We have some BIG attraction news, you guys!
Disney has JUST announced that they will be re-theming Disney World and Disneyland’s Splash Mountain attractions.
Splash Mountain on both coasts will be re-themed and will be inspired by The Princess and the Frog. Recently, a petition to re-theme the attraction began circulating, and now, Disney has announced that they will be doing just that. You can see the full petition here.
However, according to Disney, “Walt Disney Imagineering, the creative arm of the company, has been developing a “Princess and the Frog” backstory for Splash Mountain since last year and settled on many of the concepts for the reimagined attraction last summer.”
Details on the New Theme
According to Disney, the attraction will pick up the story of The Princess and the Frog “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.” The project will be led my Imagineer Charita Carter, who also oversaw the creation of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in Hollywood Studios.
When it comes to the approach to re-theming the attraction, Disney shared that 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.”
Why Princess and the Frog and Why Now
Bob Weis, president of Walt Disney Imagineering, shared with D23 that “Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman who pursues her dreams while never losing sight of what’s really important. So it’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou.” Weis mentioned that in 1966, Walt Disney opened New Orleans Square “when it became the first new “land” added to Disneyland, so it feels natural to link the story of The Princess and the Frog to the park.”
Weis also shared that there is no expiration on good storytelling and said that Disney would be missing a lot of opportunities if they limited themselves to a specific period of time.
So when will this big overhaul take place exactly? According to Weis, Disney has separate project teams working on these efforts but they are still evaluating the project timelines due to the closures. He also shared that several projects, like Avengers Campus in Disneyland and Disneyland Paris, are able to push forward due to where Disney was in development pre-closure. “There are others that will be picked back up in stages—like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and TRON —and some that are longer-term that we will need more time to assess.”
Weis stated that they are still working to determine the timing for this project. As of now, Magic Kingdom and Disneyland will re-open with the existing Splash Mountain attractions.
As we learn more about this new theme, we will be sure to let you know. So be sure to check DFB for all the details!
What do you think of this change? Let us know in the comments below