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VIDEO: Disney CEO Bob Chapek Incorrectly Claims Splash Mountain is Over 60 Years Old in Interview About Changes to Ride

In a video interview with Indiana University College of Arts + Sciences, Disney CEO Bob Chapek incorrectly claimed that Splash Mountain is “over 60 years old.” Chapek is an alumni of Indiana University. The video, posted in March, recently surfaced on Twitter.

In one part of the interview, Chapek discusses the announced changes to Splash Mountain to make it more inclusive by retheming the attraction to The Princess and the Frog. In addition to claiming that Splash Mountain has been around “for over 60 years,” says that “super fans” of the parks are resistant to changes in attractions and other legacy aspects of the parks.

In the interview, Chapek says:

“We made a decision to change some of our attractions that are in our parks that have been around for a long long time. Again now this goes back to the legacy issue and, you know, super fans not wanting anything to change. But when you really take a hard look at an attraction that’s been there for over 60 years, and you realize it’s based on Song of the South, and Song of the South is based on a story which depicts happy slaves… That is probably not, you know, a place that we all want to be, and a place that Disney wants to be.

“So you have to have, again, wrapping all this up, you have to have the courage to go ahead and change something that’s been, you know, pleasing a good number of people, has really high guest ratings for the last 60 years, and make the change so that you could not only talk about making positive change, but really get into it, and make those changes.

“And so we’re going to walk the talk and we’re going to hire people that have… diverse, the people that are working on the conversion of that to the Tiana story are very diverse. And so we’ll make sure that it’s not somehow lost interpretation in terms of how that story should be told in a very uplifting and accurate way.”

Splash Mountain opened in Disneyland in September 1989, making it not quite 32 years old there. It is even younger in the Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland, opening in October 1992 in those two parks.

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John Ford Jr
John Ford Jr
1 month ago

Chapek could not be more wrong. The courage he references would be in not succumbing to fleeting woke virtue signaling not rolling over in a gratuitous platitudes at the expense of a beloved attraction that has no racial component until the media interjected it for their own agenda. Put your money where mouth is Chapek. You do not achieve inclusion by excluding what is already there. Create original and new attractions for others you want represented. Your message is apparently that Tiana is only worth a reskinned ride and not her own new ride as you believe that is enough… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by John Ford Jr
Floyd
Floyd
1 month ago

This comment by Chapek probably surprises no one.

Jessica
Jessica
1 month ago

Chapek needs to go. It would be one thing if he just misspoke, but he references the 60 year thing multiple times and shared incorrect facts about the movie it’s based on. He is a terrible CEO and it proves to me even more that the elimination of Splash is a poorly thought out, knee jerk reaction to this summer’s protests because Chapek doesn’t even know what he’s talking about in regard to the ride or Song of the South.

Ben
Ben
1 month ago

Maybe he was thinking how the puppets were originally from “America Sings”? If you’re counting that, then yes, elements of the ride are about 60 years old.

I get what he’s saying, he should be more prepared to speak to these kinds of changes though. You expect the CEO of one of the largest corporations in the world to be well rehearsed and answer questions clearly. At least I would if I was a shareholder lol

Tom Corless
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Ben

America Sings opened in the 70’s.

Joseph Kastner
Joseph Kastner
1 month ago

He is echoing talking points of the activists who also have never seen the film. I bet he has never seen the film. It is rather difficult to argue for your position when you have no clue what you are talking about. And even if it was 60 years old, who cares? Old doesn’t mean bad or worse. New doesn’t always equal good or better. This is what is so wrong with liberal corporatism and cancel culture

Johnny
Johnny
1 month ago

I know people like to criticize Bob Iger’s tenure, but I’m betting we all look back at the day Bobby “biology major” Chapek took charge as the day it really turned for the worse.

Russell
Russell
1 month ago

This man should not be talking about things he doesn’t understand.

Joe Cernugel
Joe Cernugel
1 month ago

Well clutch my pearls.

The SCANDAL! HOW DARE HE!

It’s changing, get over it!

Josh
Josh
1 month ago

Elsa still not out so I don’t see them “walking the walk”

But seriously, Disney teases “first out character” all the time and it’s a dumb cameo at best

Brayden
Brayden
1 month ago

With how much the ride update is made controversial, this is just another nail in the coffin. Maybe the change would be supported by more people if Disney actually had their facts straight!

Nonetheless, cannot wait for a Princess and the Frog ride.

Paul
Paul
1 month ago

Thanks for sharing and letting us know more about you, Bob. That was as wrong and awkward as your appearance on the Avenger’s Campus Opening Ceremony was uncomfortable

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul
Bobsanidiot
Bobsanidiot
1 month ago

“Depicts happy slaves”
…cmon Bob…

Eric M
Eric M
1 month ago

It’s amazing to watched one idiot run a company into the ground that the last two CEOs took decades to build up

Grace
Grace
1 month ago

Splash Mountain is too classic of a ride to be changed!! It should be kept!!

Mike
1 month ago

No surprise here. I doubt Chapek has even visited the parks as a guest in his life. This is what we have running things folks. Sad times.

Uncle Bobby
Uncle Bobby
1 month ago

Hahahahha of course he did

Doug
Doug
1 month ago

He is repeating what he has been told instead of looking at history and getting facts. Seems to be a major problem with a lot of people now. He even admits that it has high ratings amongst guests. If the guests aren’t upset, then why change?! Aren’t the guests the ones paying you money to ride the attraction??!!

Kay
Kay
1 month ago

Seems like he is just like every CEO who didn’t start the company they run, clueless. I didn’t care for the other Bob either. *sigh*

Frank Wierenga
Frank Wierenga
1 month ago

Either Bob is inexcusably ignorant about the company he runs or he is so blinded by being “woke” he rewrites history. Either way, that interview is an embarrassment to the company.

Jake
Jake
1 month ago

I want a 60 years of memories shirt