Bruce Willis and His Daughter Enjoy One Last Thrill on Disneyland’s Splash Mountain Ride Ahead of Its Remodel

Bruce Willis and his wife, Emma Heming Willis, treated their two daughters – Mabel Ray, 11, and Evelyn Penn, 9 – to one last thrill aboard the Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland. The ride was discontinued on May 31 and will now be reconstructed with a new theme – it’ll remain a log flume ride. 

Heming Willis took to Instagram to share a heartwarming video of her husband and their oldest daughter, Mabel Ray, in the backseat of one of the logs. Bruce had one of his arms across his daughter’s body – acting as a safety belt – and used his opposite hand to shield his daughter’s face from incoming water. 

“You bet this family will be back for more fun and laughs when you reopen as Tiana Bayou! Thanks for all the memories Splash Mountain,” Emma wrote. As he shielded his daughter’s face, Bruce can be heard saying, “You gotta watch out, I think we’re going again” – the father-son duo were nothing but smiles. 

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The video goes on to show the rest of their family enjoying the ride together. Included in the Disneyland trip were the couple’s youngest daughter, Evelyn Penn, and Bruce’s other three daughters – Rumer Willis, 34, Scout LaRue Willis, 31, and Tallulah Willis, 29 – who he shares with ex-wife Demi Moore

Taking a look at the comments section, fans were in agreement on several fronts. Some users couldn’t help but notice how protective he was of his daughter, using his arm as a safety belt, while others were simply happy to see him spending time with his family amid his battle with frontotemporal degeneration. 

Bruce Willis’ family announced his retirement from acting on March 30, 2022 after he was diagnosed with dementia. The bad news grew even worse on February 16, 2023, when the family announced he had been diagnosed with frontotemporal degeneration. It makes moments like these that much sweeter. 

According to the Alzheimer’s Association, frontotemporal degeneration refers to a ‘group of disorders caused by progressive nerve cell loss in the brain’s frontal lobes (the areas behind your forehead) or its temporal lobes (the regions behind your ears).’ It affects roughly 50,000 to 60,000 people in the US. 

What Happened to the Splash Mountain Ride? 

Splash Mountain has been one of the most popular and iconic rides at Disneyland – located in Anaheim, California – for the past 34 years. The ride first opened on July 17, 1989, roughly three years before a similar ride debuted at Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida and Tokyo Disneyland in Tokyo, Japan. 

The ride officially closed at Magic Kingdom on January 23, while the Disneyland version shut down more recently on May 31. Both parks are replacing the ride with another log flume ride – this one featuring a Tiana’s Bayou Adventure theme, which is based on Disney’s 2009 film The Princess and the Frog

The transition was first announced in 2020 after several petitions to change the theme went viral online. In an effort to please their loyal customers from around the world, they decided to update it for the first time in 30+ years – beginning a new era. The new ride is rumored to be opening sometime in late 2024. 

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“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,” Carmen Smith wrote on the Disney Parks Blog on July 1.

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