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Disney Parks made a lot of people happy, and a few people a little upset, when it was revealed that the popular Splash Mountain attraction was going to get a major overhaul. While the ride itself would remain largely intact, the story being told was set to be completely replaced, with the current Song of the South story going away and a new Princess and the Frog story taking its place. We were told at first that the new ride would act as a sequel, taking place after the events of the film, but now we have a few more details about what exactly will happen when guests get on board their boats and go floating down the bayou.
In a video released by Disney, several members of the teams that produced both The Princess and the Frog film and who are working on the new ride came together at Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans. Founder Leah Chase was one of the inspirations for Tiana. As part of a round table discussion, Charita Carter, Senior Creative Producer at Walt Disney Imagineering, who is leading the the project, explained the story of the new ride, saying...
The piece of art above is one of the early pieces of concept art showing what the attraction will be like. We see the characters in canoes, which ts seems will replace the logs that are the current ride vehicles. We see Tiana, Naveen, and Louis the alligator, showing us we'll see these familiar friends. The art work does apparently also include some of the new characters that will be introduced. While it's not being specified, I'm guessing the animals holding musical instruments, that we only see in shadow, may be the new characters in question.
With the expectation that the route of the ride itself will remain more or less intact, it's easy to see how the new ride will work. Guests will board their boats and be taken on this adventure. We'll float through various scenes with the voice of Tiana leading us through the bayou. The ending scene showing the ultimate Mardi Gras already has its place as a similar scene ends the current version of the ride.
Disney fans can re-watch The Princess and the Frog movie on Disney+. You can use this link to sign up for the streaming service.
What we don't know yet, is how the big splash down moment will work and how that will fit into the story. There will likely be some sort of drama that gets in the way of the adventure, but apparently Disney isn't going to reveal that part of the story just yet.
This certainly sounds exciting, and the ride itself might not be all we're going to get. When it was brought up that any great Mardi Gras celebration would need great food, Carmen Smith, Vice President for Inclusive Strategies at Walt Disney Imagineering said simply...
I'm certainly hopeful that the shift to The Princess and the Frog at Splash Mountain doesn't stop there and includes a Tiana's Place restaurant as well. Disneyland needs another fine dining location inside the park and something like that would be perfect.
The only big question now is when exactly we'll actually see this new ride. The redesign has not begun yet at either Disneyland or Magic Kingdom in Disney World and there's no indication it's going to start any time soon. This new attraction sounds amazing and hopefully we won't need to wait too much longer for it.
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CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis. Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.