Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Photo: Alex Menendez/Getty Images

Disney will rebrand the popular ride Splash Mountain at its theme parks in Florida and California because of its connection to the racist 1946 film, "Song of the South," the company announced Thursday.

Why it matters: It comes amid a nationwide cultural shift, which has seen governments, companies and individuals around the country rethink names and symbols with links to racism.

  • "Song of the South" uses racist stereotypes to depict the Reconstruction Era.
  • The ride will now be themed after the 2009 film "The Princess and the Frog," the first Disney animated movie to feature a Black princess.

What they're saying:

"We continually evaluate opportunities to enhance and elevate experiences for our guests. It's important that our guests be able to see themselves in the experiences we create. Because we consider ourselves constant learners, we go to great lengths to research and engage cultural advisors and other experts to help guide us along the way. I am incredibly proud to see this work continue forward with great leadership from across Disney."
— Carmen Smith, a creative development and inclusive strategies executive at Walt Disney Imagineering

The big picture, via Axios' Sara Fischer: Media companies are under a lot of pressure over not just what they decide to cut, but also what they decide to leave up.

  • HBO Max, the streaming service from AT&T, temporarily removed "Gone with the Wind" from its library earlier this month.
  • Last week, it said it would bring back the film with a newly added introduction by Black scholar and Turner Classic Movies host Jacqueline Stewart that addresses its "historical context."

Go deeper

Jun 25, 2020 - Health

Disneyland stalls July 17 reopening, citing lack of guidelines for theme parks

Disneyland on March 17 in Los Angeles, California. The Downtown Disney District will reopen on July 9, the company said. Photo: RBL/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

California's Disneyland announced on Wednesday it would no longer reopen as planned on July 17, as the state is not expected to release specific guidelines for theme parks until after July 4.

Why it matters: Daily recorded coronavirus infections in California have continued to hit new highs this week, per the state's health department data.

Updated 34 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 12,772,755 — Total deaths: 566,036 — Total recoveries — 7,030,749Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12 p.m. ET: 3,269,531 — Total deaths: 134,898 — Total recoveries: 995,576 — Total tested: 39,553,395Map.
  3. Politics: Trump wears face mask in public for first time.
  4. States: Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases with over 15,000.
  5. Public health: Trump's coronavirus testing czar says lockdowns in hotspots "should be on the table" — We're losing the war on the coronavirus.
  6. Education: Betsy DeVos says schools that don't reopen shouldn't get federal funds — Pelosi accuses Trump of "messing with the health of our children."

Florida smashes single-day record for new coronavirus cases

Data: Covid Tracking Project; Chart: Axios Visuals

Florida reported 15,299 confirmed coronavirus cases on Sunday — a new single-day record for any state, according to its health department.

The big picture: The figure shatters both Florida's previous record of 11,458 new cases and the single-state record of 11,694 set by California last week, according to AP. It also surpasses New York's daily peak of 11,571 new cases in April, and comes just a day after Disney World reopened in Orlando.