ANAHEIM, Calif. (KTLA) – After announcing the impending “re-imagining” of Splash Mountain back in 2020, the Disneyland Resort has finally announced a closing date for the ride.
The California park’s version of the decades-old attraction, which opened in 1989, will close on May 31 ahead of the extensive renovation project.
The last day of operation will be on May 30, Disneyland officials announced Wednesday.
The Disney World version of the ride, meanwhile, had already been closed in January ahead of its own re-imagining.
While the attractions themselves aren’t getting torn down, the former Splash Mountain areas will undergo complete makeovers before reopening as “Princess and the Frog”-themed attractions titled “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.” The re-themed rides are scheduled to open in late 2024 at both U.S. Disney parks.
“The ride will feature a new cast of original Disney characters,” and new music alongside favorite songs from the film. The “alluring scent of beignets” will fill the attraction’s queue, Disneyland officials added in a blog post.
“The enchantment of the bayou will illuminate with a celebration during Mardi Gras season hosted by Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen. Mama Odie will joke with guests during their journey,” stated a post shared to the Disney Parks Blog.
Jenifer Lewis, who voiced the character of Mama Odie in the 2009 animated film, is confirmed to return to her role for the attraction.
New concept artwork of Mama Odie in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure was also unveiled, and officials confirmed the ride will have “dozens of new Audio-Animatronics” when it opens in 2024.
Other familiar faces, including Louis, Eudora, Charlotte, “Big Daddy,” the King and Queen of Maldonia and Prince Ralphie, also will be featured in the ride, officials announced.
The storyline of “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure” will pick up where the 2009 animated feature left off.
“Walt Disney Imagineering is creating an original, next-chapter story for Tiana. Within the attraction queue, guests will discover that she continues to grow her business with Tiana’s Foods — an employee-owned cooperative,” the Disney Parks Blog announced in February.
Splash Mountain has been criticized in recent years for its inclusion of characters and music from the 1946 animated feature “Song of the South,” a movie that has come under fire for its stereotypes of Black men and its romanticized view of the post-Civil War South.
Fans called for Disney to redo the theme of Splash Mountain in 2020 amid a racial reckoning across the U.S.
Along with the ride closure, the theme park has removed other nods to Splash Mountain throughout the resort. In March, lyrics from “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah,” a song that originated in “Song of the South,” were quietly removed from the set list of Disneyland’s Magic Happens parade. Disneyland officials replaced that song with another song from the 1953 feature “Peter Pan.”