well as the one prison scene. Everything else in the ride is extremely generic. I have a feeling they could come up with a great ride based on The Lone Ranger or another property that would obviously deviate from the movie quite a bit, but use a few characters or even reimagine the characters.

I also want to point out, this replacement doesn't have to be a water ride. They could tear down the building or completely carve our the show building and put in a whole new ride system. They did that recently with Mickey and Minnie's Railway. I admit, that was more for an upgrade in technology, but a similar approach could be made.

While I wouldn't put it past Disney for having thought about this concept previously, the timing seems to be extremely suspicious and seems like they are just pandering a this point, without actually thinking through a whole new attraction.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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While I wouldn't put it past Disney for having thought about this concept previously, the timing seems to be extremely suspicious and seems like they are just pandering a this point, without actually thinking through a whole new attraction.

In Disney’s defense, their announcement says Imagineers have been working on this concept for more than a year. I assume the death of Splash Mountain was just a long time coming. They probably just saw now as the perfect time to announce it, especially with that petition to retheme the ride (to Princess and the Frog, wildly enough) gaining mainstream attention. Can’t say I blame them.
 

Dombot

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Y'know, after a lot of thinking this over, I'm okay with this change. Am I upset that I'm losing one of my personal favorite attractions? Absolutely. Splash Mountain is easily my favorite ride at Magic Kingdom, but if Disney does this well (and there's no reason to believe that they won't, considering how amazing their recent track record has been) then I'm on board and excited to see the changes.
 
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In Disney’s defense, their announcement says Imagineers have been working on this concept for more than a year. I assume the death of Splash Mountain was just a long time coming. They probably just saw now as the perfect time to announce it, especially with that petition to retheme the ride (to Princess and the Frog, wildly enough) gaining mainstream attention. Can’t say I blame them.

I may just be overly wary, but this all seems too coincidental. If they were working on this project for over a year, why do they only release one piece of concept art? Why not a handful of pieces to really give people a good satisfying feel of the work that is about to occur. My conspiracy side is leaning towards they saw the petition and they saw the news headlines the past month or so and then ran with it. The people gave them a quick idea, and all they may've done was had an Imagineer do a quick draw up of a basic concept. Of course, that is me being very skeptical of the situation.

I will say normally, I am all for change and generally new things lead to progress. However, this seems very forced and not much like actual progress.
 

Mushroom

Getting aHEAD of myself
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I may just be overly wary, but this all seems too coincidental. If they were working on this project for over a year, why do they only release one piece of concept art? Why not a handful of pieces to really give people a good satisfying feel of the work that is about to occur. My conspiracy side is leaning towards they saw the petition and they saw the news headlines the past month or so and then ran with it. The people gave them a quick idea, and all they may've done was had an Imagineer do a quick draw up of a basic concept. Of course, that is me being very skeptical of the situation.

I will say normally, I am all for change and generally new things lead to progress. However, this seems very forced and not much like actual progress.

True. I have to admit, I wondered the same thing myself. It probably wouldn’t be too hard for Disney to just make up the fact that they’ve been working on this plan for a while, even if it isn’t true. Maybe it was just a random concept they briefly drafted a year ago as a “just in case” sort of thing, something they put on the back burner in case Splash Mountain ever faced a backlash. (Or back-splash??)
 
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Applesauce

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For what it’s worth, Splash Mountain is separated from Adventureland by several Frontierland-style buildings, including the far side of the huge Pecos Bill facade. It may be geographically close to Adventureland, but it is inarguably part of Frontierland. Furthermore, Adventureland isn’t New Orleans-themed either. MK’s Pirates eliminates the New Orleans part of the story from the ride altogether, and it takes place entirely in the Caribbean, which fits the tropical theme of Adventureland. Princess and the Frog would be just out of place there as in Frontierland.

And that’s not to mention that the ride’s queue and entrance are between the Frontierland railroad station and Big Thunder Mountain, about as far back into Frontierland as you can get. I’d put the chances of them relocating the queue and entrance to the other side of the attraction at just above zero.
I literally never once said that Splash wasn't in Frontierland. In fact, in the post you quoted I said

Splash is definitely in frontierland,

the previous post I said

Splash is close enough to Adventureland in wdw, that I'm unbothered.

Key words being "close enough".

I never once denied that it was in Frontierland. Just because there are western buildings leading up to the split between Splash/train/Big Thunder and the rest of Frontierland, doesn't make what I said any less true. It is quite literally the first attraction you see coming from Adventureland. The path from Adventureland is literally a straight shot. Unlike the comparison @VonDerrick gave of Darkastle and New France, which the two are very much separated from a guest standpoint. A better argument in that case would be Alpengeist and New France, but that's not what was said.

To be completely honest the whole "But it doesn't fit the theme" argument rubs me the wrong way, massively. Trying to come up with a different replacement than Princess and the Frog, especially given the current climate comes off as rather elitist? privileged? entitled? I'm not sure to be clear.

Its such a clear nitpick like "But there's no black people in medieval Europe" (except there were so like??), like you can't come up with an alternative reason for this ride not to exist? You want a ride themed to this movie, but just not there!! It doesn't fit!! Honestly, who the fuck cares at this point? It's not all based in reality anyways. And really, in all of WDW there is a single ride based on a POC movie. You wanna know what it is?

Magic Carpets of Aladdin. A spinning ride where the only character featured is the rug. Aladdin isn't even there.

You can call putting a PatF overlay pandering if you want. This was a long time coming, both the removal of Splash's theme and a PatF ride. Why not hit two birds with one stone? It doesn't have to be realistic. I truly doubt that you're gonna get on this ride and go "aww, but it doesn't match the surrounding area." and have that be your biggest concern. You're gonna judge it for what it is, and it'll be a nitpick, much like Frozen in Norway. That fits, but nobody wanted it, the fact that nobody super cares for the ride is the biggest issue rather than it's "Frozen in Norway" at this point. (I'm not saying that in Frozen's case its not an issue, just that the bigger issue is it definitely feels cheap.)
 
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