I am a big Mickey Views fan. His most recent video had a small, but significant, bit of inside info. Apparently Iger went to do a walk-through “ride” on TBA to experience what it is going to be like, and he was quoted as saying it was “boring”.
Anyhow, assuming it is true, I am simultaneously not surprised…but hopeful that it means some re-work will be done to enhance the experience before it opens. It also makes me wonder what things Iger might change about what has already been greenlit and what will be soon. Perhaps it is a sign he recognizes the recent status quo is not going to be good enough.
I’m going to take this with a Tabasco bottle of salt because for one thing, a walk through does not build tension like a ride through in an attraction like this. And also because who knows what was lost in translation from the original source to this vlogger.
That said, I think if he wasn’t willing to fix it, he probably wouldn’t have admitted it was boring. I think there is still time to enhance the show. That’s why they do these walk throughs. Iger knows how much is riding (pun intended) on the success of this retheme.
It was my favorite ride but to her it was practically a generational heirloom!
I am at peace with it becoming Tiana’s but I kind of wish they used the existing music, which is familiar and would pack a nice punch. Even if the songs are amazing, it will take a while for them to build an emotional bond with riders.
I find it hard not to remain skeptical in converting Splash Mountain into TBA. Every step of the way, I find the details that have been gradually revealed causing me to be LESS interested, not more.
You start with using Tiana. I know others don’t agree, but I found The Princess and the Frog to not be a very good story to begin with. Mildly entertaining at best. So making Tiana the star of the reinvention felt very forced…a “woke” decision, clearly, but not a very wise one when it comes to actually effectively re-doing Splash. And even Disney seems to have agreed, because rather than focus on the originating story for Tiana, they had to manufacture a new story which hardly sounds compelling. In fact, when I first heard it, I thought it was a joke!
Then, at D23 and other sources, we find out that the reimagining will be a significant REDUCTION in animatronics, and relying heavily on lighting effects (which is code for…budget cut down to practically nothing). Last reports suggest we are going from around 70 animatronics…to 17 total.
Now to hear Iger calling it boring adds to this concern.
What can be done? Hopefully something. Hopefully Iger throws a pile a money at getting this attraction up to snuff. Tiana deserves more than to be a budget-cut seeming afterthought!
What could they do with a limited budget? Perhaps, in the very least, add some level of interactivity to this. If we are searching for ingredients, then fill the ride with hidden-Mickey-esque moments that makes us engaged. Maybe provide motion detecting technology a la Moana that allows us to interact with the scenes in some way. I don’t know. But something!
I really like Tiana as a character. She is hardworking, goal oriented, loves to cook, and made spoiled Naveen a better human for knowing her. I don’t mind that she is getting a dedicated space (and one that suits her more than a gowned princess meet and greet) and I’m about as anti-woke on the spectrum as you can get as far as my personal opinions in general. I can see why people make that argument about “why this / why now” given other recent moves to erase or edit other older rides that haven’t aged as well (like JC), but kinda makes me feel bad for Tiana even though she isn’t real because she is objectively awesome (and the brer creatures are nightmare fuel IMHO).
That said, I’m not sure that I’m sold on the plan for the ride from a storytelling perspective. The salt mine concept doesn’t exist in the movie nor are any of the other characters that appear to be included now in the restaurant salt mine thing present. I get that Disney likes to create backstories but I feel like it’s too much to learn in the span of a ride even for fans of her and the movie. Seems like it will require lots of voiceover explanation (which is such a cop out for plot development) or expect the audience to study beforehand who these people are, what is their quest, and why do I care. What “missing ingredient” are we searching for that is that interesting? (If the “missing ingredient” is “love” or something like that, I will hurl.) Why is the chute of the salt mine above ground? Why make a restaurant at the site of a salt mine anyway rather than the cute New Orleans place she had at the end of the movie? Also most importantly, will there be actual food at Tianas foods???
So many other options for this that I wish would have happened instead. An escape from Dr. Facilier would be creepy but cool. (He is seriously underrated from a villain perspective.) Or a race to get Louis and the band from the swamp to Mardi Gras would be thrilling. Or even as someone else (maybe @drvillarejos?) said, just a riverboat cruise through the bayou.
I also have to agree that people really like Tiana as a character. Even with movie being, meh, she is still great.
And she represents a dynamic, colorful city. As I just mentioned, if they capture the spirit of New Orleans, the ride should not be boring.
I have to push back on the idea that this was a “woke” decision. First, I am not even sure (still) what that means. But secondly, representation matters. Having diverse characters across the parks impacts people’s enjoyment of those parks and opens them to the broadest audience possible.
And maybe this is a “woke” idea, but I personally love that we are in a place in time, where we can replace a ride, that is a apocryphal story about either 1) a runaway slave learning his leason or 2) a black person trying to find a better life and learning the leason that they should be happy where they are, with a story about an awesome black woman, celebreting a dynamic, multicultural city.
The idea of wokeness really is about the intent behind things like diversity. Diversity is great. But when you do something purely in the name of diversity, rather diversity raising more naturally (I suppose), it crosses into wokeness.
Having Tiana is great. But the decision, first, to eliminate Splash was undeniably a woke decision. Disney effectively said so themselves. Placing Tiana there instead became a kind of unnatural way to shove her into the parks simply because of the perception that some had of Splash, rather than because it makes sense for the attraction itself, definitely makes it a woke decision.
Whether you see that as an issue or a positive wasn’t really my point. The fact that it was a woke decision is pretty much a given. But where I have issues with it is that as a result, the attraction suffered for it…and, frankly, so did Tiana. Rather than giving Tiana a ride she deserves, she was shoe-horned in. It would have been far better to give her something that better suits her character and the story they told of her. The issue for me isn’t the wokeness itself, but that because of wokeness we end up with something weaker than it should have been.
Iger effectively admitted this is the case even with their recent entertainment options in an interview.
Anyhow…I am stilling holding out hope they will get it together in the end.