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Disney’s Splash Mountain to Drop ‘Song of the South’ Depictions


LOS ANGELES — So long, Splash Mountain.

Disney said on Thursday that it would remake one of its most popular theme park rides, Splash Mountain, which depicts characters and songs from “Song of the South,” the racist 1946 musical. The 31-year-old flume ride will instead be modeled on “The Princess and the Frog,” the 2009 musical that introduced Disney’s first black princess, Tiana.

The name Splash Mountain will also be retired. New Adventures With Princess Tiana is the working title of the coming attraction, which will be set in the Louisiana bayou.

“It is important that our guests be able to see themselves in the experiences we create,” Carmen Smith, vice president of creative development and inclusion strategies at Walt Disney Imagineering, said in a blog post. Imagineering is Disney’s research and design division.

The overhaul at both Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California, the theme parks that feature the ride, will easily cost tens of millions of dollars.

Disney is expunging the “Song of the South” imagery — Br’er Rabbit and other animal minstrels — during a national reckoning on racial justice. Protests against police brutality and racism, sparked by the killing of a black man, George Floyd, in police custody in Minneapolis, have prompted a wide spectrum of companies to make long-overdue changes. Quaker Oats, for instance, said it would retire Aunt Jemima, a 131-year-old brand built on racist imagery.


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