Actress reveals Disney’s Splash Mountain redesign date
The actress who voiced Princess Tiana in the Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog” appears to have leaked the opening date for the theme change from Splash Mountain to Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney Imagineering announced in June 2020 that it would be renaming its canal ride at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom to “The Princess and the Frog,” dropping the music and characters from “Song of the South,” the live-action deeply problematic 1946 and animated film that Disney had long buried in its archives. [Here’s that link: Zip-a-Dee-Buh-Bye: Disney to Retheme Splash Mountain] But there has been little news from Disney since when this new theme would appear in the parks. [When Will Princess Tiana Take Over Splash Mountain?]
But this morning, Anika Noni Rose mentioned an opening date during an appearance on ABC’s “Live with Kelly and Ryan” talk show. “It’s coming out in 2024,” she said when asked about the project.
“But if I told you anything else, I would be sucked to the ground and you would never see me again,” she added. Rose is reprising her role for “Tiana,” a new Disney+ series debuting next year.
Splash Mountain/The Princess and the Frog” concept art courtesy of Walt Disney Imagineering
The latest Disney representative to divulge an opening date, former general affairs manager Geoff Morrell, left the company shortly after tweeting that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind would open Memorial weekend. Day – before Disney made that date official. To be fair, though, the Florida mess probably had more to do with it than jumping the gun on an attraction start date.
A 2024 opening is likely the first practical debut of the new, whatever its name, Splash Mountain. Disneyland and Magic Kingdom both have major new attractions in the works over the next 12 months, with the opening of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway in a reimagined Toontown at Disneyland and TRON Lightcycle Run nearing completion in the Magic Kingdom of Walt Disney World.
No visible on-site work has been done on the Splash Mountain transformation on either coast, and it simply doesn’t make financial sense for Disney to rush construction on this project with major E-ticket level attractions that are already drawing Disney’s promotional attention to the two roller coasters. Next year. The insertion of the new Princess and the Frog mountain for 2024 would give Disney a new attraction to promote for one more year as the parks continue to recover and expand after their pandemic closures.
For more information on Disney’s issues with Splash Mountain, as well as other attractions, please read our 2020 article, Can Theme Parks Get on the Right Side of History?, which is part of our 20 good reads for 20 years of theme park insiders. And for more theme park information and tips, please sign up at Theme Park Insider Weekly Newsletter.