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News & Rumors



Anaheim, California (Abbreviation: DL)
Walt Disney Theme Parks




----    THE LATEST BUZZ    ----
    (7/17/22) Disneyland Sets Date To Retire Disneyland Forever Fireworks and Main Street Electrical Parade Again (MORE...)
    (7/3/22) Disneyland Sets Date To Reopen Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
    (7/2/22) Pirates Now Reopen with Captain Jack Sparrow and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Gets An Opeing Date
    (6/13/22) More New Destinations Are Coming to Star Tours In The Future (MORE...)
    (6/3/22) Possible Opening Timeline Leaked For Princess and the Frog (MORE...)
    (5/30/22) Star Wars Galaxy's Edge Welcomes New Disney+ Star Wars Characters (MORE...)

Ride Rehabs - These dates are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as refurbishments are subject to change.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Tarzan’s Treehouse - NOW CLOSED through TBD


icon_STOPGeneral Park News - (7/3/22) Disneyland has posted another look at the returning Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction this week which will feature the addition of Hank from Finding Dory. From the sound of things, Hank will within eyeshot of the existing Seagulls on a nearby rock who cry “Mine! Mine! Mine!” all day, and serve only to irritate Hank to no end. Disney has also now confirmed that the attraction will reopen to guests starting on July 25, 2022.

    (7/2/22) As predicted, Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland has finally reopened after closing for a lengthy refurbishment back in March. Over that long period of time the world decided to follow along with the broadcast of the defamation trial between Johnny Depp and former spouse Amber Heard. In terms of the attraction, Depp is best known for playing the role of Captain Jack Sparrow, which led some to fear that fallout from the trial could result in Depp’s character being removed from the attraction.
    The good news is that it seems very little has changed within the Pirates attraction, and Captain Jack Sparrow is still right at home as he was before. As intended the attraction simply underwent some major refurbishment work that has resulted in some small improvements here and there, but overall the attraction is still the same one you enjoyed before the shutdown.
    (5/30/22) Ever since Disney opened the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge lands in California and Florida there have been a number of Star Wars fans out there who were not quite content with the supporting characters offered there. Or perhaps to be more specific, they were not happy with the timeline chosen to be represented within the Black Spire Outpost themed land being within the timeline of the final trilogy of Star Wars films (Chap. 7-9).
    Personally, I like all the timelines for what they are, which is why I always enjoyed the new Star Tours adventures which has added locations from a variety of worlds from all three trilogy timelines over the years, all mixed together.
    With the final trilogy long over and the majority of Disney’s new Star Wars live-action content being released on Disney+ tying into the timeline between Chapter 6 and 7, Disney surprised everyone by announcing that the Boba Fett and Fennec Shand characters (as seen in The Mandalorian and Book of Boba Fett) started making appearances within Galaxy’s Edge at Disneyland on Saturday. The announcement from Disney also mentions that Din Djarin (Mando) and Grogu (aka: Baby Yoda) will also soon arrive to surprise guests at the Disneyland resort’s Galaxy Edge “at a later date”.
    The arrival of characters from a different timeline within the Black Spire Outpost along with the area hosting the other existing characters designed for the Batuu experience is an interesting thing, and Disney did seek to address that issue as well with the following statement.
    “Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is likewise expanding the stories guests can encounter when visiting. Having been designed from the outset to connect with a broad range of Star Wars storytelling, Black Spire Outpost has played a role in many of these stories stretching over thousands of years and while, up to now, we have mostly shared those story connections through media and publishing, we will soon give visitors to Batuu an opportunity to connect with those fan-favorite stories with the immersive detail and authenticity that Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge was designed to deliver.”
    “We are committed to the long history of Batuu and the collection of amazing characters who inhabit the outpost including our legacy characters and original characters and know that we will feel the same about new and future characters from the ever-expanding galaxy of Star Wars storytelling. While we as visitors may be able to experience different stories throughout Star Wars history, the characters on Batuu can not. They will remain in their specific story and timeline and won’t intersect with other characters or stories that would not be appropriate for them.”
    So in other words, you shouldn’t find Boba Fett and Fennec interacting with Kylo Ren or Rey, as they wouldn’t be appropriate to their individual storylines, or at least the known storylines released so far. Though… I’m sure Chewbacca might not be too happy to see that Boba Fett survived his visit to the Sarlacc Pit if they were to encounter one another.
    (5/21/22) Word has it that Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland may be set to reopen on or around June 30th, just ahead of the busy July 4th holiday season. As one of the park’s most popular attraction, it won't be easy going into the summer season with it closed, so I can only imagine crews will be working hard to get it reopened from the long refurbishment as soon as possible.

    (5/14/22) Disneyland has confirmed that “Fantasmic!” not only turned 30 years old last night, but will return to performing at Disneyland once again starting on May 28th. The original launch of Fantasmic! also has a special place in my heart, as I visited Disneyland frequently during the time period of the show’s construction and launch in 1992 which really sparked my curiosity in the design and construction process of attractions at Disneyland. Following this the  park began construction on the Indiana Jones Adventure attraction and I was inspired to document some of the process online within a fledgling “Ultimate Guide to Disneyland” webpage I had created as a spin-off to a movie review site attempt. That Ultimate Guide to Disneyland evolved into the Ultimate Guide to Theme Parks for a few years before making the final evolution into Screamscape itself.
    As for Fantasmic!, as someone who grew up in SoCal and went to Disneyland often, you could say I was always a bit of a theme park nut. But while watching Fantastmic! for the first time, I remember distinctly feeling for the first time being so overwhelmed with raw emotion and awestruck at transformative spectacle before my eyes that by the time the show was over, I was not only dumbstuck, but shocked that my entire face was wet from the tears that had been flowing from my eyes throughout the show. I realized quickly that Fantasmic! wasn’t just a “show” to be watched, it was an actual experience that needed to be felt. An experience that you would come out of feeling somehow changed forever, as if your very being had somehow evolved during those moments.
    Eyes open to the possibilities of the Universe, the theme park world was never quite the same after the launch of the original Fantasmic!

    (4/24/22) Disneyland has confirmed that Tarzan’s Treehouse (formerly the Swiss Family Treehouse) which has been closed since 2020’s COVID closure of the park will be getting a new theme before it reopens. The problem is, Disney did not reveal exactly what new theme they planned on giving to the attraction, or when it may be ready to reopen.
    For now the most popular theory from the rumor mill is that Disney could be seeking to take advantage of their recent popular hit, Encanto. While the story of Encanto mostly takes place without and around the family’s enchanted house, one charter’s magical room does contain a giant tree full of animals that could serve as the new theme of the treehouse, along with speakers to play the catchy tunes from the film’s soundtrack while you explore.
    (4/17/22) A few new pictures posted to DisneyGeek this week take a look at the still empty Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage lagoon, where the submarines and various underwater scenery elements have been repainted. With it appearing that the refurbishment work on the site may be coming to an end soon, I would expect the water to return to the lagoon before too long and then maybe Disneyland will be ready to talk about when they may be planning on reopening the long closed attraction.
    (4/2/22) Disneyland fans, the park is about to add a little bit more Star Wars magic to the park once again with the return of the Star Wars themed “Hyperspace Mountain” for a limited time starting April 29, 2022. Note, Space Mountain will be closed on April 28th to allow for the transformation to Hyperspace Mountain to take place and as we usually see with these not holiday related temporary layovers, there is no posted end date. There is an extra-ticket “Disneyland After Dark: Star Wars Nite” slated to take place on May 27th however, which takes place along with the planned Star Wars Celebration event at the nearby convention center May 26-29, so with that in mind I would assume Hyperspace Mountain will remain at least through late May. But if guest popularity demands it, it could be extended to run through part of the summer as well.
    (3/20/22) Interesting photos have been posted to DisneyGeek this week showing off some something you very rarely see… the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage lagoon completely drained of water. It would appear that crews have been on-site refurbishing and repainting the landscape of the underwater world, which would seem to indicate that Disney does plan on reopening the attraction sometime later this year. The attraction has been closed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
    (1/14/22) Look for the Disneyland Monorail to shut down from Feb. 14 through to around March 6 in order to allow for demolition work to take place to remove the former AMC Theater building in Downtown Disney.
    (12/12/21) The era of big nighttime spectaculars and big time entertainment will be returning to Disneyland in 2022 with the confirmation that not only is the Main Street Electrical Parade returning to Disneyland, but performances of Fantastmic will also return to that park along with the World of Color night show over at California Adventure. Also returning in 2022 will be the Disneyland Forever fireworks show along with special event celebrations and shows like the California Adventure Food & Wine Festival and Lunar New Year celebration, the “Celebrate Gospel!” event and the return of Tale of the Lion King, with the later moving into the Fantasyland Theater.
    Speaking of special seasonal events, just as reported last week, the Small World Holiday version of the ride reopened to guests on Monday. I’m so glad they were able to repair and launch this family favorite holiday experience this year after all.

    (12/4/21) We’ve got some great news this week for Disneyland fans… remember how I said Small World had been damaged by some flooding issues and likely wouldn’t open until 2022? A new article from the OCRegister has essentially confirmed the entire story, that when water was put back into the ride flume it unexpectedly leaked 8 feet down into an underground maintenance room and damaged the “brains” of the ride system.
    The initial diagnosis was not good at all, but like any good Christmas miracle tale, an army of workers at Disneyland lept into action to pump the water out, install a dehumidifier and then re-assess the damage and figure out exactly what they could do to save the ride for the holiday season. They reached out to all their parts suppliers and to all the other Disney parks across the globe that had their own Small World attraction to see if anyone had the right spare parts on hand that they could ship to Disneyland ASAP. Repair work began with a crew of about 75 different people working shifts around the clock, 24/7.
    The good news is that Small World began testing on Thursday, with boats once again moving around the flume, but also they now expect to reopen the attraction to the public any day now. Like I said, talk about a classic holiday tale to tell… and maybe with a little embellishment, this story would make for a great holiday special to put on Disney+ next year, wouldn’t it?
    (11/28/21) In a bit of confirmation that the Small World Holiday edition of the ride will not be returning to Disneyland this year, I’m told that a special holiday guide issued to Cast Members lists the various holiday special offerings, including the parade, fireworks, castle lights, Haunted Mansion Holiday and “Small World Lighting”.
    So no mention of the ride experience, but instead a mention of just special lighting added to the exterior of the attraction instead. So I’d take that as confirmation on the rumored report that we not only will not see Small World Holiday this year, but Small World itself probably wont open until sometime well into the 2022 season. Stay tuned!
    (11/24/21) Time to play good news / bad news from Disneyland.
    The good news first… I’m told Rise of the Resistance has finally switched away from the virtual “Boarding Pass” system over to a traditional ride queue system on Monday. This same thing happened on the Florida version back in mid-September. That said… the switch away from the virtual wait in Walt Disney World also happened as the first step towards preparing the attraction for the launch of the new Genie+ / Lightning Lane system, a paid replacement for the park’s formerly free FastPass system, that took place about 30 days later. So with that in mind, I’d start to prepare yourself for the launch of Disney Genie+ and Lightning Lanes to come sometime just before or just after the Christmas / New Years holiday, depending on how ambitious the Disneyland Resort is feeling about the pending launch and what they’ve learned from the launch of the program in Florida over the past month.
   Now for the bad news… thus far “it’s a Small World” has been closed for some time now, with many assuming it was for the eventual launch of the annual “Holiday” version of the attraction. If the rumor sent my way is true, the Holiday version may not appear this year at all, as the attraction is actually closed to repair some water damage that took place inside the attraction.  From the sound of things, water from the flume may have flooded into some sensitive areas and damaged some mechanical systems. Depending on the extent of the damage, Small World may actually be closed for a good portion of 2022.
    (11/4/21) Disney fans, especially those of the Haunted Mansion, will want to take note of this. Check out the video below to see a crazy Haunted Mansion themed custom PC build-out that features decor and special effects from the attraction, including a massive Hatbox Ghost face. The description says it took him the better part of a year to build it, but it looks utterly fantastic!
    Or at least it does in the dark… you never really get a very good look at what it looks like in the light.

    (10/23/21) Disneyland reports that the new Plaza Point on Main Street U.S.A. is now open. As previously mentioned, this is a store themed for those who not only love the winter holiday season, but all holidays, as the store will change throughout the year to offer fun items for all kinds of other holidays as well as they approach.


icon_STOP2022 - Main Street Electrical Parade & Disneyland Forever - (7/16/22) Disneyland confirmed on their social media that the Disneyland Forever fireworks show and Main Street Electrial Parade will once again “glow” away on Sept. 1st, 2022. Long time readers may recall when the park first retired the parade and used a similar phrase to say it was going to glow away forever, following an odd selling of light-bulbs from the floats after they retired them. Of course we know the parade has been reborn a few times over the decades since that first retirement, and has even been sent to other parks for limited-time performances.
    So the question now is… once the MSEP goes away this time, is it just going back into storage until they feel the need to bring it back again in California, or could it go somewhere else again? Lord knows the fans out in Walt Disney World have been wanting a new parade for a good number of years, ever since the Magic Kingdom did retire their SpectroMagic parade for good. But perhaps it is time to make something new for Florida?
    Oh and if you are wondering whatever happened to Disneyland’s short-lived Paint the Night parade that was supposed to serve as the long-term successor to the MSEP? From what I can tell it ran at Disneyland from 2015 to 2017 and moved across to DCA for 2018 only before vanishing for good. There is always a chance it could return in the future.
    One more side note, apparently the Hong Kong Disneyland version of Paint the Night is slated to return to service at DKDL on October 1st, 2022. That version first opened back in 2014 and went on hiatus in early 2020 with the start of the COVID Pandemic.

    (3/19/22) While you will need to check the park schedule to be sure of the exact time during your visit, Disneyland has set some general showtime schedules for the returning Disneyland Forever fireworks show and the return of the Main Street Electrical Parade. Both shows are slated to return to the park starting April 22 with two nightly performances of the Electrical Parade (8:45pm and 10:30pm) and look for the Disneyland Forever fireworks in the sky at 9:30pm on weekends.
    (10/27/21) Believe it or not the Main Street Electrica Parade is returning to Disneyland once again. The park posted a teaser that essentially confirmed the parade would return in some form to their TicTok account which you can see below. The message does include #Disneyland with no mention of California Adventure, so we can only assume the MSEP will be returning to the parade’s original home this time, like it did the last couple times it returned back in 2017 and 2019. As the MSEP was first created in 1972, this will likely be some kind of 50th Birthday celebration for the parade, which means it won't return until sometime in 2022.

Thousands of sparkling lights ? ##ToBeContinued ##Disney ##DisneyParks ##Disneyland ##Magic ##Lights

? original sound - Disney Parks





2023 - Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway / Updated Tootown & Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin - (3/6/22) New construction pictures from Toontown have been posted to DisneyGeek ahead of the closure of the land next week, showing off the progress on Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and other items. As you can see the framework for the new theater themed facade that will serve as the entrance to the attraction is now in place.
    (2/19/22) We know Mickey’s Toontown is closing on March 9th to make way for renovations leading to the opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction next year, but what I had not heard before was that certain other elements of Toontown will also be re-imagined during the closure. While Mickey and Minnie’s houses will remain, it has been reported that Goofy’s House, Donald’s Boathouse and the Gadget Go-Coaster attraction will be “re-imagined for when the land reopens in 2023. Anyone know more about what may be planned to take place?
    (2/6/22) Some great new construction pictures of Mickey and Miniie’s Runaway Railway attraction, as seen from ToonTown, have been posted to Disney Geek this week. You can see how the massive building has taken over the skyline of ToonTown at this point as workers set up the framework to install the new facade scenery backdrop. I’m assuming that the landscape will return to having the look of lush green hillsides once again, as it did when ToonTown first opened.
    Elsewhere in the park, it looks like crews are working on renovations to the Fantastmic water screen projections systems as we get closer to seeing the show return to life for guests this Spring.
    (12/12/21) Disneyland added a few of those anticipated changes to Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin this week, including the new Detective Jessica Rabbit character figures. Check out the video below for the new POV of the ride, as it currently stands. No telling how long it will be open however, as Disneyland also announced previously that all of Toontown would close in 2022 for a complete overhaul ahead of the opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in 2023.

    (11/17/21) Along with the opening of the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction in Toontown in 2023, Disney announced that the entire Toontown land would be closing in 2022 to undergo an overhaul in time for the new reopening in 2023. We’ve already heard how more changes were expected to come to Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, but I guess we’ll have to wait another year to see them finished as well. Look for this along with more playful activities in the land, including CenTOONial Park, a new natural green space featuring a fountain for kids to play with along with “water tables”. After dark, the fountains in the land will put on a “unique spectacle”.
    Disney confirmed that the existing Toontown will close in 2022 to begin this final transformation, so you’ve got a few months to see things as they are before the big change comes.
    (9/16/21) Disneyland is now making some new changes to the Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin ride. I had already seen reports from guests who rode the other day noticing that the Jessica Rabbit animatronic that was tied up in the trunk of a car was now missing. Disney says this is part of a small reboot they are doing to the ride that will re-purpose Jessica Rabbit as a new female lead character of a revamped story for the ride.
    Instead of being the damsel to be rescued, kidnapped by the weasels, Jessica will now be a Private Eye looking to put an end to a new crime-wave affecting Toontown. As such, many of the scenes in the existing ride that involved Jessica Rabbit are in the process of being updated, including the aforementioned car scene and a new twist on the ride’s finale. This will also serve as a fun upgrade to the attraction as part of the larger update coming to Toontown along with the opening of the new Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction in 2023.
    (6/26/21) Demolition crews are now at work inside Disneyland’s Toontown removing some of the buildings to make way for the future entrance to the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction.

    (10/23/20) A great picture of the huge building that will be home to the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction in Toontown was posted to Twitter this week. The original version built in Florida was design to fit into that park’s pre-existing Great Movie Ride building structure. So it should be interesting to see if this new version built from scratch will make any changes to the overall building design or layout of the attraction, as they have been given the opportunity to custom build it from the ground up.

    (9/4/20) Construction on the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction at Disneyland is now well under way. Disneyland President posted a picture and some timelapse footage of the construction site as the first big vertical steel piece has been put into place. They have also set a new timeline that will see the new attraction ready to open in 2023 after work was delayed by the pause in construction caused by the pandemic.
    (11/18/19) For anyone curious, a great aerial photo over Disneyland shows off the large cleared space behind Toontown where Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will go.

    (8/27/19) The Disneyland version of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will take place inside the El CapiTOON Theater in Mickey’s Toontown, where you arrive for the premier of a brand new Mickey short called “Perfect Picnic”. Before you know it, you are whisked off on a “zany, out-of-control adventure filled with surprising twists and turns.”
    (4/24/19) Disney has confirmed this past week the rumor that a copy of the “Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway” attraction under construction in Florida will also appear inside Toontown at Disneyland in the near future. Look for the attractiton to open in 2022 where guests will be taken into the cartoon world of Mickey, Minnie and friends.
    “With an original story and lovable theme song, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway uses state-of-the-art technologies and dazzling visual effects to transform the cartoon world into an incredible and immersive multi-dimensional experience.”
    (10/31/18) While Disneyland has not yet confirmed anything, the latest rumor making the rounds this week claims that a clone of the Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway attraction under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios park in Florida will be coming to Disneyland’s Toontown as the next big attraction to open inside Disneyland probably about three or four years after Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge opens in 2019.
    The attraction's large ride building is said to be built almost entirely backstage so that none of the existing attractions will have to be removed, with the exception of a retail space that is likely to be lost to make room for the attraction's entrance and exit pathways.


icon_STOP???? - More New Star Tours Destinations - Announced - (6/13/22) According to news released at the Star Wars Celebration event in California, Disney Imagineer Scott Trowbridge, who has overseen the creation of Galaxy’s Edge confirmed that more new sequences / scenes will continue to be added to Star Tours going forward. No further details were given as to what new locations might be added to the attraction, though the last few sequences added to the attraction involved locations from the final trilogy in the series. Since then, with the launch of Disney+, the Star Wars universe has been expanded again through shows like The Mandorlian, The Boot of Boba Fett and the new Obi-Wan Kenobi mini-series. With more Star Wars projects on deck like Andor, Ahsoka, The Acolyte and Skeleton Crew, it would seem to be a good bet that any of these could serve as the inspiration for new Star Tours segment locations.
    Without a timeline as to when the next addition could appear, it’s hard to even guess what it could be, as Disney will likely tie the launch of the new segment(s) into whatever new programming is about to air on Disney+ at that time.





icon_STOPLate 2024 - Tiana’s Bayou Adventure - Announced - (7/22/22) Disney has finally come forward with more details about the planned transformation of the current Splash Mountain attractions in Disneyland and Florida’s Magic Kingdom parks into what they are now calling Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The plan is to convert and open both new attractions in late 2024.
    The announcements actually came from Disney reps attending the “ESSENCE Fest” in New Orleans this week, which you can see more of at the Disney Parks Blog post. As far as the attraction itself goes, they say it will serve as “a love letter to New Orleans” and be full of the music and culture of the city.
    “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film. Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome. Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.”
   I didn’t see any mention of when they planned to actually close the existing Splash Mountain rides however to begin the conversion, but I’m guessing they’re probably going to give these projects an 18-24 month timetable, so to make that late 2024 opening means each Splash Mountain will likely have to close sometime between December 2022 to May 2023. So get your last rides in while you can.
    (6/3/22) It seems that the voice actress (Anika Noni Rose) who plays Tiana in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog was on a talk show on Thursday and the subject about visiting Disney theme parks came up. Without getting too specific, the topic of conversation turned to new attractions, when the actress mentioned that the new Princess and the Frog attraction was coming in 2024. Little else was said after this, as she implied she wasn’t supposed to talk about it, but this seems to at least be our first mention of a timeline for the conversion of Splash Mountain into Princess and the Frog. 
    As most of the conversation seems to be about experiences at the Disneyland Resort, we can assume this is also the timeline for the Disneyland conversion, as the Walt Disney World conversion would likely take place under an entirely different timeline. Our only other hint has been a mention on Twitter that more details may be released this July.
    (12/13/21) According to this report, Splash Mountain will close for winter rehab on January 10 and is expected to remain closed for 30-60 days. The article confirms that this is simply just a standard winter rehab for the ride, and not part of the future makeover into a Princess and the Frog theme. There still is no timeline for that project.
    (8/25/21) Another piece of concept art and a round-table discussion by Disney Imagineers about the plans to transform Splash Mountain into a new ride themed to The Princess and the Frog has been released. According to the talk, Tiana will invite guests to go along on an adventure with her in the bayou, so the new experience will be one where the guests are included in the action, instead of just watching the action unfold in front of them.
    (6/27/20) I’m not quite sure where to begin with this post, but Disney dropped a bombshell of an announcement this week that I was not really expecting. Disney announced that they are planning to retheme the Splash Mountain attractions at Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom parks to The Princess and The Frog animated film.
    I’ll let that sink in for a moment… Brer Rabbit and the whole Zippey-Do-Da-Gang are being removed, and the ride will be rethemed around the world of Princess Tiana and friends. According to the Disney Parks Blog this new story will begin just after ‘the final kiss’ from the film where riders will “join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure - featuring some of the powerful music from the film - as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.”
    As someone who grew up and was a huge Disney park fan throughout my early years, this kind of shocked me. I’m not the biggest fan of changing some of the Disney attractions, just for the sake of change. The older the attraction is, the more of an attachment I think I might have had to it from my childhood. Case in point, I wasn’t a fan of the idea of changing the classic auction scene in Pirates to the current version where “Redd” is now a pirate.
    I do not hate the new scene, as it is well done, but like any major change, I think it just takes some getting used to the idea and seeing the new version in the end to appreciate it. After all, like many of you, I grew up for decades chanting ‘We wants the red head’, which is now only part of the Disney history books.
    I was a teenager when Splash Mountain was first built… in fact I had no idea it was even going to be a thing at all until visiting Disneyland during my Grad Nite event in 1988. I could see the huge steel structure rising into the night sky, surrounded by construction walls promoting the new ride to open in 1989. While I was already a fan of Disney parks, it was this moment that made me interested in the process of how Disney designed and built massive new attractions like these. My curiosity was sparked that night, which obviously had an effect on me for years to come.
    So understand me when I say that upon first seeing the announcement this week, I probably dropped an F-bomb in disbelief. It didn’t help that a few weeks ago some news outlets were reporting that there was an online petition of activists asking Disney to do this very thing, but according to Disney this is actually a project that the Imagineers “have been working on since last year”.
    I’m still surprised… but not entirely. Splash Mountain always had a rather interesting choice of IP in using the characters and theme from the film, The Song of the South. This is the one film that Disney has chosen to lock away in their vaults forever, with no plans to ever release it again, not even on Disney+. The 1946 film is a mix of live action and animated segments set in the old South following the end of the American Cival War and the abolishment of slavery. The film became criticized over the years since then due to the depiction of the Southern African-American characters and their animated counterparts as being potentially racist or offensive.
    Despite this, the IP was tapped as the theme to build not just one, but three Splash Mountain attractions at Disney parks across the world. The original Splash Mountain opened in Summer 1989 in California followed by another in Walt Disney World in 1992 and a third at Tokyo Disneyland, also in 1992. There is no reference to the film at all, and the ride seeks to tell its story through the various animated characters from the film mixed with some new friends, that were actually retired Animatronic figures from Disneyland’s America Sings attraction. It is safe to say that the attraction has been a smash hit for Disney parks ever since, and as the ride system itself is staying, it will continue to do so, even with a new theme.  The attraction was designed to carry riders through the various scenes accompanied by a fantastic musical soundtrack, so I can easily see how it can be rethemed and ‘plussed’ by Imagineering in this endeavor. If you take a look at the concept art you can see the classic look of Splash Mountain will be altered to look more green and lush, especially at the top of the drop where the old tree stump will now become Mama Odie’s House, featuring a full tree holding the broken boat high in the branches above where the logs emerge and take their plunge.
    As a concept, I can easily see how many aspects of the current Splash Mountain layout and scenes can be changed to The Princess and The Frog. The report that this all takes place after the “last kiss” does make me hope that they can somehow include the return of Dr. Facilier (aka: The Shadow Man) as I’d love to see the scenes in the belly of Splash Mountain’s from the mid-drop up to the approach to the big drop be given over to create a scene with the voodoo man and the forces from “the other side”. Of course we all know the ending scene of Splash Mountain with the River Boat will probably be kept and updated to be a Mardi Gras celebration with Tiana and Louis, which is only fitting.
    So with all this in mind, I can see how the overall ride experience may actually be improved here by going forward with a new theme. I know how tempting it is to say you wont like it just because it isn’t the ride you grew up with, but look at just how many people seem to enjoy the Guardians of the Galaxy version of the former Twilight Zone attraction at Disney California Adventure now. Many say that the Guardians version was a dramatic improvement over California’s Twilight Zone version, so we really will just need to wait and see what happens.
    My only final thoughts here have more to do with the overall theming of the lands and such involved. Clearly changing Splash Mountain to now have a New Orleans theme in Disneyland is a no brainer, as the modified look of the new attraction will fit right like a glove positioned next to The Haunted Mansion there, creating an extension of the existing New Orleans Square theming, and leaving Pooh at the solitary inhabitant of Critter Country. In Walt Disney World however, the change is going to be a bit more disturbing to the current theming of that park where Splash Mountain is set smack in the middle of Frontierland, positioned between Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Frontierland buildings that are home to The Country Bears attraction and the Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe. I don’t have a solution or answer to this particular issue, so I’m curious to see how WDI will address it.
    It is also interesting to note that, for now at least, Splash Mountain will live on in Japan, as there has been no plans posted to update or change the version at Tokyo DIsneyland at this time. At this point in time, Disney has given no time-table as to when we may expect to see this transformation process begin at either park, but hopefully there will be time to have a few more final rides on Splash Mountain before the old version is gone for good. (Now if maybe Disneyland can work in a plan to modify their trough system to use the same double-wide boats that WDW uses, that would be great as well...)





Track Record

Anaheim, California
Walt Disney Company

Abbreviation: DL

Tickets: as of 1/7/19
prices are now “Seasonal Based” with Value, Regular and Peak Day Pricing. Read this for the full breakdown.
Discounts for Multi-Day Tickets
Parking: $25.00

The park is open Year Round

Newest Developments:
2021 - Updated Jungle Cruise, Snow White’s Enchanted Wish

2019 - Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge

2017 - Fantasmic 2, renovated Railroad and MSEP Returns
2016 - Hyperspace Mountain, Honda sponsored Autopia

2015 - 60th Diamond Celebration - Disneyland Forever, Paint the Night, improvements to Haunted Mansion, Matterhorn, Peter Pan’s Flight, and Indiana Jones

2014 - Big Thunder Mt (v2.0), Alice in Wonderland Update

2013 - Fantasy Faire, Iron Man Tech, Thor: Treasures of Asgard

2012 - New Matterhorn Sleds

2011 - Star Tours 2 / 3D
Mickey’s Soundsational




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