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Splash Mountain has closed at Disney World, and its last day attracted long lines

The popular attraction is being reimagined as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which takes its inspiration from “The Princess and the Frog.”
The Splash Mountain ride has closed at Walt Disney World in Florida, making way for  new ride based on the 2009 Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog." Jeff Gritchen / MediaNews Group via Getty Images

Splash Mountain has made its last splash with fans.

The popular Walt Disney World attraction officially closed over the weekend, with its last ride taking place inside the Florida theme park's Magic Kingdom on Sunday, Jan. 22.

The ride is going to be reimagined as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which takes its inspiration from the 2009 Disney movie “The Princess and the Frog," is set to take its place in 2024.

Splash Mountain's closing hardly comes as a surprise. Disney announced in June 2020 that it planned to reimagine the ride's interiors, veering away from its original theme. The ride is based on the controversial 1946 film “Song of the South,” which has been criticized for its idyllic depiction of Black Americans in the post-Civil War era and plantation life.

The news of the ride's relaunch came two weeks after a group of Disney employees and fans began an online petition complaining that the ride is “steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes.”

Bob Weis, former president of Walt Disney Imagineering who now is an Imagineering global ambassador, told the Disney fan site D23 in 2020 that the reimagining of the ride had been in the planning stages for at least a year.

“Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman who pursues her dreams while never losing sight of what’s really important,” said Weis.

The Splash Mountain ride first opened in 1989 at Disneyland in California, with Florida's theme park ride opening in 1992 and Tokyo Disneyland's Splash Mountain opening later that same year. Disney has also announced plans to close the ride at the California park.

Fans of Splash Mountain didn't let the ride slip away without a buzz. Many park-goers waited on line for hours to enjoy one last trip down the river on the its log-shaped floats.

"Last Day of Splash Mountain! Crazy Crowds & Long Lines," one fan captioned a TikTok video showing a throng of park-goers waiting to join the fun, revealing in the video, "5 hour wait for Splash Mountain last day."

Another TikTok user bid the attraction a fond farewell alongside footage of their ride. "EPIC POV final ride aboard Splash Mountain at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom before closing for good January 23, 2023.

"Lots of great memories riding this with loved ones over the past 30 years. Looking forward to making new memories on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure starting in 2024."