ATTENTION: THE FOLLOWING REPORT IS A RUMOR. PLEASE TAKE THE FOLLOWING STORY WITH A GRAIN OF SALT.
Ever since Disney announced that they would be replacing the classic water ride Splash Mountain people have been divided over the closure. While some see the ride as a reminder of a particular film most see it as a wonderful and unforgettable experience.
In fact, two similar petitions, one to re-theme had a little over 20K signatures, and one to save it had nearly five times that amount.
The Walt Disney World version of the attraction closed this past January with a closure for the original Disneyland version expected to be announced soon. But it appears that not all hope is lost for this Disney classic.
According to a recent report via YouTube commentator and leaker Overlord DVD a source has provided him with some interesting details surrounding the situation. It appears that Ken Potrock, president of Disneyland Resorts since 2020, is fighting to keep the Disneyland version of the attraction alive. (Overlord DVD did acknowledge that he could not 100% verify this report and said to take it with a grain of salt).
The source stated:
“There is currently a huge battle going on between Ken Potrock (President of Disneyland Resorts), Bob Iger and several members of the board of directors. Ever since Disney announced that they would close Splash Mountain and replace it with a Princess and the Frog attraction there has been a relentless onslaught of complaints from customers.“
“Back in October, Ken Potrock became active is stopping Splash Mountain from being closed. He is very concerned over customer backlash and the negative impact it would have on the parks. He had little luck with John D’Amaro, who has more or less refused to take a song stance on the issue, although he generally leans towards wanting to continue with the Princess and the Frog plan.“
“He was having some luck with Bob Chapek and the board. The board was and still is divided on the issue. Back in early November Ken pretty much had Bob Chapek on board to keep Splash Mountain. They were trying to come up with some sort of public exploration as to why Splash Mountain would not be retimed and were scampering to find other ways to bring Princess Tiana to the parks.“
“It was decided that at Disneyland Tiana would get a re-themed restaurant for the time being, and that later on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride would be re-themed to a Princess and the Frog attraction. For Magic Kingdom they were talking about doing a new attraction that would use much of what they already built for the re-theme.“
“Behind the scenes Bob Iger was very against this and wanted the re-theme to happen. When Bob Chapek was out, Iger wasted no time. He put a plan together to announce the closing of the attractions. Ken Potrock also acted quickly. He moved up the timeline on a major Indiana Jones refurb, knowing that Splash Mountain could not be closed at the same time Indiana Jones and Toon Town were both closed. He did this mainly to buy time.“
“Disney still plans to close the Disneyland version of the ride. They’re targeting either May or early April. They plan to announce the closure in mid to late March, possibly even sooner if Iger gets his way. Ken Potrock is fighting this tooth and nail. He has a little less then half the board of the directors on his side. Nelson Pelts, who is trying to get on the board, is also on board with saving the Disneyland version of the ride (only).“
I do agree that April or May might end up being the closure time frame. Given that Toon Town reopens in March and the Indiana Jones Adventure refurbishment happening until “spring.” Disney is not going to want too many attractions down to try and draw attention and crowds when Splash Mountain closes. Those months are the likely choice.
“Ever since the closure of the Splash Mountain ride in Magic Kingdom, the complaints from customers wanting Splash Mountain to stay has been growing exponentially. Patrick has also been fighting to bring in more elements of the original Star Wars to galaxy’s Edge.“
“Between Galaxy’s Edge and Splash Mountain, Iger wants Ken Potrock gone; But the board of directors is not on board with that and is staring to come around on keeping Splash Mountain in Disneyland only. It’s a big mess right now, and no one knows if the ride is going to close for sure, or if Ken will even remain in his position. A lot of pressure is being put on John D’Amaro to take a stance.”
If this report is true then it shines some more light on the possible struggles within the company over creative direction. Iger seems to want to stay on their current course while others want to veer away back onto a path that has been proven safe in the past.
Whatever the case we will still have Splash Mountain Tokyo Disneyland.
What do you think of this report? Could it be true or is it simply more rumors and speculation? Please let us know your thoughts below.
Source: Overlord DVD
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