Anaheim, California (Abbreviation: DL)
Walt Disney Theme Parks
---- THE LATEST BUZZ ----
(11/27/2023) Disneyland Guest Climbs Out Of Small World, Strips Down and Goes Exploring
(11/21/2023) Guests Struck By Falling Lamp Post
(11/12/2023) The Return Date for Fantastmic! in 2024 Confirmed (MORE...)
(11/11/2023) "it's a small world" Holiday Edition 2023 Now Open (MORE...)
(11/5/2023) A Look Inside The New Adventureland Treehouse (MORE...)
(10/29/2023) Adventureland Treehouse and Tiana's Bayou Adventure Updates
Ride Rehabs - These dates are not guaranteed to be 100% accurate as refurbishments are subject to change.
Splash Mountain - NOW CLOSED through Late 2024 to become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
Mark Twain Riverboat - NOW CLOSED through TBD
Indiana Jones Adventure - Nov. 27 through Nov. 30
Astro Orbiter - Nov. 27 through TBD
General Park News - (11/27/2023) Sometimes theme park guests do the dumbest things. Sometimes they just aren’t thinking straight… and other times, they may be under the influence of something and really do something wild. Case in point… it looks like some dude climbed out of a boat on Disneyland’s “it’s a Small World” ride, stripped down to his underwear (and possibly went Full Monty later on according to reports) and went on a little bit of a walk-about throughout the dark ride attraction.
Meanwhile, if you take a look at the guy’s face, he just clearly seems to be under the influence of something, because he look’s like he’s seeing “a whole new world” that only he can see.
(11/21/2023) High winds caused a small incident at Disneyland on Monday when a lamp post on Main Street USA broke and fell just before 9am. According to reports, a couple of guests were struck by the falling lamppost, including an older woman who was taken out of the park by medical personnel on a stretcher for further care.
(11/12/2023) Theme Park Insider reports that performances of “Fantasmic!” at Disneyland will return to the park starting on May 24, 2024. Previously the show was shut down following the events that saw the park’s giant dragon figure catch fire and burn-down earlier this year. Since then Disneyland has only confirmed that while “Fantasmic!” would be returning in 2024, “Murphy” the dragon would not. Or at least not in the same way as shown in previous versions of the show.
As the reveal of the massive Dragon figure who would light the waters on fire was always the key kick off moment of the show’s big finale, Disney has yet to reveal just how they will craft a new finale without it.
(11/11/2023) The Holiday version of “it’s a small world” has opened at Disneyland for the 2023 season. Check out a POV video of this year’s version of the holiday overlay below.
(10/16/2023) Would you believe that a brawl between several guests broke out at Disneyland on Sunday? According to the OC Register the fight involved at least five adult-aged park guests, with the melee taking place between the Tea Cups and the Storybook Canal Boats ride. Apparently no arrests were made, but the fight was broken up quickly and those involved were said to have been kicked out of the park.
(10/13/2023) Want to see something really spectacular? A trio of self-walking mini droids strolled out into Galaxy’s Edge this week, adding some incredible atmosphere to the Star Wars themed land. Honestly, when Galaxy’s Edge was first announced, it was ideas like this that really made me excited to see how this land would evolve. After all, it isn’t a living example of the Star Wars universe unless there are droids wandering around, doing very Droid like things. Even better, based on the video footage posted by Disney, is these Droids don’t just walk around, but they are able to convey their own digital emotions, shaking their heads when angry and even performing a dance with happy tweet noises when they are happy.
One other fun thing to keep in mind is this… while these are themed as Star Wars droids… think a bit into the future where a trio of droids like this could be designed to look like actual Disney characters. For example, what would you think if you saw Donald’s nephews, Huey, Dewey and Louie wandering around Toontown?
The future may be coming to life a lot faster than anticipated.
(9/22/2023) Would you believe that Disneyland Toontown is STILL under construction? After closing much of Toontown to make way for the launch of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway earlier this year, apparently there are still some major items that need to be finished out and around Toontown itself. According to the latest update from the OC Register the “Centoonial Park” area is now closed for the next month for a major refurbishment and following that Goofy’s How-to-Play Yard will then close for its own refurbishment on October 23rd. They note that a number of areas in Toontown, including some of these same areas, were closed on and off throughout the summer months to perform various other maintenance work. Disney hopes to finish up these last projects before things get busy in November as the Thanksgiving holiday is quickly approaching.
(9/19/2023) According to an update at the OC Register, the closure of Space Mountain that began yesterday will last approximately 5 weeks, with the popular attraction staying closed through to October 25. Based on the timing, this also confirms what was already expected, and that this is not to install the Ghost Galaxy overlay theme.
Other than this being just a general refurbishment, nothing special is expected to be added to the attraction during this downtime. The timing is a little poor however, as the attraction will be down for most of the busy Halloween season.
(9/10/2023) While performances of “Fantastmic!” may be off the books until next year, Disneyland has announced a new night concept called “Heartbeat of New Orleans” that will kick off on Sept. 29 on the Rivers of America until Spring 2024. The new concept will feature projections on the front of Tom Sawyer’s Island set to a soundtrack of New Orleans Jazz music that will tell the story about a curious frog inspired to visit the city to see what is making the music they’ve been hearing.
Between this and the current Jazz music performances on barges floating in the river, and the opening of the Tiana’s Palace restaurant, it is clear Disneyland will be heavily embracing the sights, sounds and tastes of New Orleans Square for the next year, ahead of the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in late 2024.
(8/8/2023) While this may just be standard annual maintenance, the Disneyland website now lists that Space Mountain will be closing starting Sept. 18th for an unknown period of time. For those who remember, I wonder if this could possibly mark the return of the Ghost Galaxy version of the ride for the Halloween season. While that would be fun, I believe the last time Disneyland transformed Space Mountain into Ghost Galaxy was in 2018, opting to not do it in 2019, pre-pandemic, so they may have essentially retired the concept.
(7/27/2023) The number of locations inside Disneyland where guests will be able to purchase an alcoholic beverage will increase in September. Previously only guests of the park’s ultra-exclusive Club 33 were able to purchase any kind of alcohol inside the park, but that all changed with the launch of adult beverage locations inside Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. From what I’m seeing, a collection of adult beverages will go on sale starting on Sept. 12th in in the Carnation Cafe, River Belle Terrace and in Cafe Orleans.
In other news, Disneyland has confirmed that following the fateful night that the Dragon burnt down during a performance of “Fantasmic!” in April, the nighttime spectacular will now not perform again until sometime in Spring 2024. Furthermore, when Fantasmic does return next year, the finalize will be changed and it will no longer feature the large animatronic dragon, nicknamed “Murphy” by the cast members. The finale will be reworked to feature some kind of new special effects sequence to depict the final battle between Mickey and Maleficent.
(4/23/2023) “Fantasmic!” fans at Disneyland may be out of luck for awhile,as the local reports confirm that a fire broke out on the island during the last performance of the show on Saturday night. The fire in question actually started with the massive Dragon animatronic used for the finale of the show, with the fire first breaking out on the dragon’s face before spreading to engulf the rest of the dragon’s body.
With the finale’s dragon out of commission for the time being, it’s likely that the show will remain closed until repairs can be made.
November 2023 - Adventureland Treehouse - (11/5/2023) A new POV preview video showing off the new Adventureland Treehosue attraction has been released by Disney, ahead of the official opening taking place later this month.
(10/29/2023) A few new pictures of the Adventureland Treehouse as they finish up the last bits of construction ahead of the opening can be found over at DisneyGeek this week.
(10/26/2023) Disneyland has confirmed that the new Adventureland Treehouse attraction will finally open to guests on November 10th. Follow the link to see some concept art showing off some of the new rooms added to the treehouse for this iteration.
(9/7/2023) According to the latest updates it sounds like most, if not all, of the scaffolding around the Adventureland Treehouse at Disneyland has come down. This should mean that the heavy lifting part of the renovation project is now over, as they finish up the fine touches and make sure everything is up and working to their expectations. With that in mind, unless there are still some major punch-list items to finish, I could see the attraction begin preview sessions with Cast Members and Passholders before the end of the month.
So keep your eyes open the next time you visit the park!
(7/30/2023) Not much to see over at the Adventureland Treehouse project this week, as most of the structure is now covered up by large tarps, as seen in the new photos posted this week at DisneyGeek. No opening date has been released by the park yet, but my gut feeling is that we won’t see this happen until much later in the year.
(7/2/2023) So far not a lot to see from the Adventureland Treehouse project at Disneyland. Lots of scaffolding and tarps are still up all over the area in the latest pictures from DisneyGeek. Disney has yet to post any kind of timeline as to when it may be ready to open.
(5/29/2023) Some new construction pictures of the Adventureland Treehouse project inside Disneyland have been posted to DisneyGeek this week. Scaffolding is still everywhere, lined with crew working on the conversion of the former Tarzan Treehouse attraction. While I think most hoped this would be open by now, based on the look of things it looks like they may need a few month months to finish this up.
(4/30/2023) Disneyland still hasn’t posted any kind of official timeline to open the remodeled Adventureland Treehouse, but crews do appear to be working on it currently. Or at least working to replace wood and other worn sections that were in place when it was known as Tarzan’s Treehouse. You can see pictures taken this past week over at DisneyGeek.
(11/13/22) In an interesting bit of news, it was revealed that the closed Tarzan’s Treehouse in Disneyland will return in 2023 as the “Adventureland Treehouse”, with a theme inspired by the 1960’s film Swiss Family Robinson. If this sounds familiar, you may recall that before it was Tarzan’s Treehouse the attraction was originally built and opened as the “Swiss Family Treehouse” way back in 1962. Similar looking Swiss Family Treehouse attraction as also still standing at the The Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World , Tokyo Disneyland, and even Disneyland Paris.
While more details will be released in the future, the Adventureland Treehouse will return with a look very similar to the 1962 original, and feature a number of “rooms” in the Treehouse, such as Mother’s music den, the son’s nature room and daughter’s astronomer’s loft, along with a ground floor kitchen and dining room area along with Father’s art studio room.
(4/24/22) Disneyland has confirmed that Tarzan’s Treehouse (formerly the Swiss Family Treehouse) which has been closed since 2020’s COVID closure of the park will be getting a new theme before it reopens. The problem is, Disney did not reveal exactly what new theme they planned on giving to the attraction, or when it may be ready to reopen.
For now the most popular theory from the rumor mill is that Disney could be seeking to take advantage of their recent popular hit, Encanto. While the story of Encanto mostly takes place without and around the family’s enchanted house, one charter’s magical room does contain a giant tree full of animals that could serve as the new theme of the treehouse, along with speakers to play the catchy tunes from the film’s soundtrack while you explore.
Spring 2024 - Star Tours - New Adventures - (9/9/2023) We’ve been waiting on an update about the expanded experiences that were previously announced to be coming to the Star Tours attraction at Disneyland, Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris. According to an update from DestinationD23, these new adventures will be coming in Spring 2024, and will include the addition of the Ahsoka character.
(4/12/2023) Disney has confirmed that new adventures will be coming to Star Tours in 2024 at Walt Disney World, Disneyland and Disneyland Paris. No solid details were given as to what locations will be added to the randomizing adventure machine, but ever since the second generation Star Tours attraction opened, new adventures in all new locations have been added on a regular basis. Past additions were timed to go along with adventures and locations from the new films as they were released, so if I had to guess I wouldn’t be surprised if we encounter some of the new people, places and ships from the various Disney+ series in one form or another. This could mean appearances by Mando and Grogu, Ahsoka Tano, Admiral Thrawn, Andor and more, so stay tuned!
(6/13/22) According to news released at the Star Wars Celebration event in California, Disney Imagineer Scott Trowbridge, who has overseen the creation of Galaxy’s Edge confirmed that more new sequences / scenes will continue to be added to Star Tours going forward. No further details were given as to what new locations might be added to the attraction, though the last few sequences added to the attraction involved locations from the final trilogy in the series. Since then, with the launch of Disney+, the Star Wars universe has been expanded again through shows like The Mandorlian, The Boot of Boba Fett and the new Obi-Wan Kenobi mini-series. With more Star Wars projects on deck like Andor, Ahsoka, The Acolyte and Skeleton Crew, it would seem to be a good bet that any of these could serve as the inspiration for new Star Tours segment locations.
Without a timeline as to when the next addition could appear, it’s hard to even guess what it could be, as Disney will likely tie the launch of the new segment(s) into whatever new programming is about to air on Disney+ at that time.
2024 - Haunted Mansion Experience Expansion - (8/31/2023) Disneyland announced a bit of a surprise coming to the Haunted Mansion in 2024. According to the tweet, the grounds of the Haunted Mansion will be expanded next year by adding some new themed sections to the queue as well as a new official retail shop next to the exit of the attraction.
The new queue expansion will feature a trip through new garden areas inspired by Master Gracey, Madame Leota and the one-eyed cat. Each of the themed gardens will include unique elements such as statues, a gazebo or water fountain and even a greenhouse. Disney was quick to note that existing features such as the Pet Cemetery or Horse-Drawn Hearse will remain on the grounds.
Meanwhile the carriage house of the mansion’s exit will become a new standalone shop belonging to Leota, but more details about this will be released in the future. For those who have never been to Walt Disney World, it is worth mentioning that a similar stand-alone shop was opened a few years ago called Memento Mori, described as “the former abode of Madame Leota”.
Nearby, some further enhancements will be made next to Tiana’s Palace to create a relaxing park-like setting. Disney also mentioned adding a new elevator exit from the Haunted Mansion to help improve the accessibility to the attraction for guests with disabilities. Look for construction to begin on all of this at the start of 2024.
Late 2024 - Tiana’s Bayou Adventure - (10/29/2023) Several pictures of the construction to transform Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure can be found at DisneyGeek this week, along with some others showing off refurbishment work taking place at the nearby Mark Twain Riverboat.
(9/9/2023) Disneyland has opened the new Tiana’s Palace restaurant, inspired by the characters and theming from The Princess and the Frog in the New Orleans Square section of the park. The menu features an assortment of Southern Creole and Cajun cuisine.
(8/14/2023) A few new pictures showing off the progress of things for the transformation of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure can be found at DisneyGeek this week. This includes the interesting addition of a large flume chute down the center which we can only assume is to aid with debris removal from workers on the scaffolding covering the upper part of the mountain.
(7/30/2023) More construction photos from Disneyland this week as we see the new steamboat theming and lights have been added to Tiana’s Palace eatery space in New Orleans Square and over at the former Splash Mountain attraction, the giant tree stunt themed top of the former structure has now been removed to make way for the new theming elements.
(7/2/2023) With Splash Mountain now closed, scaffolding has sprung up all across the front of the attraction structure as workers begin the lengthy transformation process into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Meanwhile in New Orleans Square the transformation of the former French Market Resaturant (and Mint Julep Bar) into Tiana’s Palace restaurant is moving very quickly. Follow both links for new pictures from DisneyGeek.
(6/3/2023) Disneyland epic Splash Mountain is now closed for good, so if you missed it, a great POV video of it can be found below. That said, the days of the ride did not go without some kind of drama, but not the kind you might have expected. Instead a rider captured an odd sight on video of a young woman (claiming to be having a panic attack) who had made the unwise decision that it was safe to try and leap from her log onto the pathway next to it while the ride was in motion.
Seriously dangerous… and she could have been killed had things gone wrong by taking this course of action. The riders who were shooting the footage pass by and ask her what she is doing as she takes the pathways down a flight of nearby stairs and into the mountain itself saying “I can’t!” with hands visibly shaking.
Take it from first hand experience, as I was once evacuated from Splash Mountain many many years ago, and our group somehow ended up going unescorted (don’t ask…) through the various tunnels and stairways in an attempt to find a way out. It’s a bit of a maze in there, so hopefully she was found and escorted out the right way.
(4/13/2023) Disneyland fans… the time has come. Disneyland has finally confirmed that Splash Mountain will be closed forever starting on May 31st, 2023.
(1/12/2023) While we still don’t have a closing date for the Disneyland version of Splash Mountain, the Imagineering IG site posted a new picture confirming that the French Marker in New Orleans Square will be transformed into Tiana’s Palace later this year. The existing French Market Restaurant (and Mint Julep Bar) will close starting Feb. 17, 2023.
(9/10/22) D23 is already teasing details for some upcoming attractions coming to the Disney theme park. A model of how Disneyland’s Splash Mountain will be transformed into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure has been seen, which essentially still looks very much like the old Splash Mountain at least, but with the addition of more green trees and shrubs everywhere along with some splashes of color from various blooms, along with the addition of a water tower near the top of the first lift out of the station that says “Employee Owned Tiana’s Foods Est. 1927”
In another nod to the Disneyland conversion, they have also revealed concept art for a new retail store opening in the park’s New Orleans Square area called “Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets”. Look for the new store to open on Sept. 20th, where it will also feature the “Blue Skies & Sunshine Guaranteed!” on the outside in reference to the song, “Dig a Little Deeper” from the film.
(7/22/22) Disney has finally come forward with more details about the planned transformation of the current Splash Mountain attractions in Disneyland and Florida’s Magic Kingdom parks into what they are now calling Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The plan is to convert and open both new attractions in late 2024.
The announcements actually came from Disney reps attending the “ESSENCE Fest” in New Orleans this week, which you can see more of at the Disney Parks Blog post. As far as the attraction itself goes, they say it will serve as “a love letter to New Orleans” and be full of the music and culture of the city.
“Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film. Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome. Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.”
I didn’t see any mention of when they planned to actually close the existing Splash Mountain rides however to begin the conversion, but I’m guessing they’re probably going to give these projects an 18-24 month timetable, so to make that late 2024 opening means each Splash Mountain will likely have to close sometime between December 2022 to May 2023. So get your last rides in while you can.
(6/3/22) It seems that the voice actress (Anika Noni Rose) who plays Tiana in Disney’s The Princess and the Frog was on a talk show on Thursday and the subject about visiting Disney theme parks came up. Without getting too specific, the topic of conversation turned to new attractions, when the actress mentioned that the new Princess and the Frog attraction was coming in 2024. Little else was said after this, as she implied she wasn’t supposed to talk about it, but this seems to at least be our first mention of a timeline for the conversion of Splash Mountain into Princess and the Frog.
As most of the conversation seems to be about experiences at the Disneyland Resort, we can assume this is also the timeline for the Disneyland conversion, as the Walt Disney World conversion would likely take place under an entirely different timeline. Our only other hint has been a mention on Twitter that more details may be released this July.
(12/13/21) According to this report, Splash Mountain will close for winter rehab on January 10 and is expected to remain closed for 30-60 days. The article confirms that this is simply just a standard winter rehab for the ride, and not part of the future makeover into a Princess and the Frog theme. There still is no timeline for that project.
(8/25/21) Another piece of concept art and a round-table discussion by Disney Imagineers about the plans to transform Splash Mountain into a new ride themed to The Princess and the Frog has been released. According to the talk, Tiana will invite guests to go along on an adventure with her in the bayou, so the new experience will be one where the guests are included in the action, instead of just watching the action unfold in front of them.
(6/27/20) I’m not quite sure where to begin with this post, but Disney dropped a bombshell of an announcement this week that I was not really expecting. Disney announced that they are planning to retheme the Splash Mountain attractions at Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom parks to The Princess and The Frog animated film.
I’ll let that sink in for a moment… Brer Rabbit and the whole Zippey-Do-Da-Gang are being removed, and the ride will be rethemed around the world of Princess Tiana and friends. According to the Disney Parks Blog this new story will begin just after ‘the final kiss’ from the film where riders will “join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure - featuring some of the powerful music from the film - as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.”
As someone who grew up and was a huge Disney park fan throughout my early years, this kind of shocked me. I’m not the biggest fan of changing some of the Disney attractions, just for the sake of change. The older the attraction is, the more of an attachment I think I might have had to it from my childhood. Case in point, I wasn’t a fan of the idea of changing the classic auction scene in Pirates to the current version where “Redd” is now a pirate.
I do not hate the new scene, as it is well done, but like any major change, I think it just takes some getting used to the idea and seeing the new version in the end to appreciate it. After all, like many of you, I grew up for decades chanting ‘We wants the red head’, which is now only part of the Disney history books.
I was a teenager when Splash Mountain was first built… in fact I had no idea it was even going to be a thing at all until visiting Disneyland during my Grad Nite event in 1988. I could see the huge steel structure rising into the night sky, surrounded by construction walls promoting the new ride to open in 1989. While I was already a fan of Disney parks, it was this moment that made me interested in the process of how Disney designed and built massive new attractions like these. My curiosity was sparked that night, which obviously had an effect on me for years to come.
So understand me when I say that upon first seeing the announcement this week, I probably dropped an F-bomb in disbelief. It didn’t help that a few weeks ago some news outlets were reporting that there was an online petition of activists asking Disney to do this very thing, but according to Disney this is actually a project that the Imagineers “have been working on since last year”.
I’m still surprised… but not entirely. Splash Mountain always had a rather interesting choice of IP in using the characters and theme from the film, The Song of the South. This is the one film that Disney has chosen to lock away in their vaults forever, with no plans to ever release it again, not even on Disney+. The 1946 film is a mix of live action and animated segments set in the old South following the end of the American Cival War and the abolishment of slavery. The film became criticized over the years since then due to the depiction of the Southern African-American characters and their animated counterparts as being potentially racist or offensive.
Despite this, the IP was tapped as the theme to build not just one, but three Splash Mountain attractions at Disney parks across the world. The original Splash Mountain opened in Summer 1989 in California followed by another in Walt Disney World in 1992 and a third at Tokyo Disneyland, also in 1992. There is no reference to the film at all, and the ride seeks to tell its story through the various animated characters from the film mixed with some new friends, that were actually retired Animatronic figures from Disneyland’s America Sings attraction. It is safe to say that the attraction has been a smash hit for Disney parks ever since, and as the ride system itself is staying, it will continue to do so, even with a new theme. The attraction was designed to carry riders through the various scenes accompanied by a fantastic musical soundtrack, so I can easily see how it can be rethemed and ‘plussed’ by Imagineering in this endeavor. If you take a look at the concept art you can see the classic look of Splash Mountain will be altered to look more green and lush, especially at the top of the drop where the old tree stump will now become Mama Odie’s House, featuring a full tree holding the broken boat high in the branches above where the logs emerge and take their plunge.
As a concept, I can easily see how many aspects of the current Splash Mountain layout and scenes can be changed to The Princess and The Frog. The report that this all takes place after the “last kiss” does make me hope that they can somehow include the return of Dr. Facilier (aka: The Shadow Man) as I’d love to see the scenes in the belly of Splash Mountain’s from the mid-drop up to the approach to the big drop be given over to create a scene with the voodoo man and the forces from “the other side”. Of course we all know the ending scene of Splash Mountain with the River Boat will probably be kept and updated to be a Mardi Gras celebration with Tiana and Louis, which is only fitting.
So with all this in mind, I can see how the overall ride experience may actually be improved here by going forward with a new theme. I know how tempting it is to say you wont like it just because it isn’t the ride you grew up with, but look at just how many people seem to enjoy the Guardians of the Galaxy version of the former Twilight Zone attraction at Disney California Adventure now. Many say that the Guardians version was a dramatic improvement over California’s Twilight Zone version, so we really will just need to wait and see what happens.
My only final thoughts here have more to do with the overall theming of the lands and such involved. Clearly changing Splash Mountain to now have a New Orleans theme in Disneyland is a no brainer, as the modified look of the new attraction will fit right like a glove positioned next to The Haunted Mansion there, creating an extension of the existing New Orleans Square theming, and leaving Pooh at the solitary inhabitant of Critter Country. In Walt Disney World however, the change is going to be a bit more disturbing to the current theming of that park where Splash Mountain is set smack in the middle of Frontierland, positioned between Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the Frontierland buildings that are home to The Country Bears attraction and the Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe. I don’t have a solution or answer to this particular issue, so I’m curious to see how WDI will address it.
It is also interesting to note that, for now at least, Splash Mountain will live on in Japan, as there has been no plans posted to update or change the version at Tokyo DIsneyland at this time. At this point in time, Disney has given no time-table as to when we may expect to see this transformation process begin at either park, but hopefully there will be time to have a few more final rides on Splash Mountain before the old version is gone for good. (Now if maybe Disneyland can work in a plan to modify their trough system to use the same double-wide boats that WDW uses, that would be great as well...)