The closing date for Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was officially announced last Friday.
In case you’re unaware, Splash Mountain is being transformed into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. It’s expected to open in late 2024, which suggests the reimagining will take up to two years.
However, people who love Splash Mountain are not happy. Almost two years ago, Eric Thilbeault started a change.org petition dubbed ‘To Save Splash Mountain and keep it as it is in Magic Kingdom and Disneyland’.
You can read the petition’s description in full below:
“Splash Mountain is an iconic ride at Magic Kingdom. loved by millions of fans all over the world for 30 years. Re-theming such an iconic ride would erode the nostalgia that lives in Disney World and take away a little bit of the magic. “Song of the South” was based on a book of short stories taken by Joel Chandler Harris and Robert Roosevelt (Teddy Roosevelt’s Uncle), who spent a lot of time in the slave quarters in the mid-1800s. He first heard the story of the Br’er Rabbit, along with many others, directly from the telling of African folklore.
The controversy from these stories and Song of the South comes from the misunderstanding of the depiction of Uncle Remus (the character’s name in the books) and his relationships with his employers on a Georgian plantation which takes place AFTER the Civil War, during the reconstruction era. Splash Mountain has never included depictions of slaves or any racist elements and is based solely on historical African folktales that families of all ethnicities have been enjoying for nearly a century It is absurd to pander to a small group of “Disney haters” that don’t understand the story, and retheme such a nostalgic ride.
The characters in Splash Mountain do not specifically generalize any race or group of people, they are nothing more than caricatures based on turn-of-the-century America. Modifying Slash Mountain will not change history and will only encourage the easily offended to continue making desperate attempts at finding offense in additional attractions. To change them would be to remove a bit of our art history from the world and be ashamed of it.”
The petition is nearing 100,000 signatures. A number of people who have signed it have left a reason why Splash Mountain needs to remain the same. You can read a handful of recent reasons below:
Jessica Fox: “My first time to WDW and been so excited to finally get on this ride and they are closing it before I get a chance and it’s my honeymoon please don’t close Splash Mountain.”
Kandy Lanes: “This is a treasured attraction that needs [to be saved] and preserved forever!!!”
Darlene Lamm: “Splash Mountain has been one of my favourite rides at Disney World ever since I was young. If Splash Mountain is replaced, I will not be purchasing another ticket to walk [into] Disney World again. I don’t like the politics involved in every decision Disney makes!!!”
We highly respect the effort that has been put in to try and save Splash Mountain, however, a petition will not stop the transformation of this iconic Magic Kingdom attraction. The fact of the matter is that change is happening!
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