For more than a year now we’ve known that Splash Mountain, the iconic flume ride, would be seeing a total thematic redesign at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The current version of the ride was set to replace the existing Song of the South storyline with one based on The Princess and the Frog. But while we’ve known the change is coming, it’s never been confirmed when work on the change would begin. And now fans are wondering if it could all be starting as early as this January.
According to the Disneyland website, (and pointed out by Blog Mickey), Splash Mountain will be undergoing refurbishment beginning on January 10, 2022. Since there is work to be done on the ride, it's an obvious question to ask if the work being done will be the complete overhaul of the ride to change the story over to The Princess and the Frog. At this point it’s a little early to tell, but there are compelling arguments on either side of the coin.
Why Splash Mountain Probably Isn’t Being Redesigned Yet
While it’s easy to see that work is going to be done, and assume that it’s time for the big overhaul, there’s reason to believe that we’re not quite there yet. First and foremost, there’s the simple fact that nothing has been announced by Disneyland. There will certainly be warning before the current version of Splash Mountain closes down forever. There will be fans who will want to buy tickets to ride it one more time, and Disneyland will want to be sure to give them that chance.
And there have been two different opportunities to make such an announcement on a big stage recently. The IAAPA Expo, the big trade show for the themed entertainment and amusement industry, was just a couple weeks ago. It was there that Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro announced a major redesign for Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland. This event was followed immediately by Destination D23, a Disney fan event where D’Amaro again took the stage to discuss the future of Disney Parks. Splash Mountain wasn’t mentioned at all at either event. If the redesign was planned to be happening in just two months, you’d think it would have been brought up. It would have been a huge announcement.
It should also be said that there’s nothing unusual about seeing big rides like Splash Mountain go down for refurbishment in January. The post-holiday period is traditionally the slowest you’ll see in the parks, and so it’s that period where we often see major E-ticket rides going down for regular maintenance. This is probably just dealing with normal wear and tear on a popular ride.
Why Splash Mountain’s Redesign Might Be Happening Soon
At the same time, if you know you’re going to be giving your ride a serious overhaul at some point down the road, why would you take the time and the expense to give your attraction regular maintenance? It seems like a waste of effort since all the things that are probably being fixed up are going to end up being completely replaced when the Princess and the Frog update finally does happen.
And what better time is there to do a major update to an attraction than during what would be the ride’s normal maintenance period anyway? This certainly isn’t going to be the sort of update that will only take a month or two, but since, one assumes, the core ride is remaining largely the same, it’s possible the update could start in January and be done in time for the busy summer season at Disneyland when guests want that Splash Mountain cooldown.
If the Splash Mountain redesign is about to get underway, we’ll likely hear about it from Disneyland Resort soon. Whenever it happens there will be many who are sad to see the popular ride go, but a lot more who are very excited to see the new version of the attraction when it arrives.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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