Splash Mountain Will Close Forever in January 2023
The day that many Disney fans have dreaded is finally approaching. Disney just confirmed the closing date for Splash Mountain. Here’s how long you have until Disney’s most famous wet ride reboots into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Splash Mountain Will Close Forever at Magic Kingdom on January 22nd, 2023
The header tells the story here. Thankfully, many Disney Vacation Club members spend the holidays at Walt Disney World. So, you’ll have a few more opportunities to experience the attraction.
If you don’t have reservations for a December/January visit, you still have a shot to ride Splash Mountain before it closes forever. DVC Rental Store lists several confirmed reservations available for that timeframe. Otherwise, you must make your peace with the fact that you’ve ridden Splash Mountain for the last time.
But Disneyland’s Splash Mountain Isn’t Closing Yet
Since Splash Mountain usually closes for refurbishments in January, guests won’t feel the impact until later in the year. However, you’ll maintain a different option for a while longer.
Disney’s press release specifically stated that Disneyland’s version of Splash Mountain isn’t closing on that date. The news applies solely to Magic Kingdom’s iteration.
Disney states the following: “Additional information about Splash Mountain at Disneyland Resort will be shared at a later date.” I take that to mean Disney doesn’t want to close Splash Mountain at the same time it’s opening Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which debuts on January 27th, 2022.
There are several layers of complexity to this issue, though. Disneyland’s centennial celebration starts on January 27th as well. So, park officials may prefer to keep Splash Mountain open longer due to that event.
Technically, Mickey’s Toontown doesn’t open until March 8th. If you’re planning an early vacation, my guess is that Splash Mountain likely closes at Disneyland around that date.
While we’re discussing technicalities, The Walt Disney Company doesn’t officially turn 100 until October 16th, 2023. I don’t think Disneyland will keep Splash Mountain in operation that long, but you never know.
Another factor is ride length. The Disneyland version of Splash Mountain is substantially more condensed than the Magic Kingdom one. For this reason, it won’t require as much time to convert.
Disney officials continue to walk that fine line as Splash Mountain connects to a film that’s a violation of the company’s Fifth Key, Inclusion. However, guests have loved Splash Mountain since it opened at Disneyland in 1989 followed by Magic Kingdom in 1992. So, closing the current versions of Splash Mountain will create an inevitable wave of conflicting emotions for Disney fans.
Disney Provides New Details for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
As a reminder, Splash Mountain will only close in a technical sense. Disney will repurpose the building for a similar attraction, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. This story will connect to the climactic events of The Princess and the Frog.
At the end of that movie, Tiana attained her happily ever after when Madame Odie married her to Naveen, turning her into a Disney Princess. That broke a spell and returned Naveen and Tiana to human form.
Now, Tiana has grown into a pillar of the New Orleans community and its foremost chef. She wants to throw a celebratory party for her friends. Alas, she’s missing the secret ingredient for the dish she will serve.
Tiana will head back to the bayou to claim the needed ingredient. So, the former Laughing Place will become a more mystical version of the Louisiana bayou. It’s a salt mine dome that the Disney Princess has purchased and turned into Tiana’s Foods.
Disney has confirmed that the story will take place in 1927, one year after the movie’s conclusion. The characters will wear outfits that are era-appropriate.
Similarly, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will use a swinging zydeco music soundtrack. Disney explains the musical choice this way:
“Like so many musical genres, zydeco brings together the sounds and styles of many cultures. We wanted that spirit reflected in this scene (and throughout the attraction) so that all our guests feel welcome to join in the celebration. It’s emblematic of what we’re always striving for with our attractions – bringing people of different backgrounds together through timeless Disney stories.”
Disney fans can safely expect a new attraction that looks, feels, and sounds like New Orleans of a century ago. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the attraction won’t return until 2024.