The incident occurred on Sunday when a boat at the popular attraction started to take on water towards the end of the ride

By Gabrielle Chung
August 03, 2020 11:51 PM
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Splash Mountain
Joe Burbank/getty images

Walt Disney World guests riding on Splash Mountain recently got more than what they bargained for when their boat began sinking.

The incident occurred on Sunday when a log flume at the popular Magic Kingdom attraction started to take on water towards the end of the ride.

As seen in videos and photos circulating on social media, those on board evacuated as their seats were flooded with water.

In footage captured by a witness, riders stand on a small path alongside the track as their empty boat submerged underwater. The guests can be heard speaking to a cast member about their sunken vessel.

"We deadass almost drowned," one Twitter user wrote.

Another twitter user, Skyelar Ingersoll said that a Disney cast member scolded her and her fellow riders for not staying on the boat.

"So we got out of our boat because it was sinking while we were stuck there and the disney world employee decided to tell us that we should’ve stayed in the boat but it went under as soon as we all stepped out... nice #DisneyWorld #splashmountain #MagicKingdom #disney not okay????"

In the video shared by Ingersoll, she can be heard responding to the cast member who is giving the group of riders instructions which are not audible in the now-viral video.

"See the boat?" Ingersoll can be heard asking, to which the staff member responds, "I understand that but this is a safety hazard."

The attraction has since reopened.

Splash Mountain
BRYAN R. SMITH/Getty Images

The mishap comes a month after Disney announced plans to reimagine Splash Mountain at both Disneyland in California and the Magic Kingdom in Florida with a theme based on the 2009 Disney film The Princess and the Frog, which features the company’s first Black princess, Tiana.

According to a press release shared with PEOPLE, this rebranding is “a project Imagineers have been working on since last year.” The ride’s storyline will pick up “after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.”

“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.”

Earlier this year, several petitions on the site Change.org were created to urge Disney to rebrand the attraction.

Rendering of the reimagined ride
Disney

One petition, titled “Re-theme Splash Mountain to Princess and the Frog,” gained particular traction, receiving over 21,384 signatures upon closing.

The petition read in part: “Disney parks should be a home for all to enjoy regardless of race, age, whatever your background may be . . . While the ride is considered a beloved classic, its history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from the 1946 film Song of the South. There is a huge need for diversity in the parks and this could help fill that need."

Splash Mountain is currently based on the 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.