Disney announced that they were going to retheme Splash Mountain to the Princess and the Frog in Walt Disney World and Disneyland over a year ago. The rides are still running and unchanged. Many people are asking why nothing has moved forward.
The Orlando Sentinel’s Dewayne Bevil interviewed the Vice President of the Magic Kingdom, Melissa Valiquette on the Theme Park Rangers podcast and asked her about Splash Mountain.
I have transcribed what she said in the interview:
You know when we are reimagining a new attraction or a new area of our parks..uhmmm..this is a you know…can be a lengthy process.
There’s a lot of work that goes into it, so, I’m in a lot of meetings right now around Splash Mountain and of course our guests haven’t seen any changes yet, that’s going to take some time. But the sequence of these things is that, you know, the decisions can be made many, many months, even years before any of that will be seen on stage. So it’s going to take us a little bit of time to reimagine Splash Mountain, but I can tell you behind the scenes that terrific work has been done…uhm…including some selections around music, around animatronics and music and it is really an inspiring story.”
Basically, it’s moving forward but it can take years, so guests shouldn’t expect anything for awhile. That also gives Disney time to find the funds to get this done while trying to finish up the Tron coaster and the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
“Now I happen to be from Louisiana originally and, so the Princess and the Frog has always been a very special movie for me. Uhm not only because Princess Tiana is our first black princess, which I think is extraordinarily special, but also because it’s kind of the story my roots, and so it was really important to me as I’ve been meeting with our Imagineers, uhm, that this story gets portrayed honestly and accurately, and they’ve done such a remarkable job of that..uhmm, especially during a time when they’ve not been able to travel to a great degree and uhm really have created something that I believe will capitalize on what’s already special about the ride, Splash Mountain, but will turn it into something that our guests will really cherish for generations into the future.”
Because in a film about people that turn into frogs with a trumpet playing alligator and demonic shadows chasing people needs to be portrayed honestly. All joking aside, I get what she’s saying, they want to make sure they take the existing ride and make the film fit in it.
“And I think this is one example of something where our guests are going to have to put a little bit of trust into us for a bit, because, uhm, we promise not to let you down. We’re going to deliver a wonderful attraction that is inspiring and beautiful and worth of this princess, Princess Tiana. And uh. that facility, that actual attraction area in Frontierland has so much potential to fit this storyline beautifully. I think it’s going to be a perfect addition back there.”
It’s likely about making a princess attraction that will sell princess merchandise. It was interesting to me that she commented about it fitting in the area, because the rumor has been going on for so long, and many people believe the film was designed with a Splash Mountain redo in mind, making the film fit the attraction to begin with. The Disney version isn’t the traditional story of The Princess and the Frog, but Splash Mountain is in Critter Country that was created right next to New Orleans Square in Disneyland. So that all does seem to give that theory a bit more weight.
At the end of the day, it would be a bad idea to take Splash Mountain down during the 50th Anniversary celebration. Stating it could take years covers Disney for at least the next 20 months until the celebration is over, and then we will likely see more movement on the redo. Unless money is tight and then it might just go away.
I guess we’ll just have to keep floating downriver until we get more news.
What do you think? Comment and let us know.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, a friend
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