Disney confirmed today that fan-favorite Splash Mountain will be redesigned as a Princess and the Frog attraction. Dropping the controversial Song of the South theme, Disney indicated that this is “a project Imagineers have been working on since last year.”
The changes would be taking place at both Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World.
A New Story
Details on specifics are sparse at this point but the new concept art shows the unmistakable Chikapin Hill peak of Splash Mountain transformed into the swampy abode of Mama Odie from Princess and the Frog.
The story of the ride will start after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure with some of the amazingly powerful music from the film as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.
On the Timing
Not ignoring the poignance of the timing of the announcement, the press release echoes, “the retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today. 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.”
Anika Noni Rose, who voices Tiana in the film, had this to say: “It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized! As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon. The Imagineers are giving us the Princess and The Frog Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it!”
D23 sat down with Bob Weis, president of Walt Disney Imagineering, to discuss evolving the attraction, why The Princess and the Frog was a perfect fit, and what this means for other Imagineering projects on the horizon.
See it for Yourself
Neither a closing date for Splash Mountain or an opening date for the new attraction have yet been announced.