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Jenifer Lewis to Bring Mama Odie to Life in Disney’s Revamped Splash Mountain Ride

Disney’s Splash Mountain ride is a beloved classic for many theme park enthusiasts, but in recent years, it has come under scrutiny for its ties to the controversial film “Song of the South.” The company has been working on a refurbishment of the attraction, and now, it seems they are enlisting some star power to help bring it to life.

Jenifer Lewis, the iconic singer and actress, will be reprising her role as Mama Odie in the revamped Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ride, which will replace Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The ride is set to open in 2024, and Disney has just released a rendering of Mama Odie’s appearance in the new attraction.

In the image, Mama Odie can be seen joking with guests as they make their way through the ride. The Bayou Fairy Godmother, who is said to be 200 years old and accompanied by her “seeing eye snake” Juju, will be a comically eccentric but wise guide throughout the adventure.

Lewis is no stranger to the world of Disney. She previously voiced Mama Odie in the 2009 animated film “The Princess and the Frog,” which told the story of Tiana, a young woman who dreams of owning her own restaurant in 1920s New Orleans. The film was a groundbreaking moment for Disney, as it marked the studio’s first Black princess.

The decision to retheme Splash Mountain to “The Princess and the Frog” has been met with enthusiasm from fans who have long criticized the ride’s ties to “Song of the South,” a film that has been accused of perpetuating racist stereotypes. The revamped ride will follow Tiana and her friends as they explore the bayou and encounter characters from the movie, including Mama Odie, Dr. Facilier, and Louis the alligator.

Lewis’ involvement in the project is sure to add an extra level of excitement for fans of the film and the actress alike. Known for her dynamic personality and powerful voice, Lewis is a perfect fit for the role of Mama Odie. Her presence in the ride is sure to make it even more memorable for visitors.

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Lewis Reprise

Lewis isn’t the only star returning to the upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ride at Disneyland and Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. The ride, which is set to replace the controversial Splash Mountain ride, will feature a host of familiar characters from the 2009 animated feature “The Princess and the Frog.”

Bruno Campos will return as Prince Naveen, Michael Leon Wooley as Louis the alligator, and Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana. Other characters making the jump from screen to park include Eudora, Charlotte, Big Daddy, the King and Queen of Maldonia, and Prince Ralphie.

The ride’s storyline picks up after the events of the film, following Tiana and her friends as they embark on a new adventure through the bayou. The ride’s soundtrack will feature both new and familiar tunes, immersing visitors in the world of the movie.

In addition to the characters, the ride will also incorporate sensory elements to enhance the experience. The queue will feature the smells of New Orleans, including the irresistible aroma of fresh-made beignets, which Louis is known to love.

Disney’s decision to retheme Splash Mountain to “The Princess and the Frog” comes after years of criticism over the ride’s ties to the controversial film “Song of the South,” which has been accused of perpetuating racist caricatures. By replacing the ride with a new attraction that celebrates a beloved film with a diverse cast of characters, Disney is taking a step forward in promoting inclusivity and representation in its theme parks.

January Closure

Disney World’s version of Splash Mountain closed in January to make way for the new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ride. On its final day of operation, the ride reportedly saw lines climb above the four-hour mark as fans flocked to experience the classic flume ride one last time. The Disneyland iteration is set to close on May 31 to make way for the new attraction.

The decision to retheme Splash Mountain comes after years of controversy surrounding its ties to the controversial film “Song of the South,” which has been accused of perpetuating racist caricatures. By replacing the ride with a new attraction that celebrates a diverse cast of characters from “The Princess and the Frog,” Disney is taking a step forward in promoting inclusivity and representation in its theme parks.

While the closures of Splash Mountain have been met with some disappointment from fans, many are eagerly anticipating the new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ride. With its engaging storyline, catchy music, and immersive sensory elements, the new attraction promises to be a hit with visitors when it opens in 2024.

It’s worth noting that one remaining version of Splash Mountain is still in operation at Tokyo Disneyland, featuring the Song of the South theme. It’s currently unclear whether that version will also receive the Princess and the Frog update, as Disney has not made any official announcement on the matter.

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Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain has been a beloved attraction at Disney parks around the world for over 30 years. The log flume ride is a classic example of Disney’s ability to immerse visitors in a magical world, combining thrilling drops and splashes with charming animatronics and catchy music.

The ride first opened at Disneyland in California in 1989, before making its way to Disney World in Florida, Tokyo Disneyland, and Disneyland Paris. The attraction takes visitors on a journey through a colorful world populated by singing critters, culminating in a thrilling 50-foot drop that sends riders hurtling towards a splashdown finale.

Despite its enduring popularity, Splash Mountain has been the subject of controversy in recent years. The ride is based on the 1946 film “Song of the South,” which has been widely criticized for perpetuating racist caricatures and stereotypes. Some have argued that the ride’s association with the film is inappropriate, and have called for it to be rethemed.

Disney has responded to this criticism by announcing that Splash Mountain will be rethemed to feature characters and elements from the 2009 animated film “The Princess and the Frog.” The new attraction, known as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, will celebrate a diverse cast of characters and promote inclusivity and representation in Disney’s theme parks.

 

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