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Disneyland Says Goodbye to Splash Mountain as Daveed Diggs and Awkwafina Talk About the Strong Emotions That ‘The Little Mermaid’ Evokes in Audiences

5 min read
Disneyland Says Goodbye to Splash Mountain as Daveed Diggs and Awkwafina Talk About the Strong Emotions That ‘The Little Mermaid’ Evokes in Audiences
Halle Bailey as Ariel in 'The Little Mermaid'

Screengrab via Disney

Hiya Pals, and to all that come to this happy place, welcome! It’s a great day to be a Disney fan as significant changes linger on the horizon and strong emotions circle fans who are swimming into theaters to see The Little Mermaid this week. Halle Bailey’s Ariel is stealing hearts worldwide and bringing out strong feelings in all of us as she sings her heart out and swims through her world, dreaming of the magic taking place just outside of it.

Magic is a big theme for all things Disney, and as Disneyland’s California park says its final goodbye to Splash Mountain, there’s a brilliance in the promise of a new theme and story for fans to be soon introduced to and to make more magical memories alongside. We’re also gearing up for trips to Disney World in 2024 and the return of the dining plan, which means travelers and friends of the mouse will soon be enjoying all of the Mickey-shaped snacks when taking trips next year.

There’s a lot to unpack here today, so grab your favorite Disney mug with your drink of choice and get cozy with your cuddly plushies while we bring you all of the Mouse House news today.

Disneyland says goodbye to Splash Mountain

Disneyland is saying goodbye to a longstanding piece of park history as it makes way for a new version of an iconic ride to soon stand in its place. Splash Mountain has officially closed in preparations for a late 2024 reopening in which the ride will pay homage to Tiana from The Princess and the Frog.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure doesn’t have a specific release date yet, but fans will be able to enjoy the ride sometime in the last half of next year, and there’s no better way to celebrate another piece of Disney news today than by taking that into account. Bookings for 2024 are officially open, and if you’re planning a trip next year in hopes of riding Tiana’s breakout experience, it would be wise to prepare for the last months of the year.

The structure of what will now be known as Tiana’s Bayou will likely remain how it was, with character and theming changes, in addition to some new experiences for fans who love to cool off for the afternoon as they enjoy their ride. We are thrilled about the updated theme of the ride and can’t wait to make our way to Walt Disney World or Disneyland to enjoy it next year.

Daveed Diggs and Awkwafina on The Little Mermaid‘s strong emotional pull

Daveed Diggs and Awkwafina play key roles in the retelling of Disney’s The Little Mermaid — in fact, in the sidekick realm, they’re two of the most important. Sebastian and Scuttle are two of Ariel’s pals in the Disney classic, and they’re just as special to her in the live-action version, too.

While the story is familiar, some changes were made in the live-action version of the film that swam into theaters last weekend, and there are certainly more tears being shed this time. Ariel has always longed for more, desiring a life outside of the routine in which she lived, and there was something special she knew she was created for. Bailey’s version of Ariel channels that in a way that has caused a lot of tears to be shed in theaters worldwide.

Before the film even hit theaters, Bailey’s rendition of “Part of your World” was making a splash, with Melissa McCarthy and Javier Bardem recognizing something special she brought to the performance. As Awkwafina and Diggs share with the New York Times, that level of emotion is carried through the entire film.

Awkwafina: “People have told me that they were crying from like the second that Halle started singing ‘Part of Your World,’ then never really stopped.”
Diggs: “I am one of those people. I was right behind you, trying not to cry audibly.”
Awkwafina: “I think the really cool thing about the best kinds of adaptations is that they truly do bring people back to whatever their relationship with the movie is. When I was young, it taught me so many themes about life and storytelling and character that still really hold true in this new one.”

Ariel’s journey is something that anyone can relate to; if you’ve ever hoped for more or dreamed of a life outside of your realm or circumstance, you can see yourself in her story, hear your pleas in her songs, and see your joys when she makes moves to change her life. We’re all one song, one moment, one scene away from beginning the path of chasing our dreams, and The Little Mermaid is here at the perfect time to serve as a reminder of it.

The Disney Dining Plan returns in 2024

There’s good news for Disney foodies who can’t get enough of the snack and meal options at Disney parks; Walt Disney World is bringing the dining plan back in 2024, and there are two plans for those scheduling travel next year. The Quick-Service Disney Dining Plan and the regular Disney Dining Plan will return, each offering travelers different levels of food and snack credits.

For those who don’t like to spend much time at sit-down meals or scheduling around breakfast, lunch, and dinner options: the Quick-Service plan is a perfect fit. The plan is structured by how many nights there are in your stay and costs $57 for adults and $23.83 for kids, and offers two quick-service meals and one snack or non-alcoholic beverage per night, including one resort refillable mug.

The Disney Dining Plan is also structured by the nights of your stay and is priced at $94.28 per adult and $29.69 per child, as shared by Disney Tourist Blog. Of course, each level of the dining plan offers different items, with the standard plan including one quick-service meal, one table-service meal, one snack or non-alcoholic beverage per night, and one resort refillable mug.

You can find out more by booking your 2024 Disney vacation now, but be patient; with the booking window now open, many travelers are attempting to reserve their spot, and there’s heavy traffic in the Disney realm today.

Here’s to foodies, Ariel, and Tiana — it’s a good day to be a Disney fan. May you all feel a little extra magic today and spread it to those around you.

About the author


Ashley Marie

Ashley Marie is a staff writer, beat leader, Disney fanatic, and Yellowstone expert. When she’s not filling her friends in on all the entertainment news they can handle, she’s drinking her go-to Starbucks order — a caramel macchiato, thank you — and wishing she was at Disney World or spending time at the Yellowstone Dutton Ranch. With a focus on positivity and kindness in journalism, Ashley has been writing for a decade and hopes to keep bringing you articles for decades to come.

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