On the last day of work, Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World set new records for wait times and attendance. The attraction, which has been in operation since 1989, is named after the Tom Hanks/Daryl Hannah comedy Splash and featured characters from Disney’s 1946 live-action/animation hybrid Song of the South. The attraction will be replaced by Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which will be completed by the end of 2024 and will be based on characters from The Princess and the Frog, Disney’s first movie with a black princess. It’s a particularly remarkable switch because Song of the South is criticized for its dated and racist portrayal of Uncle Remus, one of the main characters.
Yesterday, on Florida’s last business day, Splash Mountain saw a record wait time of 220 minutes, according to Thrill Data (via Deadline). That’s a record – ten minutes more than the previous record, which was set in 2020, not long after the new theme was announced.
In Song of the South, a 7-year-old boy named Johnny visits his grandmother’s plantation in Georgia shortly after the abolition of slavery. He befriends an ex-slave named Uncle Remus, played by James Baskett, who shares stories about Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear. The stories themselves, rooted in a tradition of oral narration by Africans and their descendants in the southern United States and the Caribbean, were among Walt Disney’s favorites, and the head of the studio worked tirelessly to produce a film adaptation. to establish.
The romanticized view of post-Civil War plantation life has never gone down well with many viewers, and as time has gone on, the film has only become more controversial — so much so that protests over the use of the Song of the South characters accompanied the opening of the ride. That criticism persisted – and Disney was well aware of it and had decided not to release Song of the South on home video at the time. In 2020, Disney finally announced that Splash Mountain would be replaced at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, renamed The Princess and the Frog.
According to the earliest details, the ride will resume after the film’s final kiss, and fans will join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure featuring music from the film and the film’s voice cast.
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