(Photo courtesy turner.com)
Splash Mountain — one of Disney’s most popular and problematic rides — is about to be “completely reimagined.”
The log flume ride was originally based on the controversial 1946 film Song of the South. Now, it will be re-themed to star the characters from Disney’s 2009 animated film, The Princess and the Frog, which features Disney’s first Black princess. The changes to the ride will be implemented at the Magic Kingdom park in Florida and the Disneyland park in California.
The move comes after 20,000 people signed an online petition on Change.org asking Disney to change the ride’s theme because of the racial stereotypes from the film it is based upon. Song of the South has long been criticized for its stereotypical and offensive portrayals of Black people as well as its romanticized view of the antebellum South.
“While the ride is considered a beloved classic, its history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes,” the petition reads. “There is a huge need for diversity in the parks and this could help fill that need.”
Carmen Smith, creative development and inclusive strategies executive for Walt Disney Imagineering, said she was extremely proud to see the new ride come to life. “It’s important that our guests be able to see themselves in the experiences we create,” she said.