Disney's Splash Mountain ride, based on their racially offensive 1946 film Song of the South — a controversial (not to mention seriously boring) movie that featured the popular song "Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" — is finally changing its tune. Motivated by a change.org petition that 20,000 people signed, its new theme will revolve around last scenes from The Princess and the Frog.
The recent Black Lives Matter protests sweeping across the nation have spurred deep conversation and introspection in Hollywood regarding depictions of race in popular culture. Films like "Gone with the Wind" and TV episodes that included the use of blackface have been re-evaluated or, in some cases, pulled.
Disney says the new Splash Mountain concept is "inclusive" and "one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by."
"It speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year," Disney said on Thursday.
Disney added that the new ride — which the company has been working on since last year — will pick up the story of "Princess and the Frog" after "the final kiss" and will join Princess Tiana and her trumpet-playing alligator Louis "on a musical adventure." It will feature "some of the powerful music from the film as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance."
Disney hasn't announced when the reimagined Splash Mountain will debut. In fact, California's Disneyland and California Adventure parks, which had been set to reopen July 17 after a months-long coronavirus shutdown, are postponing their restart because of surging new Covid-19 cases. A new reopening date hasn't yet been announced.
Here is what Splash Mountain looked like before shutting it down:
The final scenes from The Princess and the Frog, which the reimagined ride will be based on:
Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah scene from Song of the South: