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The Splash Mountain Closing Reactions Are Way Over the Top

Splash Mountain in The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort

Maybe I am just different, but my desire to going on Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Disney World was never about the movie the ride was based on. Instead, it was about my love of water rides. But I guess there are people who love “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and a movie that is quite racist more than anything else in this world? It’s an odd choice!

For the unfamiliar, the Splash Mountain ride is based on the Disney movie Song of the South, which is described as: “Based on the Uncle Remus stories about the ingenious bunny Brer Rabbit using live action and animation. Following the separation of his parents, a young boy goes to live in the American South. There he meets Uncle Remus, who gives the boy valuable insights into his problems via the stories he tells about Brer Rabbit.” But the movie is also racist in how it depicts life on a plantation.

So when Disney announced that Splash Mountain would be closing to get a renovation so that Princess Tiana from The Princess and the Frog could finally have her own ride, I was excited! Others were … well, not, and got weirdly attached to Splash Mountain in a concerning way. Like … some people were buying water from the ride????

For weeks, my TikTok FYP has been filled with love letters to the ride and odd reactions about it closing. I swear I was one day away from seeing “I Will Remember You” by Sarah MacLachlan over footage of the ride. But the behavior has been taken one step further as fans of Splash Mountain are coming out of the woodwork.

I know all of us have one very specific question about this situation: Did that woman really name her baby Splash Mountain? Is her kid named Brer after the rabbit? Can anyone answer me?!??!?

Your love of Splash Mountain is concerning

On the one hand, I understand the love of a theme park ride. But on the other hand, I would not sit and force people to be reminded of a racist movie constantly just because I like hearing “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” before plummeting to my watery grave.

The crowds to ride Splash Mountain one last time were almost comically large and it just feels odd? One of the critiques floating around online is that they’re afraid the ride will be more “screen” based as many newer rides for the parks are. Which is hilarious given how interactive Rise of the Resistance is (which has screen elements but you literally walk into a room of storm troopers, so …).

It has also gotten worse because people are literally buying and selling water from the ride on eBay. That’s absolutely weird, man! I don’t care how much you love something, that’s odd behavior! If they ever shut down Big Thunder Mountain, I would simply go one last time, salute it, then remember the good times we had.

Which is sort of my stance on Splash Mountain! I remember going in middle school with a crush (I lived in California, so it was an easy trip) and wanting to sit with him on the ride, but we did the single rider line and I sat with a stranger. And that’s about my only important memory from the ride.

Why Splash Mountain?

The outrage just comes across as random. I don’t think anyone necessarily hated Splash Mountain, but the sudden love for this ride feels like outrage culture because they’re replacing a ride based on a racist movie with a ride based on The Princess and the Frog, which features a Black princess. But all of the (mainly) white people (and mostly white women) complaining are just angry that something they’ve oddly based their entire personality on is changing.

If you are that upset that a ride with some animatronic animals is closing, maybe look at your relationship to rides. Personally, I think Disney should be changing their rides to be updated for their catalog! It’s a DISNEY park! So updating Splash Mountain is a good thing. You posting about it in a memorial videos? That’s weird.

(featured image: Screengrab)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.