Disneyland Visitors Officially Say Goodbye To Splash Mountain


Since its opening in 1955, Disneyland has grown, transformed, and replaced parts of its familiar landscape time and again. However, Splash Mountain, located at Magic Kingdom, closed down on Wednesday, May 31. This decision has been several years in the making and this week, parkgoers officially said their final goodbyes.

Splash Mountain is based on the 1946 film Song of the South, and opened in 1992, while also popping up abroad. In January 2020, it was announced that the U.S. versions of the ride would close, to be replaced by Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, inspired by 2009’s The Princess and the Frog. Here’s how this impactful ride’s sendoff went.


Disney replaces Splash Mountain with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Splash Mountain is officially closed at Disneyland / Wikimedia Commons

The day has come: the official last day for parkgoers to ride Splash Mountain at Disneyland. Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana, shared her excitement at the change the ride would be undergoing.


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“It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized!” she praised. “As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon. The Imagineers are giving us the Princess and the Frog Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it!”

The transition has been an ongoing process since 2020, when Disney first announced the change after several petitions, including a movement called “Re-theme Splash Mountain to Princess and the Frog,” urged the company to re-brand the ride – backed by 21,384 signatures.

Parkgoers say goodbye to Splash Mountain

Already, Disney fans and outlets are marking May 31 as the final day of Splash Mountain’s existence and recording the final rides launched by the attraction. Footage shows staff members and riders waving to Splash Mountain as employees close its doors for the last time that Wednesday evening.

Imagineers and Disney execs say a lot of deliberation went into this choice. “I grew up with [Splash Mountain] too,” said Disney Executive Creative Director Ted Robledo. “We know there’s a lot of love there. The team asked ourselves, ‘What do people really love about it?’ We think they love the thrill, the adventure, so we said ‘Okay, that is sacred. We cannot take that away.'”

Disneyland is making way for The Princess and the Frog / Wikimedia Commons

In fact, execs have been thinking about a makeover before the petitions gained traction, with one arguing, “Disney parks should be a home for all to enjoy regardless of race, age, whatever your background may be . . . While the ride is considered a beloved classic, its history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from the 1946 film Song of the South. There is a huge need for diversity in the parks and this could help fill that need.”

Robedo says the park is never a set-in-stone structure, which is just what Walt Disney would want. “As Walt has said, Disneyland is never finished,” he noted. “I’m paraphrasing, but it’s never done. It’s always changing and we’re trying new things.”

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is expected to fully replace Splash Mountain by 2024. Check out footage of the final goodbye in the video below.

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