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Disney Slammed as Long-Awaited New Ride Is Unveiled: "One of the Greatest Blunders"

“Shame on you, Disney!” cried one parkgoer.

It's not every day that we get a new Disney ride, let alone a look into the inner workings of the theme park's Imagineers team. The top-secret division is responsible for creating immersive experiences rooted in storytelling, art, science, and, of course, pioneering technology. For this reason, Imagineers are very tight-lipped about their upcoming projects. So, Disney fans were shocked when the company unveiled its newest ride earlier than expected—and even more taken aback by the landslide of hateful remarks at what's supposed to be the most highly anticipated attraction of the year.

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Tiana's Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney's World Magic Kingdom won't be open to parkgoers until later this month, but the Disney Parks social media team decided to give fans a virtual sneak peek. On June 1, the company's YouTube channel dropped a video titled "FULL Ride POV: Tiana's Bayou Adventure | Walt Disney World."

As fans might have guessed, the long-awaited attraction is inspired by the 2009 film The Princess and the Frog. Unlike the animated flick, the ride doesn't involve talking, kissing frogs or the evil witch Doctor Facilier. Instead, passengers are taken on a ride through the bayou to help Tiana find the perfect Mardi Gras music for her backyard garden party.

The evolution of Tiana's Bayou Adventure has been a developing story since 2020. Some fans may recall that it was created to replace the controversial Splash Mountain log ride at both Disneyland in Anaheim, California, and Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

 

In May 2023, Deadline reported that Splash Mountain would be closed indefinitely following criticism for "racist and stereotyping related to its roots in the 1946 Disney film Song of the South." The movie has been under scrutiny for "its racist depictions of Black people and for romanticizing the era [Civil War]," explained Forbes.

People have been voicing their disdain towards Splash Mountain for years, but tensions rose amid the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protests. During a 2020 shareholders meeting, Disney's chief executive Bob Iger said that "Song of the South, even with a disclaimer, was just not appropriate in today's world."

Shortly thereafter, it was revealed that Splash Mountain would be reimagined as Tiana's Bayou Adventure, a nod to Disney's first movie featuring a Black princess. But now that the ride is almost here, fans still aren't excited to get in line, though for some different reasons.

"A multimillion-dollar Disney ride that looks…..boring? I never thought I would see it," one person wrote in the YouTube comments.

"This ride represents everything wrong with modern Disney," another remarked.

Meanwhile, others are calling out Disney for straying from the movie's original plot. "There wasn't a single imagineer that said hey, maybe we just base this on the actual movie?" asked one user.

"Disney spent so much on the animatronics they forgot to spend money on developing a good story," wrote a third.

"This video is so boring, I can't even imagine why they thought it would be a good idea. And the animatronics with the awkward arm motions…This retheme is going to go down as one of the greatest theme park blunders," one said.

"Whelp, about the only good thing about this ride is going to be short lines," wrote one reviewer. "There is a zero re-rideability factor because there is no story line to promote emotional connection or anything visually stunning."

They added: "Shame on you, Disney!"

Emily Weaver
Emily is a NYC-based freelance entertainment and lifestyle writer — though, she’ll never pass up the opportunity to talk about women’s health and sports (she thrives during the Olympics). Read more
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