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Disney retheming Splash Mountain at WDW & Disneyland to The Princess & The Frog

nadroJ

CF Legend
This has been a completely unrealistic dream of mine for ages.

Unfortunately it's all about the IPs and the ka-ching though.

I hate this attitude. Firstly the ride was already an IP so this change isn't an instance of the dreaded evil IP taking over a classic Disney original idea. Secondly, it's a damn business. Given the choice between something aesthetically nice but not that interesting to joe public and the inclusion of a character/IP the public love and that will be easily marketable of COURSE they're going to go with the one that more people will enjoy. It's honestly the most annoying take :rolleyes:
 

Jamesss

Hyper Poster
I hate this attitude. Firstly the ride was already an IP so this change isn't an instance of the dreaded evil IP taking over a classic Disney original idea. Secondly, it's a damn business. Given the choice between something aesthetically nice but not that interesting to joe public and the inclusion of a character/IP the public love and that will be easily marketable of COURSE they're going to go with the one that more people will enjoy. It's honestly the most annoying take :rolleyes:
Obviously this is the better choice from the perspective of Disney executives.

If I wasn't interested in theme park design I would be the same in their position.

Fair play to them.

But for me personally, having always been interested in original theme park attractions, I prefer non-IPs, generally speaking.
 

Hutch

Strata Poster
I prefer non-IPs, generally speaking.
Like @nadroJ said, the ride was already attached to an IP to begin with lol.

It is also cool to see Princess and the Frog get more attention. I actually haven't seen the film, but if I'm not mistaken, it wasn't a hugely popular movie commercially was it? Ok, it looks like it grossed some $200+ mil, but when you look past this decade and see Disney killing it in the box office with their more recent animated stuff (not to mention their Marvel and Star Wars success), you would think they would go for something more popular, like a Moana theme or something.
 

Ethan

Strata Poster
It's definitely a favourite among many fans, though! :)

Anyway, as I'm sure many would agree, I think it's about time we saw some representation of people of colour in the parks, they're pretty whitewashed currently. And heteronormative, but that's a discussion for another thread.

Annoyingly, the large white, conservative audience that the parks have (mostly WDW) will kick and scream whenever people try to "ruin" their childhood memories, but I'm glad the company are going through with this retheme, even if it is a bit of a knee-jerk. You can tell they're trying to do the right thing and putting the right people behind it (Creative Lead is a woman of colour as I mentioned previously), although they obviously don't want to alienate the suburban Karens too much because the Karens & family bring in the cash!

you would think they would go for something more popular, like a Moana theme or something.
WDW is adding that Moana walkthrough to EPCOT so I doubt that was on the table, although I can see your thinking there. I can't imagine a Polynesian Island theme but look that cohesive next to BTM! I actually think a southern-bayou theme could nestle is very nicely, especially next to New Orleans Square but also in Magic Kingdom.
 

Ben

Social Media Team
Social Media Team
I know.

I love Splash but would’ve preferred it without an IP from the outset.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

If you’re looking for your rides not to have IPs attached, I suggest you don’t go to Disneyland

Getting back to the topic of Splash Mountain changing. I'm probably not the olny one who's warming to it. But I dont think princess and the frog will fit in Magic Kingdom because it's in the middle of Frontierland. If they only did that theme to Disneyland and retheme the one in Florida to a modern version of the Western River Expedition concept.

This ‘it doesn’t fit in to Frontierland’ argument is so dumb. Princess and the Frog is based in Louisiana which might not be ‘frontier’ but Splash Mountain is set in Georgia, even further from the Frontier!

Splash is all gators, rabbits, briar patches and yknow, water. None of which is Frontier! If that theme was going in now everyone would be complaining it doesn’t fit, it’s just you’re used to it because it’s been there forever. Literally the only thing that ties it in is the colour of the rocks, but it’s still covered in grass and foliage that doesn’t fit Frontierland.

No it might not fit perfectly, but Splash doesn’t anyway and it fits the ride perfectly, if not the land.
 

Jamesss

Hyper Poster
Me: I generally prefer rides without IPs and original stories

Normal person: ok

Theme park enthusiasts: “but it’s a business!!!” “But Splash Mountain is an IP!!!!” “Don’t go to Disneyland then!!!”

Alright


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Pokemaniac

Mountain monkey
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
I can sort of get where @Jamesss is coming from.

Dark rides (any well-themed and -paced amusement ride, really) are a storytelling medium in themselves. You move through the ride at a set pace, with the whole package of sights and sounds carefully timed to play at the right moment as you go by, plus all the little details you only notice in repeat viewings. Sort of like a big 360 degree movie, only there are effects and drops and the moments of anticipation and relief before and afterwards. They can be used to tell a story in a way that's not possible in any other medium. Disney has done this quite masterfully before. Expedition Everest or DLHK's Mystic Manor are great examples.

However, with the involvement of new IPs on a ride, there is a certain risk that the needs of the IP override the coherent narrative. Take for instance The Little Mermaid or Frozen Ever After at Disney World. The need to include certain songs, characters, and scenes from the source material makes the rides play out more like a clip show of the movies they are based on. You jump from one scene to another, possibly with impressive transitions between them, but there's not that same sense of narrative. The story is not told in the ride itself, but in a movie you're supposed to have seen before you ride it. The ride only sums up the highlights. The full experience requires recognition on part of the rider. I'd say it's a poor utilization of the medium, in the same way a highlight reel is not a movie.

A ride built from scratch doesn't have to make concessions to an IP. It can tell a self-contained story, at its own pace, without the need to shoehorn in certain characters, scenes, or songs, and without requiring the audience to be familiar with the background material before they ride. It can tell a story made specifically for the medium.

That being said, IP-based rides can do that too. Tower of Terror is a classic example. Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway does this too. Flight of Passage, that Terminator ride at USF, possibly Jurassic Park ... there are many examples of IP-based rides that don't require more than passing familiarity with the IP to deliver the full experience. Splash Mountain itself is possibly one of the best ones out there. You don't even have to know it's based on an IP (which was probably what Disney banked on when the ride was built, but ... well, here we are).

But an IP-based ride can also go the highlight reel route, which would be a downgrade. And it feels like every time an IP-based ride is announced, it's a coin toss whether it will rely heavily on recognition or tell its own story. That's what we mean, I think, when we say we hope the ride isn't based on an IP. It's not the IP itself that makes the ride bad, it's how the IP could potentially overshadow the medium it's told in.
 

Geeky Pastimes

Mega Poster
The recent rethemes based on IPs have all been hits in my opinion. I did Tower of Terror at DL and California Screamin', and then I've been back and done Guardians of The Galaxy and Incredicoaster and I actually prefer the new versions. GoTG is a whole new story, just set in that universe and with a coherent narrative that even stretches out into the queue, Incredicoaster somehow manages to tell a whole story on a rollercoaster, which seems crazy to me.

They did a really good job with those, that's partly why I've got pretty high expectations for this.
 

ricky coasters

Roller Poster
Update on this; it’s rumoured that the rethemed Splash Mountains are due to open in 2023, to coincide with the launch of some Disney+ series to do with Princess & The Frog: https://www.piratesandprincesses.net/new-splash-mountain-with-tiana-may-debut-in-2023/

As such, if you’re wanting to get on the Splash Mountains before they close, I’d do it before mid-2022 or so.
It's crazy how Disneys just doin series on EVERY SINGLE ONE of their franchises
Even Mighty Ducks!
Anyway I'm happy Splash Mountain is leaving soon becuz I always thought that the ride looked outdated... and since it's a classic, I thought it wouldn't get torn down which is a bad thing because classics are cool and all but New rides with better technology will always be superior than most outdated classics... ~~Unless they're screen rides~~... I also like that this is happening because then Splash Mountain in Japan will be unique to Japan and it'll be a cool reason to visit over there since thats the last one left... seriously Disney, please come up with more park unique attractions! Creativity!
 
It's crazy how Disneys just doin series on EVERY SINGLE ONE of their franchises
Even Mighty Ducks!
Anyway I'm happy Splash Mountain is leaving soon becuz I always thought that the ride looked outdated... and since it's a classic, I thought it wouldn't get torn down which is a bad thing because classics are cool and all but New rides with better technology will always be superior than most outdated classics... ~~Unless they're screen rides~~... I also like that this is happening because then Splash Mountain in Japan will be unique to Japan and it'll be a cool reason to visit over there since thats the last one left... seriously Disney, please come up with more park unique attractions! Creativity!
But they don't though. The vast majority of the public will only ever visit one Disney park. Its the same with Legoland. Don't forget people parks aren't made for us enthusiasts, ultimately we'll go anyway!
 

Nitefly

Hyper Poster
Interesting situation and an interesting thread. It’s all quite nuanced.

To my mind, Splash Mountain is thoroughly derivative of Song of the South. It is quite intentionally and absolutely not, “Song of the South: the Ride”. In isolation, it’s a rather wholesome experience.

But you cannot properly consider anything in a vacuum. Song of the South is a ‘thing’ that ‘exists’. The versions of the characters used in the ride are clearly from Song of the South. So people are correct and are being more than fair with associating the ride with that film.

A huge missing puzzle piece for me is that I have never seen ‘Song of the South’ in entirety. I’m also from the UK so I’m aware that there is a layer of localised social nuance I will also be missing, compared to my US friends. I have read about the film over the years to get to the bottom of all of the controversy, to the point where I feel I can have a reasonable take on matters (so far as is possible with my disclosure).

From what I gather the film, like the attraction, is intentionally wholesome. It’s obvious stumbling block is that in its pursuit of wholesomeness it doesn’t address the tragedy of slavery in American history and therefore the offensive stereotypes are understandably compounded with a double whammy of inappropriateness, blighting the film and Disney forever more.

By virtue of the awkwardness and the desire to rid the park from such associations, I therefore understand and support the change. Here’s hoping they do something great with it. But I don’t like the principle that something so derivative from its source material can be strongly criticised as if it is the source material. That to me lacks nuance and the intention of wholesomeness in both the era of the film and the age in which the ride was made. Of course, the ignorance of the film is rightly ripe for criticism and by modern standards Splash Mountain having this association is ‘clumsy’ at best.

With all that pre-amble, my point: people should be allowed to mourn the current ride being taken away (without overzealous criticism) and those who mourn the ride being taken away should appreciate the unfortunate situation Disney find themselves (and invest their energy into excitement for the refurb).

I will certainly mourn the soundtrack, which has provided me with much amusement ever since I was a nipper. In reference to that, here’s hoping that the refurb will be “pretty good… now show us your balls! \o/“
 

Jamesss

Hyper Poster
For the longest time I was convinced it said "pretty good, show us your bum" to the point where I had to look up the lyrics and check.
 

cookie

Hyper Poster
The Princess and the Frog re-theme of Splash Mountain is set to be called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and will be opening at both U.S Disney parks in late 2024. Still no exact date set on when the original version closes, however.

Tianas-Bayou-Adventure.jpg


 

EDjanaika

Mega Poster
Wow, bet that name look them ages to come up with. I'm here for the Splash Mountain re-theme, it's needed, but why are Disney so bad at naming attractions recently? It just feels so bland and obvious.
A lot of Disney fans seems unhappy that the new name doesn't include Splash Mountain in it!
 
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