Disney has announced that they will be closing the iconic Splash Mountain ride over “racial stereotypes” in less than two months.
Splash Mountain will be closing for good on January 23, 2023.
The ride will get a full-on Princess and the Frog makeover — Disney’s first animated film featuring a black princess.
The new attraction will be called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Splash Mountain is currently based on Br’er Rabbit’s adventures in the 1946 movie, Song of the South.
The film has faced criticism and calls for censorship in recent years over the portrayal of life in the antebellum South.
“I’ve felt, as long as I’ve been CEO, that ‘Song of the South’ was – even with a disclaimer – was just not appropriate in today’s world,” Disney CEO Bob Iger said during a March 2020 shareholders meeting, according to a report from Fox Business.
In 2019, the outlet notes, a petition to rebrand the ride gained over 21,000 signatures. The petition claimed that the ride was offensive and that the park needed more “diversity.” A plan to replace it with a Princess and the Frog attraction was announced the next year, but no official timeline was given.
After Disney announced the planned change, another petition was created and called for the theme park to save the ride. This one received 93,000 signatures.