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Disney teases Splash Mountain overhaul with new art designs

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The outdated ride is getting a Princess and the Frog makeover

At long last, Princess and the Frog’s Tiana gets her due at Disney parks. In a new video, a panel — which includes the daughter of the real life inspiration behind Tiana, Leah Chase — discusses the movie’s legacy and the upcoming changes to the existing Splash Mountain attraction, which will soon undergo a Princess and the Frog-themed revamp.

Disney announced the redesign of the attraction in June 2020. In both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain is currently based on a highly controversial Disney film called Song of the South, which presents a glorified view of slavery and reductive and offensive portrayals of Black characters. Even in 1989 when the ride debuted, the movie was considered controversial, as then-CEO Michael Eisner stated that it would not be getting a home release in America. To this day, there has been no home-video release of Song of the South, and the movie is absent from streaming service Disney Plus. In June 2020, a petition to redo the ride popped up on Change.org, though Disney insisted that the revamp had been in the works for over a year.

Till now, there have been little updates on the attraction’s progress. But this new video reveals some new information and talks about Tiana’s legacy as a character. The ride takes place right after the events of the movie (and thus, feature Tiana as a human and not a frog), where Tiana will lead guests through the bayou as she invites everyone she can to a Mardi Gras celebration. The attraction will bring back old friends, like Prince Naveen, and Louis the trumpet-playing alligator, as well as new ones. There will be immersive scenic illusions and new, cutting edge audio animatronics. The attraction makeover does not have a date yet, but more details can be found on the Disney Parks blog.

This attraction revamp isn’t the only Princess and the Frog spinoff that Disney has in the works: A an animated TV show focused on Tiana is set for Disney Plus sometime in the future.

Check out the new piece of concept art for the Splash Mountain redesign:

tiana stands on a log flume, ushering guests into the bayou Image: Disney