Many fans of Disney parks have a vivid memory of Splash Mountain, and some have found it difficult to let go.
Didi Francique, a self-described “big Disney fan,” remembered the final day of operation of the venerable ride at Walt Disney World: “I mean people were trying to sell the water.” People placed their Splash Mountain plushies in front of it as part of a small memorial event. “Save Splash Mountain” and “The Last Splash” shirts were also worn.
Francique has ridden the ride innumerable times but decided not to that day. “I knew nothing when I was a child. I was indifferent “said he. With time, however, as he found that the ride had its origins in Disney’s “Song of the South,” he started to feel differently. At that point, I thought, “This is quite dubious.”
The rollercoaster is anticipated to close in Disneyland later this year after having already done so at Disney World in January. The following explains why some Disney fans are eager for it to be renamed Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
What caused Disney to shut down Splash Mountain?
Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear, who were first animated in 1946’s “Song of the South,” were introduced to a new generation of Disney fans when Splash Mountain opened in Disneyland in 1989 and Disney World in 1992.
The retheming of Splash Mountain is particularly significant at this time since Imagineers have a long history of updating and improving attractions and experiences to ensure they stay engaging and current. “The plot of Princess Tiana, whose pride and tenacity serve as a reminder of a universal truth: we all have the power to realise our aspirations, is the foundation for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. This novel idea is appealing, motivating, and speaks to the variety of the many millions of visitors to the parks each year.”
Disney has not linked the closure of Splash Mountain to “Song of the South,” unlike an online petition that attracted over 21,000 signatures in 2020. At a shareholders meeting in March, when asked if the movie will join Disney+, Disney CEO Bob Iger responded, “I’ve felt, as long as I’ve been CEO, that “Song of the South” was – even with a disclaimer – was just not acceptable in today’s environment.” The Princess and the Frog-inspired Splash Mountain redesign was unveiled by Disney in June of that year, indicating that preparations had been ongoing since 2019.
Why is “Song of the South” problematic?
Maria Tatar, a Harvard professor and literary expert who co-wrote “The Annotated African American Folktales” with Henry Louis Gates Jr., stated that “‘Song of the South’ is problematic from the get-go.” It’s moonshine and magnolias.
Although being set in the post-Civil War plantation era, “Black workers sing as they come back from the fields, saying, “it feels like a time of slavery, and it looks like a time of slavery.
They have been doing arduous work, but it is never displayed and is glorified in some way.
“You then turn to face Uncle Remus. Where is he a resident? He is physically exhausted, dirt poor, and wears discarded clothing “referring to the movie’s protagonist. She claimed that despite this, he transforms into a “magical negro” who “repairs the injuries in the white family and reconstitutes the white family at the same time as he’s living alone”—a trope that Spike Lee and others have critiqued in movies.
Disney enthusiast Victoria Wade expressed her eagerness for Splash Mountain to open “Many people enjoy claiming, “Well, it was just the moment.” We’re going to evolve, so we can no longer use it as an excuse.”
What is Uncle Remus’s backstory?
Uncle Remus, the figure who recounts Brer Rabbit’s tales in the film, is not associated with Splash Mountain. Nonetheless, the ride was influenced by the movie, and Joel Chandler Harris based the story of Uncle Remus on the oral tales he had heard as a child from people who were in slavery.
“This is folklore from African Americans. It plays a significant role in the history of African Americans “said Tatar.
By recording the Brer Rabbit tales and other African folktales he had heard, Harris conserved and made them more widely known, according to The Wren’s Nest, an Atlanta museum and cultural centre that was previously Harris’ residence. But not everyone holds that viewpoint.
“Taking source material from slaves and just redoing it,” Wade remarked.
“It’s fantastic that you can’t see the racism in action, but do you know where the racism came from and why it’s offensive?” It was her.