Last week, Disney officially announced that Splash mountain will be re-themed to the Princess and the Frog theme at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland California (Tokyo Disneyland will retain its characters from the movie Song of the South, at least for now.)
In this post, we'll cover the news, share concept art, and some more information about it.
According to Disney Parks Blog, the theme of the attraction is inspired by an all-time favorite Disney animated film, “The Princess and the Frog”.
The new look will pick up that story after the final kiss and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – with some of the music from the film (I got really excited about it) – as they prepare for their first performance of Mardi Gras.
Tiana is a modern, courageous and empowered woman who chases her dreams and never loses sight of what's really important.
It's a great story with a strong main character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and Louisiana Bay.
In 1966, Walt himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first ?land? added to the park Disneyland California, so it seems natural to link the story and incredible music of ?The Princess and the Frog? to our parks.
While the timing might seem suspicious, Disney indicates this isn't an impulsive reaction to the recent headlines and petitions that have gained traction.
Walt Disney Imagineering says it has been actively working on the Splash Mountain retreat for some time, with a specific focus on The Princess and the Frog last year.
Here's a look at the concept art:
The voice of Princess Tiana and Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose shared:
?It's really exciting to know that Princess Tiana's presence at Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized! As passionate as I am about what we create, I know the fans will go crazy. The Imagineers are giving us 'The Princess and the Frog' Mardi Gras celebration, and I'm here for it! ?
According to the Disney Parks Blog, the approach to rethinking or “attracting” attractions starts with Imagineers asking the question: How can we leverage or elevate the experience and tell a new and relevant story? It's an ongoing process that Imagineers are deeply passionate about.
And with that long history of updating attractions and adding new spells, the resumption of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today.
The new concept is inclusive – one that all travelers can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.
Senior Creative Producer Charita Carter of Walt Disney Imagineering will lead the project, having previously been a lead developer of the Mickey and Minnie Railway Runaway at the Disney's Hollywood Studios.
Carter shared: ?Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the main ingredients for wonderful adventures. I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun experience to our guests. ?
Disney Legend and former Imagineer Tony Baxter, who designed the original Splash Mountain, will also be brought out of retirement to serve as creative designer on the new Princess and the Frog attraction (amazing isn't it?).
?After conversations with Imagineering leaders about the scope and features of the new attraction, I felt a great sense of security – the attraction will be one to be proud of, bringing to life the locations, characters and music of the animated classic The Princess and the Frog? I look forward to being a part of a new adventure in the magic and fun of Disney! ? Baxter said of the reform.
The Imagineering Scott Trowbridge, lead on Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge, also tweeted that "Been sneaky working on this for quite some time and happy to finally share!" The involvement of this trio of Imagineers definitely reassures (and excites) us about the makeover.
For Imagineers, the change is rooted in a tradition established by Walt Disney, which encouraged new innovations, new ideas, new scenes and current narratives.
And the experiences they create can be enjoyed by guests who visit our parks from around the world.
As part of the creative development process, conceptual design work is ongoing and soon Imagineers will be able to conduct preliminary reviews and develop a timeline for when the transformation begins to take shape. (Currently, Splash Mountain's current one is scheduled to reopen when Walt Disney World and Disneyland reopen.)
Without a doubt, Splash Mountain as it is will be missed especially by those who love the attraction like us.
For you to have an idea of how much this attraction is dear to us, it is the favorite of all Magic Kingdom for Nath and it was the first attraction that we walked after our engagement.
We are quite divided by the announcement, while we are saddened that we will no longer be able to ride the classic ride we love so much, we are excited for the new ride that will take its place.
In our opinion, the theme, in addition to being appropriate for the moment we live in, was an incredible choice. In addition to being a beautiful film with amazing characters, The Princess and the Frog's soundtrack is, in my opinion, one of the best of all Disney films.
Let's wait for new news, especially the dates, to find out if we can ride the classic attraction one last time before it closes.
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