Walt Disney (DIS) - parkgoers are seeing lots of changes to the most magical place on Earth lately.
That could be because Disney had lots of time to think about improvements when its doors were closed during the height of the pandemic.
The company has clearly been busy behind the scenes. It's launched a few big projects since reopening after covid closures, including a new "Guardians of the Galaxy" ride and the infamously expensive "Star Wars" hotel Galactic Starcruiser.
Its also announced overhauls for shows, like the "Finding Nemo" musical stage show at Animal Kingdom and the Spirit of Aloha dinner at the Polynesian Resort.
And long-time Epcot fans may or may not be happy about the big changes coming there soon, which include more greenery as part of a "Moana"-themed walking experience and a new outdoor stage.
You may also have heard Disney's announcement in 2020 about transforming the classic ride Splash Mountain into something new. Now, we have more information about what that change entails.
Is Splash Mountain Open?
Yes, Splash Mountain is still open for now. But according to Anika Noni Rose, the voice actress that plays Tiana in "The Princess and the Frog," the ride's overhaul is scheduled to debut in 2024.
reports that Rose said it during an appearance on "Live With Kelly and Ryan." However, Disney was quick to issue a press release afterwards, which journalist Scott Gustin shared on Twitter.
"We have already shared how we are bringing Tiana's story to life at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort," it reads. "While timing has not been determined, we look forward to sharing more details during Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans in July."that claimed that the ride's subject matter was racist.
"Disney parks should be a home for all to enjoy regardless of race, age, whatever your background may be. ... While (Splash Mountain) is considered a beloved classic it’s (sic) history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from the 1946 film Song of the South,” the petition read.
Splash Mountain currently includes characters and plotlines from the 1946 film, which tells the story of a Black plantation worker named Uncle Remus and the stories he tells a young visitor about animals named Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear.
Disney responded by announcing the retheming a few months after the petition gathered steam, and its clear they decided to take what their fans were saying to heart.
“The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today,” according to a post on the Disney Parks Blog. “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.”