Walt Disney World Splash Mountain: Imagineers Seen Testing Tiana Bayou Adventure At Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain is a log flume at Disneyland, Tokyo Disneyland and formerly at Magic Kingdom, based on the animated sequences of the 1946 Disney film Song of the South.

Different in plot and features at each location, the rides at both start with a tranquil outdoor float-through that proceeds to interior dark ride elements, culminating in a steep drop into a “briar patch” and then returning indoors for the climax. This chasm is 52.5 feet in depth (16.0 m).

Walt Disney World Splash Mountain

Walt Disney World Splash Mountain
Walt Disney World Splash Mountain

In light of the impending closure of one of the most recognisable attractions in all of Disney’s theme parks, we thought it would be fitting to record a succinct but comprehensive history of the log flume ride as it has been implemented by Disney.

With The Walt Disney World version of Splash Mountain going permanently on January 22, 2023, here’s a look at the extraordinary and interesting story of this member of the Magic Kingdom mountain range: During the summer of 1983, Imagineer Tony Baxter was trying to create a strategy to entice people into the typically empty Bear Country at Disneyland.

The Country Bear Jamboree never gained the same degree of success at Disneyland that it did in the Magic Kingdom, and this isolated section was typically bereft of guests. What this area required was a “E-Ticket” attraction.

At the same time, Dick Nunis, President of Walt Disney Attractions, was urging Imagineers to come up with some form of a water attraction to help customers stay cool during the sweltering summer months in Anaheim. He remarked that “All the other parks have a flume ride.” To which the Imagineers answered, “That’s exactly why Disneyland should not – we need to be unique.”

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Disney Announces Closing Date For Splash Mountain Over Racial Stereotypes

Disney announced the formal closing date for its iconic Splash Mountain attraction this week, more than two years after the company first declared it wanted to close the ride over its continuation of “racial stereotypes.” Splash Mountain, which is inspired on the movie Song of the South, will close on January 23, 2023. The film’s depiction of life on a plantation has drawn criticism in recent years.

“I’ve believed, as long as I’ve been CEO, that ‘Song of the South’ was — even with a disclaimer — just not suitable in today’s world,” Disney CEO Bob Iger stated in a March 2020 shareholders meeting.

The firm stated in June 2020 that it planned to redesign the attraction at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which is set one year after the end of the movie The Princess and the Frog.

In light of Disney‘s “prolonged tradition of modernising attractions and introducing fresh magic,” the re-theming of Splash Mountain is especially significant now, the company noted in a recent statement. “The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can identify with and be inspired by, and it relates to the diversity of the millions of individuals who visit our parks each year.”

Imagineers Seen Testing Tiana Bayou Adventure At Splash Mountain

In a stoke of luck, we got to be seated behind lead Walt Disney Imagineers on Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World, who appeared to be audio testing Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the attraction replacing Splash Mountain. On the ride, we overheard what sounded like an audio test for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Despite our inability to overhear their conversation, we can safely assume that many of the passengers are Walt Disney Imagineers involved in the development of the Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction. One particularly notable passenger is Charita Carter, Executive Creative Producer for Relevancy Activations at Walt Disney Imagineering.

Disney Imagineering’s Executive Creative Director Ted Robledo is on board as well. We suspect that Walt Disney Imagineering’s Senior Vice President of Creative Development Content-Products and Inclusive Strategies, Carmen Smith, is a part of this crew as well.

State Of Florida Files Suit To Stop Retheming Of Disney Splash Mountain Attraction

Reportedly, the state of Florida has filed a lawsuit to prevent Walt Disney World from transforming Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom into a Princess and the Frog-themed rollercoaster. The government of Florida in the year 2022 was no stranger to the courts or to controversies.

The Walt Disney Company published a statement in protest of Florida’s passage of the Parental Rights in Education bill in March 2022, beginning a schism between the state and the Disney empire that persists to this day.

Following Disney’s statement, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis took action to limit Disney’s influence over the Reedy Creek Improvement District, a self-governing entity under Disney’s control that oversees operations in the cities of Bay Lake and Lake Buena Vista, Florida, home to the Walt Disney World Resort.

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