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News Splash Mountain retheme to Princess and the Frog - Tiana's Bayou Adventure

James Alucobond

Well-Known Member
To each their own. But I literally cannot grasp why anyone enjoys such a short ride with massive empty rooms lined with wall-to-wall video screens. I have a VERY strong distaste for MMRR. Particularly when comparing it to what existed in that space before. The tech would be somewhat better suited to upgrades for smaller classic dark rides that already use static painted flats, scenery that probably wouldn't be ruined with a bit of added motion.
I feel like if you're going to go super screen/projection-heavy, you honestly should go all the way. I feel things should either be all/mostly practical, all/mostly screens, or practical foreground with a consistent depth at which things convert to screens. I find random interspersed screens worse than an attraction that's 100% screens, like the screen where Ariel gets her legs or the random shattering mirror in Snow White's Enchanted Adventure. As a side note, this doesn't always apply to projection mapping, which can sometimes be very well integrated with practical sets, like in the switch from the Evil Queen to the witch.
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
I feel like if you're going to go super screen/projection-heavy, you honestly should go all the way. I feel things should either be all/mostly practical, all/mostly screens, or practical foreground with a consistent depth at which things convert to screens. I find random interspersed screens worse than an attraction that's 100% screens, like the screen where Ariel gets her legs or the random shattering mirror in Snow White's Enchanted Adventure. As a side note, this doesn't always apply to projection mapping, which can sometimes be very well integrated with practical sets, like in the switch from the Evil Queen to the witch.
Up until the recent Enchanted Wish overhaul, the mapping tech previously added to Snow White was actually very tastefully done IMO. This was before they made any real changes to the way scenes were laid out though, just added some extra kinetic energy to surfaces that were otherwise flat and static to begin with. The transformation of the queen's chamber walls and the rain effect on the cliff both look great IMO.

Enchanted Wish has a couple of additional mapping effects that were quality as well. I like the extra effects added to the cauldron scene. And while I dislike that they dumbed down the dungeon by removing the skeletons, the bubbling potion vial doesn't look bad on its own merits. I don't much care for the alterations made to the corridor between the cottage and mine entrance though, it took a really dark moody area and made it way too bright, ruining the atmosphere.

The scene alterations following the dungeons are particularly poorly done, though i wouldn't say the mapping tech itself is inherently to blame (not entirely). They altered and compressed all of the scenes starting after the dungeon to make room for the new "happy ending", and the result is a complete cluster****. Removing the scary trees, the bizarre and awkward choice to shove a mirror in the short castle wall tunnel, relocating a shrunken down and less detailed version of the cliff finale (replacing the physical witch figure with a tiny animation loop at the top), and wasting WAY too much space on a sparsely populated "happy ending" that didn't even include the dwarfs...

The projection effects added to Alice and Peter Pan at Disneyland in the past decade or so are tastefully done IMO.
 
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BrerFoxesBayouAdventure

Well-Known Member
No, this will not be cancelled. What could happen, if anything, is a delay.

Then another delay.

Then in 4-6 years people will barely remember this was being done in the first place.

Not saying I think that will happen, but if they decide not to do this that is likely HOW it will happen so as to not upset the tens of people who actually want this.
At that point just cancel it, the only park this theme would reasonably fit in is Disneyland and it already feels tailor-made for it given how dreary and bayou-y the interior of that ride looks. I feel like had they taken this seriously Splash would've already been ready to reopen with its new coat of paint.
My opinion? The ride is gone no matter what. But the cringe changes like removing the music everywhere and pretending the ride doesn't exist? I don't think that would have been the case.
Them doing this is ridiculous, I think the idea that Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah being based off a racist minstrel song is a relatively new concept that didn't pop up until very recently. The racist song in question was written a good 100+ years prior to Doo-Dah (or anyone involved in its creative process) even existing, let alone being a thought. Besides, I honestly doubt the songwriters had malicious intent when coming up with the lyrics.
I don’t want to debate the appropriateness of the retheme—everything that can be said on the matter has already been said multiple times—but the quoted claim is categorically wrong. I have seen the film multiple times and can assure you that the ride is directly based on its animated sequences.
Separate the characters from the film all you want, but the three stories featured in the film (Dollar a Minute, Tar Baby, Laughin' Place) all have bits and pieces from them incorporated into the ride.

I really wish they prioritized making a fun and enjoyable experience over hitting every single diversity checkmark and focus grouping every decision because we're at the point where you need a massive, unneeded backstory to justify why Chickapin Hill is completely white and snow covered now. It's just frustrating and upsetting at this point.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
What if Splash became a mini New Orleans Square with Pecos Bill’s becoming Tiana’s Palace and Frontierland being routed over the bridge to Big Thunder?
View attachment 676279
New Orleans in red, Frontierland in blue. The buildings that currently surround the queue could have retail and a beignet stand.
What about connecting Thunder to Tom Sawyer Island and connecting that to Liberty Square, then renaming the entire stretch / circle to Riverfront Square
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
What about connecting Thunder to Tom Sawyer Island and connecting that to Liberty Square, then renaming the entire stretch / circle to Riverfront Square
Anything that involves docking/closing the Riverboat gets my stamp of disapproval. Which is why I hope the D23 blue sky "announcements" impacting those areas aren't approved in the forms they were shown in (and thankfully it would seem that they are far from it).

If they were to retheme parts of the area surrounding Splash with more of a New Orleans theme, i'd rather see Pecos Bills and that general area undergo the change. At least moreso than messing with TSI and the Riverboat.

In the meantime, there's a very large chunk of designated expansion land to the north of Big Thunder outside the railroad berm. If they're going to expand Frontierland, that's the area they should work towards, and it would actually ADD to the park's capacity. It would take a bit of engineering to create a method of access. Specifically, there would need to be a new guest walkway drawbridge parallel to the existing railroad bridge to cross the connecting canal. But it's worth it to avoid losing any more existing attractions. An even more ambitious and tricky idea would be to make this walkway go all the way around the edge of the river, hugging the western edge of Haunted Mansion to connect back to Liberty Square. But I digress.
 

Captain Neo

Well-Known Member
I don't know what other projects she was involved in, but Carter was apparently one of the heads of the Mickey ride. I'm not a fan of that ride at all, and i'd be very upset if that was any indication of how Tiana turns out.

But like I said, the last bit of info shared with me was that there's going to be a heavy emphasis on physical scenery and retaining the animatronics population. Not that i'm assuming there won't be SOME screens, but hopefully they're utilized in a restrained and tasteful manner, secondary to the AA's and physical props. The mapping effects added to the Fantasyland dark rides at Disneyland for example are generally nice IMO. In addition, the info also claimed that Tony Baxter was actually substantially involved in the overhaul. Not just some PR mouthpiece they paid to give his "blessing" to the changeover, like legitimately and meaningfully involved in its creation. Hopefully there's truth in all of this.

Baxter really isn’t involved. They are just talking him up to calm fans down.

If you want an indication of what to expect look no further than when Maelstrom was gutted to become a frozen “attraction” which really amounts of a few basic sets in a dark room like your in a mall or something. The 360 immersive theming won’t be there
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Baxter really isn’t involved. They are just talking him up to calm fans down.

I agree with this. In the last two years, I think Baxter has publicly acknowledged the redo once and only in passing. In all of the PR for the ride past the initial announcement he hasn't been interviewed or mentioned. Charita Carter is the one in charge here- and I believe it's the largest project she's overseen to date. Here's hoping she's up to the challenge.
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
Baxter really isn’t involved. They are just talking him up to calm fans down.

If you want an indication of what to expect look no further than when Maelstrom was gutted to become a frozen “attraction” which really amounts of a few basic sets in a dark room like your in a mall or something. The 360 immersive theming won’t be there
I don't know if you've been keeping up with this thread or my recent comments over the past month. I was fully in agreement with you up until late October.

You're free not to believe me, I hold the same negativity about everything Disney does these days. But I was given good reason to consider the possibility that this might be a rare exception to the rule. There was a bit of information about the nature of this project that was shared with me and some other people following D23. The source is not only very reliable in my experience, but is the exact opposite of a company shill and hated this overhaul as much if not moreso than anyone in this thread. For them to do a complete 180 on their opinion of this ride got my attention. And it has at least convinced me to wait for more info and see what they do.

The source claims that the project has completely changed and evolved since it was first announced. The initial budget being tossed about when it was first announced was an anemic 30-40 million, but has reportedly skyrocketed after the opposing negative reaction. Not absurd GOTG levels, but a very healthy amount for a retheme of an existing ride in the proper hands). Allegedly there were concerns that the IP switch alone won't be enough to carry the ride, they're aware that the existing ride is massively popular and are trying to win over skeptics. The America Sings AA's are reportedly staying, with a decent handful of new "state of the art" figures (I gather this to mean ones not using facial projection).

The source also previously assumed as you and I did that Tony Baxter was not actually involved and was only being used as a mouthpiece for PR purposes. But i'm now told this assessment wasn't accurate and that Baxter IS actually very heavily and substantially involved in the creative process. Along with some other older ex imagineers. If this is the case, then there's hope for the background scenery not suffering from the same fate as Frozen.

The overall gist was that aside from the salt mine backstory (which I hope is kept to a minimum once the actual ride gets going), the overhaul was "very promising" and had a very significant chance of being a "worthy replacement" for Splash Mountain. We shall see. But knowing this source's usual negative opinions and perceptions, i'm watching and waiting to see how things unfold in a more neutral manner than before. If the winds change and there are signs that these claims are false, i'll be right back on board the hate train with everyone else.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
The source claims that the project has completely changed and evolved since it was first announced. The initial budget being tossed about when it was first announced was an anemic 30-40 million, but has reportedly skyrocketed after the opposing negative reaction. Not absurd GOTG levels, but a very healthy amount for a retheme of an existing ride in the proper hands). Allegedly there were concerns that the IP switch alone won't be enough to carry the ride, they're aware that the existing ride is massively popular and are trying to win over skeptics. The America Sings AA's are reportedly staying, with a decent handful of new "state of the art" figures (I gather this to mean ones not using facial projection).

If this is correct, than it sounds like the project was announced without a clear vision beyond 'get Tiana into that mountain ASAP'.

The best projects usually have a vision- someone who's passionate about it and has a clear idea what they want, who then champions the project. It sounds like this is very much a committee project without focus.

That's how you get a soulless yet beautiful ride- not something iconic like Splash, Indiana Jones Adventure, Pirates.
 

JoeCamel

Well-Known Member
If this is correct, than it sounds like the project was announced without a clear vision beyond 'get Tiana into that mountain ASAP'.

The best projects usually have a vision- someone who's passionate about it and has a clear idea what they want, who then champions the project. It sounds like this is very much a committee project without focus.

That's how you get a soulless yet beautiful ride- not something iconic like Splash, Indiana Jones Adventure, Pirates.
A champion if you will
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
If this is correct, than it sounds like the project was announced without a clear vision beyond 'get Tiana into that mountain ASAP'.

The best projects usually have a vision- someone who's passionate about it and has a clear idea what they want, who then champions the project. It sounds like this is very much a committee project without focus.

That's how you get a soulless yet beautiful ride- not something iconic like Splash, Indiana Jones Adventure, Pirates.
I should also note that the source claims the new script and music (apparently there will be some original songs) are great too. And one of if not their favorite Disney songs ever is Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, with them still being upset it's being removed from everything. It may end up being the case that the "salt mine" elements will be subdued and largely just backstory (again hopefully largely limited to the queue).
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
I should also note that the source claims the new script and music (apparently there will be some original songs) are great too. And one of if not their favorite Disney songs ever is Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, with them still being upset it's being removed from everything. It may end up being the case that the "salt mine" elements will be subdued and largely just backstory (again hopefully largely limited to the queue).

The salt mine stuff is definitely a headscratcher, for a number of historical reasons not fit for a Disney forum. Especially with the 'Employee Owned Coop' angle WDI paraded out during D23. Like, why a salt mine at all? Just have the queue take place in the 'food storage' area and the actual ride in the bayous.

While I'm sure the soundtrack won't suck- it's been a very long time since Disney has done a ride soundtrack at the level of Splash Mountain. And Zip a Dee Doo Dah is top two Disney songs ever, second only to When You Wish Upon a Star.

For this redo to work it has to be better than Splash Mountain, with a soundtrack that tops an unbeatable song, and character designs that outdo the likes of Marc Davis. They can't put out something where fans go 'Okay it doesn't suck as much as we thought it's kind of okay I guess'. People have to come off it thinking it's the greatest ride Disney's ever done- or there will be long term damage to Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom's reputation among fans.
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
While I'm sure the soundtrack won't suck- it's been a very long time since Disney has done a ride soundtrack at the level of Splash Mountain. And Zip a Dee Doo Dah is top two Disney songs ever, second only to When You Wish Upon a Star.

For this redo to work it has to be better than Splash Mountain, with a soundtrack that tops an unbeatable song, and character designs that outdo the likes of Marc Davis. They can't put out something where fans go 'Okay it doesn't suck as much as we thought it's kind of okay I guess'. People have to come off it thinking it's the greatest ride Disney's ever done- or there will be long term damage to Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom's reputation among fans.
Zip a Dee Doo Dah basically used to be one of the two main themes for the company as you said, alongside Wish Upon a Star. It is indeed catchy and loved for a reason, a fantastic tune. It will be hard to beat. They also don't build rides like Splash anymore. It was really the last of its kind in the US parks, with Sinbad in Tokyo truly being THE last of its kind in any Disney park). Every other time they replace one of these types of rides, it's bad news. It is entirely rational to be concerned.

Disney's decision to turn this overhaul into a media sensation MIGHT have had a positive impact on the project. If we're fortunate and what was told to me is true. Initially, Disney apparently initially believed they could coast by on the IP alone and get by with a skimpy low effort ride (gutting it of expensive to maintain elements in the process). But there was reportedly way more backlash than they expected from the announcement. So if what I was told is true, there were at least a FEW lessons learned and they came to the realization that they had to also put effort in. Splash also isn't some lesser known experience with low lines. Despite the fact that it has great capacity and chews through people fast, it consistently commands insanely long lines (except in freezing conditions). It's enormously popular in EVERY park it exists. Whatever they replace it with is going to be heavily scrutinized under a microscope and compared with Splash Mountain. Rightfully so.

People probably know me well enough by now to realize that i'm anything but an optimistic person when it comes to Disney. I was 100% certain that this overhaul would be horrible until late last month. I'm not rooting for a bad product of course, but it's difficult to convince me to be positive when overhauls like these happen. I also don't take "cast or bus driver" caliber rumors (or Twitter randos) seriously. I still have a lingering skepticism that won't be satisfied either way until I see what they come up with, but I do trust the source and know they would never praise this project without damn good reason. So as a result, i'm in waiting mode until I see more of the ride. I expect we'll have a decent idea of how accurate the source is well before it even opens.

And pray they don't slash the budget or something. Granted i'd be happy if money caused them to cancel the project outright, but unfortunately that's too late. We're stuck in the "bargaining" stage of grief, so I hope the allotted money stays put. It's a volatile time for the company right now, with corporate panic and financial concerns. The ride hasn't even closed yet and they've been known to reduce budgets WHILE construction is going on before.

This is pure speculation on my part, but I would THINK the salt mine stuff isn't going to be very pronounced in the interior scenes. My guess is that it will largely be a queue/backstory thing. I expect a lot of the inside will take place in a bayou (especially if the America Sings AA's are still in there) and whatever sort of New Orleans Mardi Gras elements are present. I also noticed Mama Odie's colored hanging bottles inside the final lift hill in the D23 model.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
Anything that involves docking/closing the Riverboat gets my stamp of disapproval. Which is why I hope the D23 blue sky "announcements" impacting those areas aren't approved in the forms they were shown in (and thankfully it would seem that they are far from it).

If they were to retheme parts of the area surrounding Splash with more of a New Orleans theme, i'd rather see Pecos Bills and that general area undergo the change. At least moreso than messing with TSI and the Riverboat.

In the meantime, there's a very large chunk of designated expansion land to the north of Big Thunder outside the railroad berm. If they're going to expand Frontierland, that's the area they should work towards, and it would actually ADD to the park's capacity. It would take a bit of engineering to create a method of access. Specifically, there would need to be a new guest walkway drawbridge parallel to the existing railroad bridge to cross the connecting canal. But it's worth it to avoid losing any more existing attractions. An even more ambitious and tricky idea would be to make this walkway go all the way around the edge of the river, hugging the western edge of Haunted Mansion to connect back to Liberty Square. But I digress.
I don't have the sentimental attachment to the Riverboat, and while I'm not intending to dismiss your feelings towards it, that's not an attraction that should prohibit this type of expansion. I've suggested permanently docking the Riverboat and turning it into a music venue.

I would also be in favor of a Pecos Bill redo that gets me Cafe Orleans' menu at WDW.

If removing / modifying attractions is on the table at MK, there are several expansion options that open up massive areas of real estate. A bridge to Tom Sawyer Island is one of them, as is the removal of it's a small world / Pinocchio Village Haus or the removal of the Tomorrowland Speedway. Any one of those would be a massive expansion opportunity.
 

MerlinTheGoat

Well-Known Member
I don't have the sentimental attachment to the Riverboat, and while I'm not intending to dismiss your feelings towards it, that's not an attraction that should prohibit this type of expansion. I've suggested permanently docking the Riverboat and turning it into a music venue.

I would also be in favor of a Pecos Bill redo that gets me Cafe Orleans' menu at WDW.

If removing / modifying attractions is on the table at MK, there are several expansion options that open up massive areas of real estate. A bridge to Tom Sawyer Island is one of them, as is the removal of it's a small world / Pinocchio Village Haus or the removal of the Tomorrowland Speedway. Any one of those would be a massive expansion opportunity.
Given Disney's recent track record, i'm not inclined to give them any leeway with drastic changes to existing attractions anymore. Even your Small World suggestion. I gather you propose they move it to Epcot right? In a different era, I might agree. But if they ever closed Small World for real, it's far more likely we'd never see it again at WDW (or at least not anything like its original form).

TSI and the Riverboat are non-negotiable for me, regardless of which era of Disney was handling projects. They have AMPLE unused land to the north of Big Thunder, land that was once officially designated for expansion. They would again need to address the walkway situation and engineer a solution across the canal feeding into the RoA (would need to be a drawbridge so the Riverboat can get to the dry dock). But if they're going to expand that area of the park, that's what they should work towards. I'm completely against anything that would fundamentally alter the island/river and dock the riverboat.

Here would be a portion of my rough solution. Red being the general area of possible expansion and yellow being the walkway. Doesn't have to be exactly like this, I've seen similar ideas from more talented armchair imagineers such as idealbuildout, but that's the basic idea. And it would be far less destructive to the river or island.

mk path.png


I had even more extensive ideas across the northern bank outside the train berm that involved diverting the canal further north and filling out some of the space above Haunted Mansion and Small World (though I don't think there's official expansion plot above them and it's nearby the fireworks launch area). But i'll keep this diagram simple to start with. We're also getting way off topic, there's another section for armchair imagineering.
 

RSoxNo1

Well-Known Member
Given Disney's recent track record, i'm not inclined to give them any leeway with drastic changes to existing attractions anymore. Even your Small World suggestion. I gather you propose they move it to Epcot right? In a different era, I might agree. But if they ever closed Small World for real, it's far more likely we'd never see it again at WDW (or at least not anything like its original form).

TSI and the Riverboat are non-negotiable for me, regardless of which era of Disney was handling projects. They have AMPLE unused land to the north of Big Thunder, land that was once officially designated for expansion. They would again need to address the walkway situation and engineer a solution across the canal feeding into the RoA (would need to be a drawbridge so the Riverboat can get to the dry dock). But if they're going to expand that area of the park, that's what they should work towards. I'm completely against anything that would fundamentally alter the island/river and dock the riverboat.

Here would be a portion of my rough solution. Red being the general area of possible expansion and yellow being the walkway. Doesn't have to be exactly like this, I've seen similar ideas from more talented armchair imagineers such as idealbuildout, but that's the basic idea. And it would be far less destructive to the river or island.

View attachment 680793

I had even more extensive ideas across the northern bank outside the train berm that involved diverting the canal further north and filling out some of the space above Haunted Mansion and Small World (though I don't think there's official expansion plot above them and it's nearby the fireworks launch area). But i'll keep this diagram simple to start with. We're also getting way off topic, there's another section for armchair imagineering.
I think if you cut off the Northern portion of the island, and redirect the waterway a bit you could have even more land to work with and keep the Riverboat. That being said, if the sensitivity movement continues beyond Splash Mountain, they will eventually get to the source material of Tom Sawyer Island.
 

IMDREW

Well-Known Member
I don't know if you've been keeping up with this thread or my recent comments over the past month. I was fully in agreement with you up until late October.

You're free not to believe me, I hold the same negativity about everything Disney does these days. But I was given good reason to consider the possibility that this might be a rare exception to the rule. There was a bit of information about the nature of this project that was shared with me and some other people following D23. The source is not only very reliable in my experience, but is the exact opposite of a company shill and hated this overhaul as much if not moreso than anyone in this thread. For them to do a complete 180 on their opinion of this ride got my attention. And it has at least convinced me to wait for more info and see what they do.

The source claims that the project has completely changed and evolved since it was first announced. The initial budget being tossed about when it was first announced was an anemic 30-40 million, but has reportedly skyrocketed after the opposing negative reaction. Not absurd GOTG levels, but a very healthy amount for a retheme of an existing ride in the proper hands). Allegedly there were concerns that the IP switch alone won't be enough to carry the ride, they're aware that the existing ride is massively popular and are trying to win over skeptics. The America Sings AA's are reportedly staying, with a decent handful of new "state of the art" figures (I gather this to mean ones not using facial projection).

The source also previously assumed as you and I did that Tony Baxter was not actually involved and was only being used as a mouthpiece for PR purposes. But i'm now told this assessment wasn't accurate and that Baxter IS actually very heavily and substantially involved in the creative process. Along with some other older ex imagineers. If this is the case, then there's hope for the background scenery not suffering from the same fate as Frozen.

The overall gist was that aside from the salt mine backstory (which I hope is kept to a minimum once the actual ride gets going), the overhaul was "very promising" and had a very significant chance of being a "worthy replacement" for Splash Mountain. We shall see. But knowing this source's usual negative opinions and perceptions, i'm watching and waiting to see how things unfold in a more neutral manner than before. If the winds change and there are signs that these claims are false, i'll be right back on board the hate train with everyone else.
And the first thing after the budget expansion was to budget cut the exterior?
 

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