Disneyland removes controversial “zip-a-dee-doo-dah” lyrics from its parade

New York (CNN) Disneyland has removed the lyrics “zip-a-dee-doo-dah” played during its parades in the park, as they come from a film that has been criticized for its racist depictions of black Americans.

The lyrics originally appeared in the “Magic Happens” parade when it debuted in March 2020. The parade recently returned after a nearly three-year hiatus due to the Covid-19 pandemic. On its reintroduction last month, onlookers at the twice-daily parade, described as “celebrating magical moments from legendary Disney stories” on its website, now hear the lyrics – “think of the happiest things” from “Peter Pan ” – in His place.

The modification of the lyrics of the parade was first reported in the OC register.

The song ‘Zip-a-dee-doo-dah’ originated in the 1946 film ‘Song of the South’ which has long been criticized for stereotyping ‘spiritual’ black men and its seemingly nostalgic view of the South. before the war.

Disney is removing references to the film in other parts of its parks. In 2020, Disney Parks and Resorts announced that Splash Mountain was “completely redesigned” at Disneyland and Walt Disney World, as the log ride is based on “Song of the South”. It’s being redesigned to feature characters from the 2009 animated film, “The Princess and the Frog,” which features Disney’s first black princess.

disney (SAY) said at the time that the new Splash Mountain concept is “inclusive” and “one that all of our customers can connect to and be inspired by.” The Splash Mountain ride at Walt Disney World in Orlando has already been closed for renovations. The new attraction is scheduled to open at both US resorts in 2024.

Disneyland officials told the OC Register in 2020 that removing the song “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” from the theme park is part of an ongoing process to provide an environment that features relevant stories and inclusive. The OC Register also reports that in 2020 the song was removed from music played at Downtown Disney, the shopping and dining district of the Disneyland resort, and in 2021 it was removed from music played at the King Arthur Carousel. .

“Song of the South” is so controversial that Disney locked it away for decades and even kept it out of Disney+’s vast library. The changes to the log ride came after the Black Lives Matter protests in 2020 spurred deep conversation and soul-searching in Hollywood regarding representations of race in popular culture.

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