Also, we finally have a date for when Splash Mountain is closing.
Anyone who hasn’t been living in a briar patch probably knows that Disney is rebranding Splash Mountain for an all-new attraction inspired by The Princess and the Frog. The re-imagining of the popular ride at Disney was announced back in 2020, but since then, fans have been wondering when Splash Mountain is closing for good. Well, it seems there is finally an answer to that question. On Friday, along with sharing a brand new photo of the Princess and the Frog ride for Disney World and Disneyland, the company also revealed when fans can plan their last drop from Splash Mountain.
Josh D'Amaro, the Chairperson of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced back in September at Disney’s D23 Expo that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure would be opening at the Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in 2024. The Disney ride will feature a brand-new story that’s inspired by the storyline of The Princess and the Frog movie. Knowing that, Dr. Facilier probably won’t be appearing on the ride. However, some of your favorite characters from the film like Tiana and Louis the trumpet-playing alligator will be present, along with some new adorable animals as well. The concept art shared by Disney on Friday shows one of the new scenes that you’ll get to experience as you’re floating down the bayou.
What Can Fans Expect From The New Princess And The Frog Ride?
If Splash Mountain is currently your favorite Disney ride because of the drops, no need to worry about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The new photo of The Princess and the Frog ride confirms there will be some exciting drops as well. In fact, Disney shared the the new scene depicted in the first-look concept art shows “the thrilling moment you first drop into the bayou and encounter some friends both new and familiar.”
Louis and Tiana are present, along with some musical instrument-playing creatures like a possum and rabbit. For anyone familiar with Splash Mountain, you may be having deja vu as many of these animals are also featured on the OG ride as well. It’s possible that Disney is doing what Disney does best — aka bringing in the new while also giving some eagle-eyed fans easter eggs to look out for that pay homage to the past. It’s kind of like how The Guardians of the Galaxy ride at Epcot features some easter eggs that reference old attractions from when the park first opened.
Also, it may just be me, but doesn’t the raccoon playing an accordion in the back of the band also look like Meeko from Pocahontas? Talk about another princess who deserves more recognition in the park. Thankfully, Tiana is having her moment, and another standout from the concept art is her new outfit. The princess, who is most known for being a frog and wearing a gorgeous lily pad-inspired gown, has new duds that will likely inspire some super cute Disneybound ‘fits for the park.
With how immersive Disney has become lately, the luscious and firefly-filled bayou is also something to get excited about. If Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is anything like Disney’s Na'vi River Journey at Animal Kingdom’s Pandora — The World of Avatar, the attraction will be Insta-worthy and something you have to see to believe.
When Is Splash Mountain Closing?
The new additions are enough to get even those who consider Splash Mountain their current favorite ride excited. As much as Splash Mountain has the nostalgia factor, there’s no denying it needs a rebrand. Even longtime fans were begging Disney to reimagine the attraction after finding out Splash Mountain’s problematic roots. This move not only gives you something to look forward to on your next trip, but it also gives a beloved Disney character her own iconic ride in the park.
If you do want to get your fill of Splash Mountain before it closes, though, you’ll need to book a trip ASAP. Along with the new concept art, Disney announced that Splash Mountain will be closing on Jan. 23, 2023 at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. While Disneyland has yet to make their announcement, it’ll probably be sometime next year as well. Don’t worry if you have a 2023 trip to Disney planned and are concerned about one of the rides being shut down. There will be plenty of fun to do instead as Disney will be celebrating its 100th anniversary next year with tons of new merch, food, and attractions.