Rumor has now become fact as the iconic Splash Mountain will be soon transformed into a reimagined ride at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland California. Instead of Briar Rabbit and friends, a theme that has been seen as problematic due to racial elements in ”Song of the South, ” guests will be greeted with the familiar faces of characters from “The Princess and the Frog,” Disney’s 2009 animated musical. Taking their cue from the United States, Tokyo Disneyland may now follow suit and give their Splash Mountain a makeover.
The log flume ride has been a staple in Tokyo Disneyland since it’s opening in 1992. It, like it’s American counterparts, is based on a 1946 film, “Song of the South,” which has long been accused of racist stereotypes that are incompatible with modern audiences. Oriental Land Co. is the operator of Tokyo Disneyland and they have now been involved in discussions about changing the theme of their Splash Mountain as well.
While many park enthusiasts are disappointed at the proposed change to a classic Disney ride, others have expressed an understanding of the complexity surrounding cultural depictions on Splash Mountain. While the story in “Song of the South” is purely American, representing African American issues, the Japanese have seen this as an opportunity to demonstrate anti-discrimination and unity.
While the final announcement has yet to be made, it seems like it’s only a matter of time until Splash Mountain has turned a new leaf all over the world.
Photo courtesy of Disney
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