Disney’s Splash Mountain Closes for Good May 31, But What’s Replacing It?

After more than thirty years, an iconic Disney park ride is rolling to a stop.

Walt Disney himself said that his original Disneyland Park “would never be complete” and that “it will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” That imagination has led to many changes in Disney’s theme parks, including updating famous attractions and adding entirely new rides and lands.

One of the few constant things at the Disney theme parks is change.

Now a major project is underway in Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resort, as the well-known flume ride Splash Mountain closes to make room for a new attraction.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, inspired by the animated film The Princess and the Frog, will bring the sights and sounds of New Orleans to both resorts next year. While much of the original structure of Splash Mountain will remain intact for this new ride, guests can expect an entirely unique experience when Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens.

Bidding Farewell to Splash Mountain

Inspired by the 1946 film Song of the South, Splash Mountain first opened in 1989 in Disneyland Park and then in 1992 at Magic Kingdom. The original Disneyland version of the ride used repurposed audio-animatronics from America Sings, a long-running attraction in the 1970s and 1980s.

Now the long-running log flume ride is being permanently retired on both coasts. It closed at Walt Disney World on January 23 and is preparing to close at Disneyland Resort on May 31.

The one exception? Splash Mountain at Tokyo Disney Resort, which opened in 1992, will remain in operation as is.

Once Splash Mountain closes in Anaheim, construction will be underway in both Disney resorts to transform the attraction into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Though Disney has not announced an official opening date yet, it shared that the transformation will be complete in late 2024.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Brings a New Story to Disney Parks

When guests finally do get to board Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in late 2024, they will experience what a Disney spokesperson describes as “a celebration during Mardi Gras season hosted by Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.”

The attraction stars familiar faces from the Disney animated film The Princess and the Frog, along with new characters throughout the ride. Guests will encounter dozens of new audio-animatronic figures, including ones of Princess Tiana and Mama Odie.

While no specific opening date has been announced, it’s possible the ride could open squarely in between the consistently busy Disney Halloween and Holiday celebrations.

The attraction will feature tunes from The Princess and the Frog and new melodies inspired by the “musical gumbo” found throughout New Orleans, Louisiana.

Eric Beigel, a co-founder of The Insiders, shared his enthusiasm for the upcoming attraction. “I am very excited for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure! Disney has never disappointed when reimagining attractions, and I’m sure that will only continue. The concept art, as well as announcements of new music and gathering the original cast of The Princess and the Frog, is more than enough to excite me for this addition to the parks.”

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure joins a lineup of rides and attractions reimagined into new Disney rides over the years to better reflect popular Disney stories that resonate with today’s audiences.

Recent examples of these reimaginings include modernizing the EPCOT ride Maelstrom into Frozen Ever After and turning The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror into Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT at Disney California Adventure.

As Meagan duBois, a travel reporter specializing in Disney theme parks, shares: “Walt Disney said the parks would always be evolving and changing, and this is a great change. While fun, Splash Mountain didn’t represent the values of Disney, and a change is needed. I’m also excited to see how the rest of Magic Kingdom evolves to tell the story of Tiana around the current Frontierland area.”

New Shopping and Dining Coming to Disneyland Resort

At Disneyland, work is underway to transform a portion of New Orleans Square to accompany Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

For example, the quick-service restaurant French Market closed in February to make way for Tiana’s Palace. This new dining location will highlight New Orleans’ unique flavors throughout its menu. Nearby is a new store called Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets, already open for guests to visit.

When complete, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and the surrounding restaurants and shops will offer new stories for guests to experience when they visit Disneyland Park. Those new adventures will allow new generations of parkgoers to authentically immerse themselves in the world of The Princess and the Frog.

No other restaurants or new shops have been announced for the area around the attraction at Walt Disney World, but those proclamations may still be upcoming.

This article was produced by Disney Dose and syndicated by Wealth of Geeks.



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