A bit of a situation is developing for the Disneyland Resort and their reopening plans. Back in 2020 during the height of the Black Lives Matters movement, The Walt Disney Company released a new plan to tear down the current theme for Splash Mountain in their American theme parks. They stated they would replace the current theme of Bre’r Rabbit with a theme of their Princess and the Frog IP. This removal of the only African American slave folklore in use at the Disney Parks was turned down by the Oriental Land Company which runs Disney Parks in Japan. So, even though Disney was planning to get rid of the Bre’r Rabbit storyline from their parks, they were unsuccessful in getting rid of it worldwide.
While we would encourage Disney to create new Bre’r Rabbit stories that avoid the perceived controversial issues of Song of the South, Disney has gone a different route with its Stores Matters Group advisory panel that seems bent on destroying and negatively labeling parts of Disney’s history rather than improving and contextualizing. Disney has gone to such a degree that they put out a statement about the song Zip-a-dee-doo-dah – a classic musical piece of American culture and Disney art – stating that the song was no longer relevant. They went so far as to infer the song about bluebirds and satisfaction is not inclusive. In other words, they’ve lost their minds. But that didn’t stop them from removing the song from the background music at Disneyland Resort.
“The removal of the song from Downtown Disney’s background music is part of a continuous process to deliver an environment that features stories that are relevant and inclusive.” — The Walt Disney Company in regards to Zip-a-dee-doo-dah
The above YouTube video is Disney-produced from 2017… back before Disney went completely bonkers. According to Disney’s current logic, that children’s video would now be irrelevant and non-inclusive. Bonkers.
But Disney has created quite the mess for themselves now with the reopening of Disneyland, because already people are asking if Splash Mountain will reopen as well. So what’s Disney’s problem? Well, they’ve already identified the ride is problematic, so are they really going to reopen a racially problematic attraction? How is that okay?
It turns out, people don’t believe the ride is problematic. At all. And do you know how I can say that so confidently? Because over in Walt Disney World, Splash Mountain is still one of the most popular attractions in all of the parks… if not the most popular attraction. So we can all pretend the ride is abhorrent and insulting. We can all pretend people are getting off the ride feeling it disparaged people groups. But if that’s the case, how in the world is it pulling some of the longest wait times in any of the parks with some of the highest capacities of any attraction?
Highest waiting times in #WDW:
Splash Mountain – 65 min
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train – 50 min
Test Track – 50 min
Soarin' Around the World – 45 min
Astro Orbiter – 40 minhttps://t.co/imIgIYjiHz #WDW #WDWLive #WaltDisneyWorld
— WDW Stats (@WdwStats) March 20, 2021
Are the people waiting 65 minutes to get on the current version of Splash Mountain wrong to do so? I bet not.
In reality, the destruction of the only African American slave folklore in Disney Parks is part of a continued effort to tear down the history of Walt Disney and Disney Parks by fringe elements that have garnered ridiculous power within the company via Bob Iger and a hard culture shift in southern California. They’re destroyers of culture, and they’ll replace it with princess merchandise while actual African folklore that can be traced back hundreds of years is torn down in the name of the woke movement.
So will Disneyland reopen with the problematic version of Splash Mountain still open? Will they actually celebrate it before they destroy it? I guess we’ll find out. Right now, we suspect they’re planning to dismantle both versions of the ride starting in January 2022. For their sake, they’d better upgrade it technically and from a fun standpoint like you wouldn’t believe, because if they don’t… Japan will still have the original that currently has one of the longest wait times of any of the parks. So there will be an original version to use as a comparison for the forseeable future. Given what’s going on in Epcot right now, don’t be surprised if the new version of Splash Mountain makes the Imagination pavilion look like a small mistake.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.