Disney restyles controversial ride to honour first black princess
Share article:
Share article:

Disney restyles controversial ride to honour first black princess

Credit: Belga

Disney will modify its ‘Splash Mountain’ rides in its American theme parks, as they evoke the racist past of the United States, the company announced. The ride will be restyled to honour Tiana, Disney’s first black princess.

Splash Mountain is a popular attraction at both Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida, that consists of a water ride in a fake tree trunk, ending in a big splash.

The ride is currently themed around ‘Song of the South,’ a controversial Disney film from 1946 criticised for spreading racist clichés and painting the slave plantations of the old South of the United States in an idyllic light. The film has not been shown in cinemas since the 1980s, was never released on DVD and has been deliberately kept out of the Disney+ catalogue.

Related Articles


Splash Mountain will now be “completely reimagined” to tell the story of “The Princess and the Frog.” “Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou,” according to Disney.

“The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year,” Disney said.

“It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realised! As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon,” said Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana. “The Imagineers are giving us ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it!”

The decision comes as many statues and monuments associated with slavery and racist oppression are being removed or defaced across the United States in the wake of protests over the death of George Floyd, a black man who was killed by a white police officer in late May.

“The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today,” according to Disney, though the company had already begun retiming the ride last year and has a habit of making its attractions conform to the times.

Jason Spinks
The Brussels Times

Latest news

Belgium in Brief: A Consultative Committee Sequel
Sequels often have a lot to live up to and when it comes to movie franchises, it gets difficult to keep up the hype once you get towards the final ...
25 years ago today: 300,000 people marched in white against child abuse
On this day 25 years ago, over 300,000 people marched in Brussels to demand a more effective justice system and to support the families of Julie, ...
Windy weather forecast should lower gas prices
After weeks of relatively calm conditions, a return to windy weather should lower Europe's soaring energy prices. Wind turbines in the UK and Germany ...
EC calls on candidate countries to focus on fundamental reforms before they can join the EU
The Commission adopted yesterday its 2021 Enlargement Package, providing a detailed assessment of the state of play and the progress made by the ...
Cigarette-eating robot patrols Ghent streets to fight littering
A litter fighting (and eating) robot will be patrolling the streets of Ghent in the coming weeks in an effort to raise awareness of the growing ...
Display of child’s room in Brussels raises awareness of foster families
An exhibit that features a fictitious child’s bedroom has been on display since Tuesday at the Place d'Armes in Namur, with the support of the ...
Brussels Airport becomes shareholder in SkeyDrone
The Brussels Airport company has signed an agreement to become a 50 percent shareholder in SkeyDrone, a subsidiary of skeyes, the Belgian Air ...
Two former Belgian top executives plead guilty to bid manipulation in the US
Two former Belgian top executives of the security company G4S have pleaded guilty in the US to bid rigging, according to reporting from De Tijd. ...
8 arrested in Belgium and Luxembourg for fraud and social dumping
On Tuesday, around 80 police investigators and 26 social investigators made a series of simultaneous arrests in Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg as part ...
More than 5,500 people took part in the citizens’ consultation on road safety
Over 5,500 people took part in a citizens’ consultation on road safety for Belgium between July and October, according to Belga News Agency. The ...
Coronavirus: Nearly 1,000 patients hospitalised, 80 admissions a day on average
Between October 10 and 16, an average of 3,151 people were infected with Covid-19 every day, according to figures from the Sciensano Public Health ...
‘More concern and false impressions’: colds are not worse than before, experts say
While it seems like cold viruses are hitting especially hard this autumn, with more severe and longer-lasting symptoms, doctors are saying that this ...