Disney World’s Splash Mountain takes final drop this weekend before closing

The ride will be re-themed based on “The Princess and the Frog”

BAY LAKE, Fla. – If you want to ride Splash Mountain at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, this would be the weekend to do so.

The ride will officially close its doors on Sunday to start renovations based off the 2009 movie “The Princess and the Frog.”

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“I’m sad but not sad about Splash Mountain. I’ve had great memories of it,” Tashiana Torres said.

Splash Mountain at Disney's Animal Kingdom (WKMG)

Torres, a Walt Disney World passholder, will be going to the park on Sunday to ride Splash Mountain one last time before the makeover.

She said she’s looking forward to the new changes.

Splash Mountain at Disney's Animal Kingdom (WKMG)

“I think some people are always just sad to see nostalgia leave, you know? I think it happens with every ride, but I’ll be honest, every new ride they’ve put in recently that’s gotten rid of old things, I’ve been happy with the new stuff,” Torres said.

In 2020, the company announced Splash Mountain will change to “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.”

It comes after Disney faced criticism over the years for the ride’s current theme.

A first look at a new scene and some of the brand-new characters coming to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. (Disney)

“It’s got a problematic background story and so I kind of understand why Disney wants to replace it and it makes sense,” Len Testa said.

Testa, theme park expert and president of TouringPlans.com, explained the ride was based on the controversial 1946 film, “Song of the South” — a film Disney locked away in its vault.

“It tells the story of slaves on a plantation and they’re singing and dancing. It’s a musical. There’s a couple of interesting things about it. Walt Disney himself knew that the story subject, the matter, was potentially offensive even while developing the film so he hired black Americans as consultants on the film,” Testa said.

Splash Mountain opened in Magic Kingdom in 1992 and despite its history, it is considered one of the top attractions at the park.

Splash Mountain at Disney's Animal Kingdom (WKMG)

Now, its future will have a new experience, giving parkgoers a chance to visit a 1920s New Orleans.

“I’m excited to see what Disney does with this,” Testa said.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is scheduled to open in 2024.

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About the Author:

Ezzy Castro is a multimedia journalist on News 6's morning team who has a passion for telling the stories of the people in the Central Florida community. Ezzy worked at WFOR CBS4 in South Florida and KBMT in Beaumont, Texas, where she covered Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Being from Miami, Ezzy loves Cuban coffee and croquetas!