Josh D'Amaro talks about Splash Mountain retheme and opening the parks during a global pandemic

Jul 11, 2020 in "Splash Mountain"

Posted: Saturday July 11, 2020 2:27pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Josh D'Amaro, the new Chairman Disney Parks, Experience and Products took part in an interview with CNN earlier today and shared some comments on the reopening of the parks, and on Splash Mountain.

When asked about reopening the parks when cases are increasing in Florida, he said, "We are in a new normal right now, so what's happening outside of the gates of Walt Disney World is our new world. I think you know we were one of the first theme parks to close, and we'll be about the last to open. And we spent every minute of every day thinking about how to operate in this new normal that we're in. I'm exceptionally proud of this group in terms of what they've put together from a protocol perspective and being able to open in a phased and really responsible way. I had a chance to walk Main Street just a few minutes ago. It feels really good in the park. So yeah, the world is a different place, but we feel really prepared to operate in this new environment that we're in."

He goes on to talk about new safety protocols and how guests so far have accepted the new environment and are complying with health and safety requests.

Josh also briefly commented on Splash Mountain's retheme to Princess and the Frog, "We actually have been working on it for well over a year. In fact, I was a part of those conversations over a year ago. Listen, our stories evolve all the time. I mean, back from when Walt started Disneyland back in 1955, he stated that if we would continue to evolve our stories, that they're never ending, that they'll always be contemporary. And I think that that's what you're seeing with Splash Mountain. I keep using the same word, but I'm really proud of this team and what we're doing on this front. I think Splash Mountain, no doubt, is a sacred attraction to many of our guests. And I think you're going to love what we're doing in making the attraction even more contemporary."

Read the full interview at CNN.

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brettf222 days ago

Which is one reason why New Orleans Square in DL just “feels” right, and better, than LS to BTM. Changing Splash to something based in New Orleans really won’t hurt the cohesiveness of the area. But it won’t help, either.

CJR2 days ago

It's fine to be in disagreement. I would love to think that it wasn't but it appears to me that it did, at least, in terms of PatF being involved. It's a bit of a coincidence otherwise, I think. Just as a disclaimer - I deleted the post you replied to. I don't want to discuss it further, tbh. This project is out of my control, so no point in going back and forth on it, IMHO. Not at this time at least.

LittleBuford2 days ago

I disagree. The campaign, such as it was, was never loud or widespread enough to force Disney’s hand.

LittleBuford2 days ago

I think it’s a bit cynical to assume that the only people who’ll care about the retheme are social-media activists. At any rate, yes, changing the US rides is going to read as a big statement regardless of what happens in Japan. Relatively few Americans know anything about the Tokyo parks beyond their existence.

Magicart872 days ago

🎶You got to dig a little deeper...🎶

CJR2 days ago

My question is - is Disney really going to achieve anything from this if a huge fragment of SotS still exists in Tokyo? I suppose social media (even though these people can be from anywhere) only cares about "racism" if it's in America, in this case? Following a reply taking this out of context, I am not saying that social media is the only group that cares about this project. I asked a rhetorical question. Honestly answer this to yourself - no need to reply. Does racism stop at America? If your answer is no, are you OK if the project stops at America?

owlsandcoffee2 days ago

As time goes on I just think...there's a steamboat going by. WDW's Frontierland was never really cohesive anyways. It's cool, it'll be fine. People will not for one second be drawn out of the experience. It'll be fun. The ride will probably not be that great but that's an indictment of what TWDC makes WDI do.

MansionButler842 days ago

Last I’d heard but I stopped digging. They love delaying…

EagleScout6102 days ago

Isn't it this winter?

MansionButler842 days ago

In general, we avoid major closures during celebrations. So May 2023 at the earliest, but more likely Fall 2023 so it can open Spring 2025.

BuzzedPotatoHead892 days ago

Should be? That’s interesting since I assumed WDW was further down the pike. If I were them I would plan it several years apart and wait for the guest surveys on DL to see what alterations/changes need to be made and assuming it’s popular maybe make a final *push* with OLC, too. But perhaps the two domestic attractions are going to go down for retheme closer together than I thought.

MansionButler842 days ago

Yes, DL should be first.

EagleScout6102 days ago

Isn't Cali going soon? I think that will be the big determining factor, how well that one does.

MansionButler842 days ago

I would have agreed 6 months ago. Now I think this is set in stone.