Splash Mountain dropped its last log of riders into the briar patch. Walt Disney World’s version of the water log-flume attraction held its final day of operation Sunday, officially closing down after 30 years of taking guests on a Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah-drop of five stories. Guests reportedly waited more than three hours to ride Florida’s Splash Mountain one last time (and bottle its water to sell on eBay) before its permanent closure to make way for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. In 2020, Disney confirmed plans to “completely reimagine” both the Disneyland and Disney World versions of the ride with a Princess and the Frog retheme, doing away with the controversies associated with the 1946 film Song of the South.
A video shared by WDW News on Twitter, which you can watch below, shows parkgoers overlooking splashdown and “cheering for every log at Splash Mountain as they come down the drop.” Splash Mountain is now permanently closed and will reopen as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in 2024. While the ride will be structurally the same, it will now tell a new story set after the events of 2009’s The Princess and the Frog.
A large crowd of guests has formed and is cheering for every log at Splash Mountain as they come down the drop pic.twitter.com/Rd8PX00CCG
— WDW News Today (@WDWNT) January 23, 2023
Picking up where the movie ended, the transformation sees guests “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,” according to Disney. After announcing the reimagining in 2020, the company revealed the retheme was in the works since 2019.
“While we’ve explored many new themes in the past, last year is when we really began to hone in on Princess Tiana’s story,” Walt Disney Imagineering president Bob Weis told Disney’s D23 of the decision to move away from the animated characters seen in the 1946 film Song of the South. “That said, Splash Mountain has been the subject of many conversations through the years. Its brilliant ride platform and landscape create the potential for great storytelling.”
Disney has since revealed a new scene from the ride set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou. At Disneyland, the ride is located in Critter Country but will thematically match neighboring New Orleans Square. The Anaheim theme park will also close the French Market Restaurant in February and retheme it to Tiana’s Palace, as inspired by Tiana’s dream restaurant in the animated movie.
The Disneyland Resort has not yet revealed a closing date for the west coast version of Splash Mountain. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens at Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida in 2024.