A New Splash: What to Expect at Disneyland Starting 2024


Illustration by Mia R. ’26

Starting at the end of 2024, the adored classic, Splash Mountain, will make a new appearance at Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom Park in The Walt Disney World Resort. But first, let’s take a trip down memory lane and reminisce on the “Song of the South” inspired ride. The “Song of the South” is a Disney movie created in 1946, based on the stories of Uncle Remus by Joel Chandler Harris and focuses on Johnny, a little boy from Atlanta. The movie follows Johnny through his discovery of the magical Uncle Remus’ tales and animal friends, and later learns about Brer Rabbit, a key aspect of the Splash Mountain ride. In the ride, the log fumes cruise through the attraction and visit many well-known scenes of the movie, including a preview of the infamous song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”. On July 7, 1989 the ride first opened its doors at Disneyland, and three years later opened both at Disney World in Orlando and Disneyland in Tokyo. However, speculation later grew as people started to view the film as racist.

The movie takes place during the Jim Crow era and features many “outdated” aspects and offensive details to the African American community, causing it to be taken down from many streaming platforms. Around three years ago, a petition on change.org was created to help bring light to Splash Mountain’s unseen and outdated  side. The petition got around 21,000 supporters for a re-theme. As a result, the Walt Disney Company decided to announce the closure of the ride. They officially and publicly announced the ride’s closure to stay away from any potential sparks of racist speculation such as slang in the dialogue of the movie, and is now undergoing reconstruction. 

Beginning in 2024, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take the place of Splash Mountain in Frontierland in Disney world and Disneyland. The ride will be based off of the classic Disney movie “Princess and the Frog”, and will feature Princess Tiana, the antagonist of the movie. The attraction will still remain a water-propelled log flume ride, but instead the flumes will now go along with Princess Tiana and her dear friend Louis through the preparation process for their first Mardi Gras performance. The ride will also showcase Princess Tiana’s love life, and will also show some encounters with other beloved characters like Prince Naveen and Eudora. Although not much has been released about the attraction, many fans are still on the fence as to whether this change was a beneficial move for the brand. 

After the new ride was announced, many questioned if Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will successfully take the place of the fan favored ride. While some think that Splash Mountain will always be irreplaceable, others think that change is always good. ‘Iolani student Ella Aoki ’27 says, “Although I liked Splash Mountain a lot, it’s good that Disney is holding themselves accountable for their actions and are trying to attempt to fix it. It was also a smart move to switch it to Princess and the Frog, however I feel that Disney could’ve just tweaked the controversial bits out of the ride instead of shutting it all down completely.” She says that the ride was always one to look forward to, but it will be exciting to finally see Princess Tiana have her own ride at the parks. 

In contrast to Ella, Chase Miyahira ’27 says that the closure of the ride will be the end of many long lasting memories. When he once visited Disneyland several years ago, his phone fell out of his hand while he was still on the ride. Although this caused him to get grounded for a month, he says it was a core memory he will never forget. When informed about the shutdown, he says, “That ride held a typical childhood memory that I will never forget. Although it was definitely one of the scariest times of my life, it was one for the books, one to really remember. Seeing Princess Tiana’s upcoming ride will be cool, but it’s bittersweet to see Splash Mountain go, along with the many memories I’m sure everyone has made on it.” Will the Disney parks still be the happiest place on Earth after this renovation? Only time will tell.