Disney Shares Update on Splash Mountain's 'Princess and the Frog' Makeover — See the Designs!

Disney Imagineers have been working with several important New Orleans residents to ensure the ride is true to the city's culture

Disney is sharing an update about the big changes coming to one of the theme parks' classic rides!

Last June, Disney announced that they would be reimagining Splash Mountain in order to make it more inclusive to all visitors, changing the ride up with a theme based on the 2009 Disney film The Princess and the Frog, which features the company's first Black princess, Tiana.

Now, the company is sharing a few updates on the iconic attraction's revamp — including how they've been working with a team of important residents of New Orleans (where the movie is set) to make sure it's done right.

Disney Shares Update on Splash Mountain’s Princess and the Frog Reimagining
The Walt Disney Company

In a Disney Parks blog post published on Monday, the company shared a new rendering (above) of what the attraction will look like, explaining that the story will begin "after the final kiss," and see Prince Naveen (Princess Tiana's love interest) and Louis (the friendly alligator) joining the princess on an adventure as she hosts a Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans.

Splash Mountain. Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort

"Original music inspired by songs from the film will bring guests into the story," the blog states, and riders will follow the princess as they "encounter old friends and make new ones along the way," preparing for the city's famous spring celebration.

Disney Shares Update on Splash Mountain’s Princess and the Frog Reimagining
The Walt Disney Company

To ensure that the spirit of New Orleans is captured authentically in the attraction, Disney has been working with the Chase family, who own a restaurant called Dooky Chase's in the city. The restaurant was founded by Leah Chase, who was one of the inspirations for the character of Princess Tiana, Disney shares.

Disney Shares Update on Splash Mountain’s Princess and the Frog Reimagining
Paul Morse

Representatives from Disney met with several generations of Chase family members at the restaurant, where they enjoyed some of their famous gumbo and discussed the city's culture — especially their music and food — and how Disney Imagineers could bring it to life in the reimagined ride.

"Imagineers often do in-depth research to help inspire their work. In this case, that involved digging deep into the culture of New Orleans to tell a story that's as authentic to the region as it is to the characters' stories," the blog shares. "From the food, music, art and architecture to the diversity of its people and their traditions, there is much from which to draw inspiration."

Disney Shares Update on Splash Mountain’s Princess and the Frog Reimagining
Paul Morse

Disney also announced that they would be making a $50,000 donation to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), an arts training and education center, as a token of their appreciation for the city and culture of New Orleans.

According to a press release shared with PEOPLE last year, Disney has been planning to reimagine Splash Mountain with a The Princess and the Frog theme since 2019.

Splash Mountain"
Splash Mountain. Joe Burbank/getty images

Their June 2020 announcement that they would be doing so came weeks after several petitions began gaining traction on the site Change.org urging Disney to reimagine the theme of the log-flume ride. It is currently based on the controversial 1946 Disney film Song of the South, which has long been criticized for its problematic portrayal of the post-Civil War South and for employing racist stereotypes.

"The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today," the release explained. "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."

Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain. BRYAN R. SMITH/Getty Images

These new updates about the ride come as Disney ushers in their first-ever World Princess Week, which also kicks off on Monday.

The global event is designed to celebrate the kindness and heroism of Disney Princesses and inspire young fans to embrace these positive qualities in their own lives.

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"As part of the year-long Ultimate Princess Celebration, World Princess Week will offer fans new products, digital content, a Disney Princess Hotline presented by shopDisney, unique offerings at Disney Parks and Resorts, a Disney Channel special, retail activations and more," the press release shares.

Find out more about World Princess Week on the Disney website.

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