[photo via Flickr Creative Commons]

Disney announced this week that Splash Mountain is being completely reimagined amid scrutiny over the ride’s ties to the racist 1946 film Songs of the South.

The iconic Disney Parks ride is being remade to reference The Princess and The Frog, making it the first Disney ride to center around a Black princess.

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Currently, Splash Mountain incorporates characters and songs from Songs Of The South. The film takes place in the southern United States during the Reconstruction era. The story follows a young white boy who befriends an older Black man that works on a plantation. The film has drawn criticism for having various racist stereotypes in its portrayal of freed slaves.

The film received intense backlash after its original release in 1946. Throughout the years, numerous re-releases have been put out, but the film has not been available in any format for more than 30 years.

Now, amid the ongoing Black Lives Matter movement, people are demanding that Splash Mountain lose its racist roots.

The ride is now being redesigned to reference 2009’s The Princess and the Frog. The film is the first Disney animated movie to feature a Black princess. A petition to re-theme Splash Mountain to The Princess and the Frog earned over 21,000 signatures before Disney’s announcement on Thursday.

According to Disney, the ride’s redesign has been in the works since last year. The redesigned ride’s storyline will feature Princess Tiana and Naveen’s final kiss in the film. As well, it will feature music from the movie as the pair get ready for a Mardi Gras performance.

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At this time, no concrete timeline for its construction or relaunch has been shared. However, Disney Parks now has even more time to work on it.

Back in May, Disney announced its proposals to reopen its parks in July. However, the company announced on Wednesday that their plans to reopen have been postponed. This is due to the company’s inability to get state clearance to open amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

The Splash Mountain controversy is not the first for Disney. In 2017, Disneyland updated its Pirates of the Caribbean ride due to its sexist references. The park removed the scenes that depict a bride being auctioned off and a pirate chasing a woman through a house.

What are your thoughts on Disney redesigning Splash Mountain? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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