NATIONWIDE – Amid worldwide anti-racism protests and discussions, a Disney attraction is again drawing scrutiny and debate.

What You Need To Know

  • Disney fans call for Splash Mountain to be rethemed

  • Online petition had 17,000 signatures as of Friday

  • Ride features characters from "Song of the South"

  • Animated film criticized for its racial stereotypes

​​Some Disney fans are urging the company to change the theme of Splash Mountain, citing the attraction’s connection the controversial film Song of the South.

The 1946 film has long been criticized for its use of racial stereotypes and depictions of Southern plantation life. Disney has tried to distance itself from the film, even leaving it off its new streaming service Disney+.  

The popular log-flume ride, which can be found at the Magic Kingdom at Disney World, at Disneyland in California, and at Tokyo Disneyland, features some of the film’s animated characters like Brer Rabbit, as well as some songs like “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

Now, an online petition calling for the ride to get a new theme has gained traction on social media.  

“Disney parks should be a home for all to enjoy regardless of race, age, whatever your background may be,” the creator of the petition wrote. “While the ride is considered a beloved classic it’s (sic) history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes from the 1946 film Song of the South.”

The petition then offers up an alternate theme for the attraction: The Princess and the Frog. The 2009 animated film features Disney’s first black princess, Tiana.

“There is a huge need for diversity in the parks and this could help fill that need,” the petition read. “Princess and the Frog is a beloved princess movie but has very little representation in the parks.”

As of Friday, the petition had garnered over 17,000 signatures so far.

The Princess and the Frog isn’t the only alternate theme fans have offered. Some have suggested Splash Mountain's theme be changed to Moana or Pocahontas.

Disney has modified or updated its rides in the past to make them more "modern." Most recently, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride was changed to remove the bride auction scenes. The “red-head” character at the center of the auction was changed from a wench into a pirate named Redd.

The calls for changes to Splash Mountain come as other elements of pop culture face scrutiny, including the 1939 film Gone with the Wind. HBO Max pulled the film from its streaming platform with plans to add it back with “historical context.”

Attractions Insider is your all-in-one source for everything you need to know about Florida's theme parks. Get news, deals, helpful tips and more in our Attractions Insider special section!

  • Download the Spectrum News app and turn on notifications to receive a weekly Attractions Briefing every Friday.