BAYHAM: The Last Ride On Splash Mountain

August 1993 was a special time. It marked the final occasion my family went on a vacation together when we went to Orlando.

We did all of the Disney parks and then hit Universal to close it out.  My brother was told he was allowed to buy one thing and he decided it make it count in his own special way: a Bates Motel desk clerk bell.

Needless to say that long drive from Orlando back to New Orleans left a ringing in our ears for days.

Another thing I associate with that trip was Splash Mountain.

Prior to this trip, I hadn’t been to Disney since I was five so this was the first time I had a chance to go on the park rides beyond the tame ones.

The newest attraction at that time was Splash Mountain featuring dozens of animatronics engaged in narrating and singing jaunty songs.  And then there was the big five-story slide through the mist captured on camera before the sploosh into what resembles a southern revival scene with critters associated with the south belting out Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, which had won an Academy Award in 1946 for Best Original Song and remains one of the greatest movie songs.

It was a technical marvel of an amusement park ride and even retained its popularity decades after newer attractions were installed at the other parks.

The ride is based off of the film Song of the South but is devoid of aspects and references that are in bad odor in today’s society.

Ironically it’s one of the few rides that provides a moral (Disneyland’s Pinocchio ride is another example) and features a protagonist who has to save himself rather than be rescued by a “magical” savior.

The ride starts with Br’er Rabbit running away from home and after evading various snares that backfire on his pursuers, Br’er Fox and the slow-witted Br’er Bear, is eventually captured while mocking his adversaries though escapes by tricking them into throwing him into the briar patch and is welcomed home like a prodigal son.

There’s nothing offensive whatsoever on the ride itself and was it widely popular with all park visitors (including those who are supposed to be offended) because they saw it for what it was, an enjoyable fun attraction that provided some welcome relief on a hot Florida day.

You’d literally have to spend time researching your way into a state of being “offended” by Splash Mountain, yet there are those amongst us that find that time.

Leave it to the progressives to get in the way of people trying to have fun by making a theme park ride a source of social injustice..

Nevertheless the Left has declared Splash Mountain guilty of “tangentialist sin” because of its source material, which isn’t accessible via its own producers as Disney has steadfastly refused to make Song of the South available through any medium.


The now shuttered ride at Magic Kingdom will be reimagineered as The Princess and the Frog attraction, a Disneyfied New Orleans-flavored version of The Grimm Brothers’ The Frog Prince fairy tale.

The main character Tiana is partly inspired by the universally esteemed New Orleans culinary icon Leah Chase- who is wholly deserving of adulation and whose legacy towers far greater than her slight figure.

Hopefully they won’t “Disney gumbo” the recreated ride. And while anything that promotes Louisiana culture is very welcome, you’d think the folks at The Mouse could’ve simply used some of their jacked up pricing to build a new attraction (there will be much snarking about a New Orleans-themed “mountain ride”) rather than bowdlerize an existing one.

Disney has been politically correcting its attractions over the past few decades from declaring humanity the wicked queen of the natural world at Animal Kingdom (the Kali River Rapids- I mean if not for logging, how will we have those en vogue paper straws?) to bringing Title IX to the Pirates of Caribbean with female pirates running crews who are now more interested in chickens than wenches.

The new Jungle Cruise has had a major change in character demographics as apparently the African savanna is now teeming with British while Trader Sam is out to permanent lunch.

As the clock ticked down on the last hours of the Laughing Place, Disney aficionados flooded Splash Mountain for one last ride.

According to posts on Twitter the line meandered around part of the park with a wait time of three hours or more. Leftist social media trolls, who possess as much joy as the sneering buzzards near the apex of the ride, called them racists and bigots for their vigil as the forces of political correctness perform their late night knock on the door of the Briar Patch and come for Br’er Rabbit.

But that’s where we are as a society, where even a knapsack toting animatronic bunny has become a targeted as a symbol of systemic racism and a flume ride equated with Birth of a Nation.



Interested in more news from Louisiana? We've got you covered! See More Louisiana News
Previous Article
Next Article

Trending on The Hayride