ICONIC Disneyland attraction, Splash Mountain, has officially closed.
The 30-year-old log flume ride has been the subject of major controversy – here's everything you need to know.
What film is Splash Mountain based on?
Splash Mountain opened in 1992 at Disneyland in Florida.
It is set in a southern bayou, based on the 1946 film Song Of The South.
It it is being shut down due to its racist stereotypes and portrayal of African Americans in post-Civil War South.
Song Of The South is a mix of live action, cartoons, and music, featuring an old black plantation laborer named Uncle Remus.
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He entertains a white city boy with fables of talking animals.
The movie is best known for the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.
The Disney attraction was a boat ride through different scenes during which visitors meet characters called Brer Bear, Fox and Rabbit.
Its famous feature is a 50ft drop into the Briar Patch.
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These type of animals and the huge stomach churning plummet will still be part of the new and improved ride.
Disney CEO Bob Iger said in 2020: "I've felt, as long as I've been CEO, that 'Song of the South' was — even with a disclaimer — was just not appropriate in today's world."
The new Tiana ride is a fitting replacement as The Princess And The Frog features Disney's first black princess.
Groups including the NAACP protested the film’s initial release.
The movie is not available to the millions of subscribers of the company’s Disney Plus streaming service.
A Change.org petition which called for the recasting stated: "While the ride is considered a beloved classic it’s history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from the 1946 film Song of the South."
The petition continued that while the storyline of the ride was not an exact version of the film's plotline, the characters, songs, and locations were all main features of the ride.
It added that Disney had removed Song Of The South from its library, and called for "all traces of this racist movie" go and Splash Mountain to be turned into a Princess And The Frog themed ride.
Disney has removed Song Of The South from its background music in theme parks, including the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.
This comes as part of a movement across the Disneyland franchise to combat racism.
Jungle Cruise was also improved and rebranded after facing criticism over what was reported as "negative depictions of native people".
The company also revamped their The Pirates Of The Caribbean ride to better represent woman.
What is Song Of The South about?
The movie features a young boy who goes to live in the American South and meets Uncle Remus, who is the fictional title character from a series of Black American folktales.
Uncle Remus tells the boy stories about Brer Rabbit, a trickster who uses his wits.
The Adventures Of Brer Rabbit would become a book, a play, and a film inspired by the Uncle Remus stories.
Why is it being changed to The Princess And The Frog?
Disney officials are recasting the ride based on The Princess And The Frog, a 2009 Disney film with an African American female lead.
The company said: “The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year."
The Princess And The Frog stars Anika Noni Rose, who voices the role of a 1920s aspiring chef in New Orleans who kisses a prince that has been turned into a frog and becomes one herself.
Disney wrote in a blog post: "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."
When will they change the ride?
The ride is officially closing on Monday, January 24, 2023.
Splash Mountain was part of Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in Florida.
It has been in Frontierland, across from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for 30 years.
Closing dates for the California Disneyland ride are yet to be announced.
The replacement ride in both Florida and California is set to open in late 2024.
The Disney website states the ride will be renamed Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Splash Mountain is also part of Tokyo Disneyland.
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