So long Splash Mountain: Why One of Disney’s Most Popular Rides is Permanently Closing


Fans were shocked by Disney World’s announcement declaring the permanent closure of the beloved ride, Splash Mountain, in January of 2023.  Many were saddened by this claiming that the ride held many fond memories.  Disney’s decision is one that has left fans asking the question, “Why?”.  

Though many people seem to have affectionate memories of the ride, most are unable to recall the movie this ride takes after.  This is because the ride is built from the story of Disney’s 1946 film, Song of The South.  The movie is set in the Reconstruction era, shortly after the Civil War, and follows the story of Uncle Remus, an elderly man of color, and his life living on his former master’s plantation.  The movie glorifies slavery through the stories of Uncle Remus who chooses to remain on the plantation after the abolition of slavery.  

Song of The South promotes the idea that slaves had positive relationships with their masters, and that some slaves enjoyed their captivity.  Not only was this a message Disney stood behind in 1946 when the movie was released, but it is a message they are continuing to capitalize on through their ride, Splash Mountain.  Despite the fact that the movie was completely blacklisted and never released on VHS or DVD in the United States, Disney continues to make a profit off of the controversial film through its park rides.  The ride Splash Mountain contains songs from the movie such as “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah”, and includes characters such as Br’er Fox and Br’er Rabbit, while never acknowledging the roots of racism the ride is founded upon.  

This is why after 34 years, Disney has finally decided it is best that they close Splash Mountain for good.  Disney is taking a step in the right direction with their new design, which will turn the ride from Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, based on their film The Princess and The Frog, which features their first black princess.  Though this new ride does not reconcile Disney’s previous actions of making the film and profiting off of it for the last 75 years, it at least acknowledges that they are trying to make a change in the way its corporation operates.