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Splash Mountain log flume at Disney World sinks

Guests on Walt Disney World’s Splash Mountain were reprimanded by a park employee for getting out of a sinking boat because it was a ‘safety hazard.’

The incident took placed Sunday evening when five amusement park visitors boarded the ride in Orlando, Florida.  

Footage shared by Skyelar Ingrsoll on Twitter shows a single boat completely submerged in water. 

‘So we got out of our boat because it was sinking while we were stuck there,’ Ingrsoll wrote on Twitter.

‘And the Disney world employee decided to tell us that we should’ve stayed in the boat but it went under as soon as we all stepped out… nice.’ 

A park employee is heard telling Ingrsoll and the group that they should remain inside the sunken ride. 

‘Do you see the boat?’ the guests exclaim in disbelief.  

‘I understand that but this is a safety hazard,’ the employee responds.

A Disney spokesperson confirmed with that one of the boats took on water and that all five guests got off safely. The ride has been reopened and continued operations on Monday. 

Ingrsoll told Click Orlando said she and four friends were on the ride when water began to fill the boat. 

The ride reportedly stopped a few times after the final drop on Splash Mountain and water continued to flow in. 

Announcements on the intercom instructed passengers to stay seated until a park employee could help them, but Ingrsoll said water was already up to their knees and shoulders. 

The five friends managed to slip out of the safety restraints and stood on a walkway next to the ride.

Ingrsoll said the Disney employee ‘kind of yelled at us a little bit,’ explaining that the group needed to stay seated because it was a safety hazard.

‘As soon as we got it out it pretty much completely submerged under water,’ she told Click Orlando. ‘We’re not going to sit in that. ‘

After the incident, Disney gave the group fast passes and tickets to Animal Kingdom.

Ingrsoll, who added that they were soaked up to their waists, said they were also given $150 gift cards. 

The video Ingrsoll shared to Twitter has amassed more than 174,000 views and a few of her friends also commented on the experience.

One person posted a four-second clip of the sunken ride in response to Ingrsoll’s original tweet.

‘Not to mention homegirl sat there and yelled at us basically for jumping out of a sinking boat,’ the person wrote. 

‘Like what were we supposed to do, sit there [and] be like “we good.”‘

One woman named Karen Ramirez shared a before and after photo of the ride. 

The first photo shows her and her boyfriend still dry inside when it began. The second photo showed their boat underwater.

Other social media users used the opportunity to crack jokes. 

One user shared a meme of a person making the thumbs-up signal while submerged in water. 

A different user shared a photo of the submerged boat and their soaked feet with the caption,’Magic Kingdom Swim Team 2020.’

One person decided to up the ante and ask Disney lovers what was worse: a sunken log on Splash Mountain or a sunken boat on Jungle Cruise. 

‘Choose your fighter: Sunken Jungle Cruise Boat or Sunken Splash Mountain Log,’ they wrote. 

Disney World’s four theme parks were reopened in Florida last month, despite COVID-19 spikes in the state.   

As of Monday afternoon, the Florida’s coronavirus dashboard reported 491,884 positive cases in Florida and 7,157 deaths. 

The vast majority of cases are state residents, but non-Floridians make up 5,500 of those infections. 

By Marlene Lenthang  and Ralph Ortega

Disney has announced it will ditch Splash Mountain’s ‘racist’ theme based off the controversial 1946 film Song of the South, and will reimagine the attraction based on Princess and the Frog, which featured the studio’s first black princess. 

Splash Mountain came under harsh criticism for being based off the film which includes racist portrayals, and a petition racked up over 21,000 signatures urging Disney to change the theme of the fan-favorite log-flume ride at their parks.  

Song of the South has been slammed for its problematic portrayal of the post-Civil War South, racist stereotypes and glossing over slavery. 

While the movie isn’t mentioned on the ride, its characters Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox are featured along with the movie’s famed song, ‘Zip-a-dee-doo-dah’. 

‘We’re thrilled to share Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Walt Disney World will be completely reimagined with a new story inspired by an all-time favorite Disney Animation film, “The Princess & The Frog”,’ the company announced Thursday. 

‘It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized!’ said actress Anika Noni Rose, who played Tiana in the 2009 film. 

With the new theme, guests will follow Tiana and her alligator friend Louis on a musical adventure through the backdrops of New Orleans, the Louisiana Bayou and Mardi Gras.

‘I think this is great news, or as Louis would say – HALLELUJAH!!’ said Michael-Leon Wooley, the actor who was the voice of Louis.

Disney says they’ve been working on the change since last year and the Princess and the Frog theme will be adopted at Splash Mountain Disneyland in California and Disney World in Florida.

Disney World will reopen its doors on July 11 after shuttering in mid-March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Disneyland in California was previously scheduled to reopen on July 17 but the company said Wednesday that date will be postponed due to a delay in the state’s reopening protocols.

According to Disney, no work has taken place on Splash Mountain at either park during their closures, so visitors will see the original theme and characters when the parks reopen.

A date has not been set for the debut of the Splash Mountain ride makeovers. 

‘Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou,’ Disneyland Resort Public Relations Director Michael Ramirez wrote. 

‘In 1966, Walt himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first new “land” added to Disneyland park, so it feels natural to link the story and the incredible music of ‘The Princess and the Frog’ to our parks,’ Ramirez added. 

The Splash Mountain makeover will be led by Imagineering senior creative producer Charita Carter, who is also working on the new Mickey and Minnie Runaway Railway dark ride set to debut at Disneyland in 2022.

‘Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures. I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun-filled experience to our guests,’ Carter said. 

The Song of the South theme was set up by Imagineer Tony Baxter for Disneyland in 1989, according to Disney’s D23 fan club. 

Now, three decades later, Baxter will serve as a creative adviser for planning and designing the Princess and the Frog makeover.    

‘The attraction will be one to be proud of. I look forward to being a part of a new adventure in Disney magic and fun,’ Baxter said. 

Song of the South has never been available on home video in the US and it is not available on the studio’s streaming site Disney Plus. 

The Frog and the Princess tells the story of Tiana, a young black waitress in New Orleans in 1926 who kisses a frog, who is really a prince who had fallen victim to a voodoo spell, in hopes of making her dream of opening a restaurant come true. 

Instead Tiana is changed into a frog herself and has to find a way of becoming human again. 

By comparison, Song of the South, is based on Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus stories, and takes place during the Reconstruction Era that followed the civil war. 

The film stars James Baskett as Uncle Remus and won an Oscar for best original song in 1948. 

‘There are plenty of examples of pernicious racism in Song of the South’, wrote Scott Tobias in a 2019 story in The Guardian’s about the film’s legacy and how it was never released on video in the US after becoming so controversial. 

‘The minstrelsy of the animated characters, particularly Br’er Fox; the slang in the dialogue; a wandering chorus singing traditional black songs; and, most notoriously of all, a fable where Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear use a tar baby to fool and ensnare Br’er Rabbit,’ the writer explains. 

‘That part didn’t make Splash Mountain,’ he adds. 

Br’er Rabbit, according to the Encyclopedia Britannica, also is based on a folklore character known to slaves brought from Africa to the US.  

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