Disneyland's Splash Mountain to Close Next Month for Renovation


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ANAHEIM (CNS) - Splash Mountain, the Disneyland flume ride under fire for its roots in a 1946 film criticized for racist and stereotyping undertones, will close at the end of May to begin its renovation into an attraction based on the more modern film "The Princess and the Frog," the park announced Wednesday.

According to Disneyland officials, the attraction will close May 31 for a renovation project expected to last more than a year. The reimagined ride, which will be called "Tiana's Bayou Adventure," is scheduled to open in late 2024.

Disney officials announced in 2020 that the ride would be renovated and themed after the 2009 film "The Princess and the Frog, which introduced Disney's first Black princess, Tiana. The move followed rising criticism of the original attraction that increased during nationwide protests against police brutality and in support of racial equality.

Splash Mountain is based on the 1946 animated film "Song of the South," which has been criticized for racist undertones and stereotyping portrayals of Black characters.

"Tiana is a modern, courageous and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what's really important," a Disneyland spokesman said in 2020 in announcing the planned renovation. "It's a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou."

In a blog post Wednesday, Disney officials said the revamped ride "builds on the story of Princess Tiana, a character whose pride and perseverance reminds us of a universal truth: within us lies the potential to make our dreams come true."

"Tiana's Bayou Adventure" will also be featured at Walt Disney Word in Florida.

Actress Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana in the movie, will lend her voice to the revamped ride, as will actress Jenifer Lewis, who voiced Mama Odie. Also reprising their roles for the ride will be Bruno Campos as Prince Naveen and Michael Leon Wooley as Louis.

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