Time for Splash Mountain to be movin’ along. Guests dropped into Walt Disney World on Sunday to be among the last to ride the iconic log-flume attraction, which will undergo a months-long transformation before reopening as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in 2024. The newly re-imagined ride — as inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios film The Princess and the Frog instead of the controversial Song of the South — will also make its way to California’s Disneyland Resort. In December, the Walt Disney World Resort announced Splash Mountain would close permanently on Monday, January 23rd, after 30 years in operation within Frontierland at the Magic Kingdom park.
Videos shared on social media showed crowds of guests lined up at the park open to ride Splash Mountain on its final day of operation, with wait times reaching as high as three hours, according to WDW Magic.
— BlogMickey.com (@Blog_Mickey) January 22, 2023
Disney theme park enthusiasts also took to Twitter to share their memories of the ride, which follows Br’er Rabbit as he moves on from his briar patch in search of his “laughing place.” The thrill water ride features more than 100 audio-animatronic figures, a five-story splashdown drop into a briar patch, and a sing-along to the classic Disney song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”
— DisneyDoItAll! (@HippyDisneyGuy) January 23, 2023
The re-themed Splash Mountain will pick up where the film’s story left off, with guests joining “Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis during Mardi Gras season as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans,” Disney says. of the re-imagined ride, which Disney Parks announced in 2020.
“While we’ve explored many new themes in the past, [2019 is] when we really began to hone in on Princess Tiana’s story,” Walt Disney Imagineering president Bob Weis told Disney’s D23 of the decision to move away from the animated characters seen in the 1946 film Song of the South. “That said, Splash Mountain has been the subject of many conversations over the years. Its brilliant ride platform and landscape create the potential for great storytelling.”
Disney World’s Splash Mountain officially closes permanently on January 23rd. Disneyland’s Splash Mountain currently remains in operation, and Disney has not yet confirmed a closing date. Both the Florida and California versions of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will open in 2024.