The “Magic Happens” Parade returned to Disneyland Park this afternoon and the line of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” was noticeably missing from the finale of the show.
The line, which is also the title of the song originally composed for the controversial Disney film, “Song of the South”, was perhaps most widely recognized as part of the Splash Mountain attraction based on the film. It has been replaced at the end of the “Magic Happens” parade with the line, “think of the happiest things,” from the song “You Can Fly” featured in Disney’s “Peter Pan”.
In Disney’s continued effort to be inclusive, the “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” song was also removed from the soundtrack of King Arthur Carrousel at Disneyland in 2021. The first signs of the song’s erasure from Disney Parks were noticed in 2020 and then was quietly removed from Disneyland Resort music loops across the Esplande and Downtown Disney.
At the time, Disney released a statement regarding the removal of the Academy Award-winning Best Original Song stating, “The removal of the song from Downtown Disney’s background music is part of a continuous process to deliver an environment that features stories that are relevant and inclusive.”
Known as the theme song of Splash Mountain, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” has been the subject of critique given the racist undertones of the film it was based on. In fact, “Song of the South” has been locked in the Disney vault since the 1980s due to its idyllic portrayals of Southern plantation life in the late 1800s Reconstruction Era. The song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” itself was likely influenced by the chorus of the pre-Civil War folk song “Zip Coon”.
Current reports indicate that Disneyland Resort may be aiming to permanently close Splash Mountain in May 2023. The Walt Disney World version of Splash Mountain closed forever in January 2023 and the reimagining of the attraction as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is already underway. Check out our complete history of Splash Mountain at Disney Parks for a fuller history of the attraction.
Aside from a minor costume and choreography refresh, the removal of “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” from the finale of the “Magic Happens” parade was the most noticeable change from its 2020 version. Watch the full updated version below:
“Magic Happens” will be performed at Disneyland Park twice each day at 3:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.