Disney Closed Their Most Popular Ride: Perhaps It’s Not a Surprise as Park Attendance and Their Stock Price is Down

By: Stephen Thompson | Last updated: Sep 22, 2023

Disney, the entertainment giant beloved by many, has made a move that sent shockwaves through the Disney fandom. The company made a controversial decision to close down its most popular ride.

Fans have expressed their disappointment and displeasure on many social media platforms. Let’s find out the details!

Saying Farewell to a Classic

January 22, 2023, was the day Disney World closed down one of its most popular rides, Splash Mountain. The ride was popular amongst Disney patrons for decades. However, the ride won’t be gone forever. It will only be closed for two years.

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During that timeframe, the ride will be transformed into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. This change was orchestrated after several complaints.

Implications of the Change

During holidays, Disney World usually witnesses a huge number of crowds, but after the Splash Mountain decision, the weekend of July 4th had very low attendance. Ticket sales for the weekend were the lowest they had been in decades.

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Even the company’s stock price took a hit, plunging to a five-year low without a large amount of ticket sales to hold it up. Could the temporary shutdown of this ride be a reason for the low turnout and stock price drop?

Eliminating a Fan Favorite

Research to find out the most popular rides was conducted by Disney travel planning experts, MagicGuides. The company examined every ride in the park and rated them using three major factors: TripAdvisor ratings, average monthly search volume for each ride, and Instagram hashtags.

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The total score revealed that with an average of 205,193 monthly searches, 323,813 Instagram hashtags, and a rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Tripadvisor, Splash Mountain was the most popular. This no.1 position applied to 49 states—only Florida was excluded.

The Usurping Ride

The new ride taking Splash Mountain’s spot was described as “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure,” a Princess and the Frog-themed ride. Riders will join Princess Tiana and Louis, the jazz-loving alligator, during the Mardi Gras season. The new motif will provide an exciting moment for riders who first drop into the bayou and meet a few friends who will be familiar to some and new for others.

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A representative for MagicGuides said it will be intriguing to see if the new ride will reclaim the top position when it launches in 2024.