I have been on the popular Disney ride called Splash Mountain before, but there’s a troubling aspect to this particular ride. It is themed for Song of the South, which has been dinged with racist stereotypes, and a lot of black people could tell you they really weren’t “happy” as slaves, so why Disney even made that stupid movie I won’t understand. I’ve read the Brer Rabbit stories, took them seriously, and studied some African American folklore, but I don’t think Splash Mountain should be themed with Song of the South. Here’s a proposal, I hope the Disney folks are reading this, that might put a black woman in the lead and allow Disney to best recycle the animal creatures from the old theme.
For the new theme, let’s try the Princess and the Frog, and you would be able to meet all the creatures you thought you knew from Song of the South, but they’d be repurposed and reused for this new theme. In the old theme, you had a bayou or swamplike setting with animals in it, for sure, but in the new theme, all you’d really have to do is add a couple of new creatures doing new things. For example, Louis, the alligator in the Princess and the Frog, wants to play trumpet with the big boys, so take the gator in the old theme and repackage that bad boy so he’s playing a trumpet and you see him on a riverboat with a band of other creatures, and you’d hear different theme songs from the Princess and the Frog instead of Zippity Doo Dah, which is from the old theme. I think Disney should seriously do this, and add a little bit for Princess Tiana at the end of the ride so that guests get a glimpse of the black princess somewhere in the end. And, oh, if you repackaged at least one restaurant, it should be appropriately named Tiana’s Place, so we can bring Tiana’s dream to life. With the new ride theme, it would be pretty interesting to see what Disney might do with it. You could use the voodoo or “hoodoo” as it is called … the doctor would be the villain as usual, and he’d cause the guests to drop, much like the Brer Fox character tries to throw Brer Rabbit into the Briar Patch, and we drop into it in the old ride theme. But in the new ride theme, I think Disney has something serious to work with. I think I’d like to hope and pray they actually retheme Splash Mountain, but I think we’re going to go serious with this one. Racism has no place in Disney history or in its theme parks, and I’d be a lot more comfortable sending my children on a ride that reflects a bit of female black empowerment, and doesn’t contain outdated cultural stereotypes. Yes, I’d read the Brer Rabbit stories, but who needs the damn movie anyway? I’d still encourage everybody to check out Mules and Men, a collection of African American stories and folktales compiled by Zora Neale Hurston. There’s also some stuff in there about voodoo, or what she calls, or they would call, hoodoo. African drumming is also a big part of voodoo sacred ceremony, and I’m thinking I could totally get into that myself.
If anyone thinks that Splash Mountain might need a fresh coat of paint, it might be me. I hope everybody else feels the same, and if you have any ideas about this, please comment on Facebook or Twitter. Comments here have been disabled because of frequently dirty trolls. Thanks.