It is a few months since Disney announced that many of their Splash Mountain rides would be getting a new look as they House Of Mouse aim to remove references to their controversial movie Song of the South, and today Disney's park's division released concept art of what the new Splash Mountain will look like, which includes a change of theme to one based on their 2009 version of The Princess and The Frog. The new version of the ride will feature characters, new and original songs and a storyline set after the movie, while riders will follow the action from a floating log.
One of the art pieces shows Tiana, Naveen and Louis in the middle of the swamps , with a band of animals playing in the background, while the log vehicle for passengers comes up behind. According to the information released, riders will be able to see both well known characters from the movie, and new characters created especially for the re-launched ride. A 30 minute video about the new ride was released as part of Princess Week and was hosted by ABC News' National Correspondent, Kenneth Moton and can be seen below.
The revamp of the ride is probably one of the biggest and most publicised of any Disney ride. The previous version of Splash Mountain featured characters such as Brer Rabbit and scenes inspired by the 1946 movie Song of The South, which remains as one of the only Disney properties to have not been released on Disney+ due to controversy over racist stereotypes. The original announcement about the overhaul was made last year, and although there was no timeline given for when the rides would be ready, it seems that the remodelling is moving along well.
As well as the ride concept image, four other pieces of commissioned art were unveiled at the same time by New Orleans artist Sharika Mahdi, which were made to help Disney's Imagineers be inspired in their work on the new ride designs. New Orleans culture will be heavily featured in the new version of Splash Mountain, and the designers have been taking personal trips to New Orleans as well as working with virtual research sessions in order to draw from first-hand experience in their depictions of the people and places. The reveal said that the ride would see "Tiana hosting a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome."
Tiana's presence in the Disney world will be boosted this year on a few fronts. The Princess will be appearing in a new series on Disney+ next year, and the almost-ready-to-launch Disney Wish cruise ship will feature a brand new The Princess and the Frog themed lounge. The Princess and The Frog was the last traditionally animated movie to be released as part of Disney's Animated Classics collection, and on release became their most successful traditional animation since Lilo and Stitch and their most overall successful movie since 1999's Tarzan, and led the way into Disney's new wave of animation such as Tangled, Wreck It Ralph and of course Frozen.