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Disney World has closed Splash Mountain after allegations of racism. Not everyone is happy.


Walt Disney World has closed its famous Splash Mountain water ride, the Magic Kingdom attraction that has been criticized for years for its racist roots. But not everyone was happy to see the ride go.

It closed on Sunday and on Tuesday the TikTok hashtag #goodbyesplashmountain had attracted 1.6 million views. Dark tribute videos to the ride to the song “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” – some of which claimed to show visitors the last time they rode his log boats over his waterfall with a 45 degree drop – had thousands of likes.

“I will miss you forever. Goodbye, Splash Mountain,” read the caption of a video that had more than 1,300 likes on Tuesday afternoon.

Another video claims to show a wait of over two hours to board on the final day.

Other Disney enthusiasts – some of whom are known as ‘Disney adults’ – have sought to take advantage of the rides’ closure by listing more than 70 bottles, mason jars and plastic bags filled with what they claim to be “water from Splash Mountain” on eBay. Some sellers said they wiped up the liquid during the last days of the ride’s operation.

The containers received dozens of offers, with some buyers offering to pay upwards of $50.

The closure of the 30-year-old ride – which Princess Diana visited in 1993 – follows a years-long call for change, as it features several characters from the 1946 Disney film ‘Song of the South’, which featured stereotypes racists.

Princess Diana riding Splash Mountain at Disney’s Magic Kingdom in 1993.Martin Keene/PA Images via Getty Images File

The film, set on a plantation, features an old black man known as Uncle Remus who tells traditional African-American folk tales to white children cared for by black servants.

Years after its release, Walter White, the former executive secretary of the NAACP, said the film “helps perpetuate a dangerously glorified image of slavery”.

In March 2020, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger confirmed the film would not appear on the Disney+ streaming service and said it was “not appropriate in today’s world”. , reported Deadline.

In June, Disney announced that Splash Mountain would be “reimagined” as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, based on Disney’s first black princess featured in the 2009 film “The Princess and the Frog.”

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will open at both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park in Anaheim, Calif., in 2024. (It was not immediately clear whether Splash Mountain at Disneyland Park would close.)

“The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our customers 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 in 2020 when announcing the new feature. .

Tokyo Disneyland’s website does not say if or when its Splash Mountain ride will close.

A Walt Disney World representative did not immediately respond to questions on Tuesday.

A Change.org petition created three years ago that denounced the racist imagery of Splash Mountain and demanded that it be replaced with a ride dedicated to “The Princess and the Frog” has garnered more than 21,000 signatures.

“While the ride is considered a beloved classic, it is [sic] the story and screenplay are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from the 1946 film Song of the South,” the petition reads.

A “To Save Splash Mountain” counter-petition garnered more than 99,000 signatures.

“Splash Mountain has never included depictions of slaves or racist elements and is based solely on historic African folk tales that families of all ethnicities have enjoyed for nearly a century,” the petition states. “It’s absurd to pander to a small group of ‘Disney haters’ who don’t [sic] understand the history and redefine the theme of such a nostalgic ride.”

Splash Mountain is no stranger to controversy: In 2018, it made headlines when Walt Disney World banned a man from riding it while holding up a “Trump 2020” sign.

Dion Cini holds a Trump 2020 banner at Walt Disney World.  Image blurred by source.
Dion Cini holds a Trump 2020 banner at Walt Disney World. Image blurred by source.Courtesy of Dion Cini

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