The Jungle Cruise update comes several months after Disney said it would reimagine its iconic Splash Mountain ride, which is based on scenes from Disney’s 1946 film Song of the South. The film, which takes place in the American South following the Civil War and pushes racist stereotypes of Black Americans, was so controversial that Disney has never made it available to watch on home video. Bob Iger, Disney’s former CEO and current executive chairman, confirmed in 2019 that the movie would not be put on the company’s streaming service, Disney+, either.

Fans and observers have called on Disney to update Jungle Cruise and Splash Mountain for years. That they are doing so now is likely no coincidence. While Disney says its Splash Mountain reimagining was in the works in 2019, the protests against racial injustice in the US last year may have forced the company to speed up its schedule. And the Covid-19 pandemic has afforded Disney the ideal moment to get to work on both projects. Disneyland in California has been closed since last year, while Disney World is only open to 35% capacity.

The changes may not stop with Jungle Cruise. Several other rides at Disney’s various parks have been criticized for being outdated. That comes with the territory for parks that have been in operation for more than a half-century. But if Disney wants operate them successfully for another 50 years, it will have to make sure they continue to evolve to meet modern sensibilities.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.