Pour one out for the Adult Disney in your life, they are going through it today. Well, certain AD types are, the better ones are probably appropriately relieved. According to CNN, Disneyland was set to reopen on July 17th but were forced to delay due to the recent spike in coronavirus cases across the state of California. Additionally, Disney Parks announced today that they will be stepping over Aunt Jemima’s vanquished corpse and “reimagining” the Splash Mountain attraction which is based on the 2 hot 4 Disney+ title Song of The South. They will be changing the ride’s theme to The Princess and the Frog, which features Disney’s first ever amphibian princess. Also the first Black one. This news was met with an angry chorus of Zip-a-Dee-Doo-DON’T YOU DARE.
As for Disneyland, don’t get it twisted. Disney isn’t delaying their reopening for the health and safety of their guests or staff, they’re doing it because the mean old government told them they had to. CNN reports:
The resort, located in Anaheim, California, was set to welcome back guests on July 17 after being closed for months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Disney (DIS) did not give a new reopening date for the Disneyland resort.
The company said that the State of California had indicated it would not issue theme park reopening guidelines “until sometime after July 4,” according to a statement. “Given the time required for us to bring thousands of cast members back to work and restart our business, we have no choice but to delay the reopening of our theme parks and resort hotels until we receive approval from government officials.”
Those “thousands of cast members,” both at Disneyland resort in California and at Disney World in Florida, have literally been begging Disney not to make them go back to work until coronavirus infection numbers start to decrease. According to LAist:
Unions that represent some 17,000 Disneyland employees have written to Gov. Gavin Newsom expressing their concerns, saying the state should not give Disney approval to reopen its Anaheim parks, hotels and outdoor mall.
More than 2,000 miles to the east, a petition launched by Disney World workers sent to the mayors of Orlando and Orange County, Fla., echoed the concerns from California employees, almost all of whom have been out of work for months.
Unsurprisingly, Disney World and EPCOT are forging ahead and planning to reopen July 11th and 15th (respectively) because, Florida. Disney has so much damn money they could probably afford to let those parks lie fallow for a decade and still pay their employees but since they are the only place on the planet you buy churros, it makes sense that they’d be eager to open back up, you know, for the people. The saddest part is, there are more signatures on a petition that’s going around to preserve the heritage of Splash Mountain (37,000 and counting, never mind the ride’s only been there since 1989!) than there are on the ones where Disney employees are asking to have their lives preserved. Here’s Disney’s announcement about the planned changes to SM.
We're thrilled to share Splash Mountain at @Disneyland & @WaltDisneyWorld will be completely reimagined with a new story inspired by an all-time favorite @DisneyAnimation film, “The Princess and the Frog.” Learn about what Imagineers have in development: https://t.co/HyKfdDSH3j pic.twitter.com/DV6476KAVX
— Disney Parks (@DisneyParks) June 25, 2020
In their press release, Disney fails to mention that Splash Mountain is currently themed on Song of The South, the 1946 movie that’s so racist it’s been hidden in the vault next to Walt’s frozen head and the sex-trafficked mannequins from Pirates of The Caribbean. But they don’t have to. CNN reports:
The move comes amid fans urging Disney to retheme Splash Mountain because of the racial stereotypes from the film it is based upon. “Song of the South” — which is best known for the song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” — has long been criticized for its stereotypical and offensive portrayals of African Americans as well as a romanticized view of the antebellum South.
So much for Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold’s big summer plans to renew their vows in a log while plunging into a briar patch.