According to the OC Register, the popular log flume ride, previously themed to the controversial “Song of the South” film, will be transformed to feature characters and a storyline based off the 2009 animated film, “Princess and the Frog”.
No date or official name has been announced for the attraction makeovers, but the working title for the project is “New Adventures with Princess Tiana”. Both Disneyland and Walt Disney World intend on reopening with the current iterations of the ride, to be closed at a later date for the retheming.
Despite the coincidental timing with the trending petitions to reskin the ride, Disney states that development on the backstory reportedly began last year, settling on concepts just last summer. The next step for Imagineering will be to conduct digital scans of ride layouts at both parks. Tony Baxter will be serving as a creative advisor on the planning and design of the makeover.
Today we are thrilled to share a first glimpse of a project Imagineers have been working on since last year. Splash Mountain – at both Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida – will soon be completely reimagined. The theme is inspired by an all-time favorite animated Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog.” We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.
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. In 1966, Walt himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first new “land” added to Disneyland park, so it feels natural to link the story and the incredible music of “The Princess and the Frog” to our parks.
The voice of Princess Tiana and Tony Award-winning actress, Anika Noni Rose, shared, “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!”
The approach to retheming or “plussing” attractions (as Walt Disney referred to it) begins with Imagineers asking the question, how can we build upon or elevate the experience and tell a fresh, relevant story? It’s a continuous process that Imagineers are deeply passionate about. And with this longstanding history of updating attractions and adding new magic, 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.
Charita Carter, the senior creative producer leading the project at Walt Disney Imagineering shared, “Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures. I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun-filled experience to our guests.”
So, what do you think of this new concept for Splash Mountain? While fan of the classic attraction will bemoan the loss of their laughin’ place, many beleaguered “Princess and the Frog” fans are eager to head on down to the bayou.