UPDATE: Disney has released a statement regarding the removal of the song from Disneyland Resort music loops. You can read the full statement here.
The Academy Award-winning Best Original Song, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah”, originally from Song of the South and the main theme of Splash Mountain, has been quietly removed from Disneyland Resort music loops across the Esplande and Downtown Disney as of this week.
The song was typically played between the Frozen Medley and The Ballad of Davy Crockett, but no longer plays with the rest of the loop:
Many fans have wondered how the attraction would be retconned from the parks in the wake of Splash Mountain’s announced re-theme to Princess and the Frog, and while merchandise sales keep going strong at Walt Disney World, it seems Disneyland has made the first step in erasing the attraction from the overall park experience.
The attraction has been the subject of critique given the racist undertones of the film it was based on. In fact, Song of the South has been locked in the Disney vault since the 1980s due to its idyllic portrayals of Southern plantation life in the late 1800s Reconstruction Era. The song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” itself was likely influenced by the chorus of the pre-Civil War folk song “Zip Coon”.
For years, the song was used in the opening theme medley for the “Wonderful World of Disney” television program, and was even featured in Disney Sing Along Songs VHS tapes as late as 1986. The decision to remove the song from the resort’s music loops is a conscientious one, but it may still come off as reactionary if Disney still does not openly and retroactively address cultural and social change moving forward.
The attraction is set to reopen with the park, and an official closure date has yet to be announced for the start of the reimagining.