Today Disney announced that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, currently Splash Mountain, will be opening at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort in late 2024. The announcement about the reimagining of Splash Mountain happened at ESSENCE Fest. This new adventure will bring guests into the world of Tiana and Naveen as The Princess and the Frog comes to life around them.
To prepare for this new attraction, Walt Disney Imagineers have been traveling to Louisiana to conduct extensive research to ensure that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure preserves the heart and soul of New Orleans, the city that inspired Princess Tiana’s story. During their frequent travels, Imagineers visited and explored the French Market and also the bayou. They consulted with academics, chefs, musicians, and also cultural institutions. They learned from local experts and received different inspirations from across the region.
Today that research was explored in great detail at the French Quarter’s historic Preservation Hall. This was done during an event held in honor of ESSENCE Fest, which is happening this weekend in New Orleans. Preservation Hall has its own history of bringing people together and was the perfect location for celebrating this new attraction where music and community are central to a transformational journey.
Part of the celebration was a panel that was moderated by Victoria Uwumarogie, senior lifestyle editor at ESSENCE Magazine. The discussion included Carmen Smith, Senior Vice President, Creative Development – Product/Content & Inclusive Strategies, Charita Carter, executive producer of relevancy activations at Walt Disney Imagineering, Ted Robledo, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering and Stella Chase, daughter of the late Chef Leah Chase who inspired Tiana’s story. During the celebration guests were treated to live art demonstrations from emerging talent from the YAYA Arts Center, which is an organization Disney has engaged to commission artwork from alumna Sharika Mahdi. There was also music performed in Preservation Hall Jazz Band and a performance by Mama Odie herself, Jenifer Lewis.
The Disney Parks Blog shared this description of the attraction:
Guests are in for a true treat with local flavor when Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens in late 2024. As Charita Carter shared, “in many ways, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a love letter to New Orleans. Like the musical city that inspired this attraction, Tiana’s second act is about a community working in harmony to achieve something extraordinary. She reminds us of an immutable truth we can all relate to: ‘if you do your best each and every day, good things are sure to come your way.’ And that’s a melody we can all sing along to!”
To be able to join New Orleans in the celebration of Black joy as we bring Tiana’s story to its roots is a full-circle moment I’m so proud to realize. Ted Robledo added that “the joie de vivre that animates this region so brilliantly not only inspired Tiana’s journey, but also our team at Walt Disney Imagineering.” It’s our intention to do that jubilant spirit justice when advancing the storyline of Princess Tiana at our parks.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure was first announced in 2020 and will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the story of The Princess and the Frog with the characters from the film. The attraction picks up where the film left off. Princess Tiana, Naveen, and Louis the alligator are planning a one-of-a-kind Mardis Gras celebration where all are welcome. Throughout the attraction, there will be some familiar faces and also some new friends showing up as Guests travel through the bayou to original music that is inspired by songs from the film. This attraction will take guests into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.
Are you excited about the updates about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!