Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro was recently interviewed by CNN about reopening Walt Disney World amidst the ongoing health crisis. D’Amaro spoke about safety protocols, the new normal for guest and cast members, and how Disney plans to be flexible as the current environment changes. He also briefly touched on Disney’s announcement that Splash Mountain will be rethemed into a Princess and the Frog attraction.
CNN specifically asked about the timing of the Splash Mountain announcement, wondering if the Black Lives Matter protests played a role in Disney’s decision. D’Amaro stated that the project has been worked on for “over a year” and Disney’s stories are always evolving.
The term contemporary, which can be defined as belonging to or occurring in the present, appears to be Disney’s latest buzzword when describing attraction transformations. That’s an interesting choice of words as it could be used if Disney ever decides to update other iconic attractions such as the Carousel of Progress or the Hall of Presidents.
The Splash Mountain controversy has been well documented long before the incidents leading up to the announcement. Disney has tried to move far away from Song of the South, the film the attraction is connected to, for many years. There’s a reason why you can’t find the movie on Disney+ or in any Disney-owned stores.
Currently, Disney has not announced a date when Splash Mountain will close and the transformation will officially begin. That hasn’t stopped some guests from stockpiling Splash Mountain merchandise and selling it on eBay. There’s a very real possibility that it could be years before Disney moves forward with any of their Princess and the Frog plans.