So, Splash Mountain — the ride at Disney World — shut down this week for renovations. If you haven't been following along, the closure is happening so the park can change the theming of the ride, which is currently based on the racist and revisionist Disney film Song of the South. The ride will be re-themed to center on the movie The Princess and the Frog, which featured Tiana, the first Black Disney Princess.
Sounds like a good idea, right? Disney does away with a controversial ride and gets to capitalize on a much more current and relevant property. Seems like a win-win. BUT WAIT — Disney Adults have entered the chat. This week, thousands of Disney fans went to the park to ride Splash Mountain while it still had its current theming. They even started leaving stuffed toys of Song of the South characters like Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Bear in a sort of shrine.
The wait time for Splash Mountain was up to three hours in its final days.
On eBay, people are selling water that they saved from the ride for thousands of dollars.
People are even calling Florida governor Ron DeSantis's office in an attempt to have the ride made a state landmark and keep it from being renovated.
In Facebook groups dedicated to saving the ride, people are crying about "cancel culture," which might give you a hint about what kind of person we're dealing with here.
This person wants the NAACP involved, under the guise of "preserving the legacy" of the Black actors in the original film (who, by the way, are not featured in the ride at all). By the way, the NAACP famously protested the release of the movie back in the 1940s.
"There's no mountains in the bayou" is the new "well, scientifically there shouldn't be Black mermaids."
To be fair to Disney Adults as a whole (heck, you could call me one of them, probably), there are plenty of them who think this change is a good one and are bringing up the change of Epcot's Maelstrom to a Frozen-themed ride as a comparison. The Maelstrom change went by without major protests or national attention. Innnnteresting, I wonder what's different?
And fear not: Twitter is sufficiently dunking on those for whom this is clearly about more than just nostalgia.
Anyway, I'm very excited for the reopening of the ride as Tiana's Bayou Adventure, which should happen sometime in 2024.