On July 24, 1966 the French market opened at Disneyland in the new New Orleans Square. On February 16, 2023, it closed to make way for the new Tiana’s Palace. During the day, the restaurant’s operations were much like many other days at the park. Guests grabbed food and dined outside. Other guests grabbed beignets and mint juleps at the Mint Julep Bar outside. Undoubtably, most of the guests visiting and dining at the location had no clue that it would be the last day in operation.
As day turned into evening, the final normal operating hours of the French Market would end earlier than most nights. This was due to the Disneyland After Dark: Sweethearts’ Nite closing the park down at 8:00 PM so that the hard-ticket event could start an hour later. As the park closed and the location ended its normal operating hours at the park forever, cast members stood in front of the stage with a banner to commemorate the occasion. This was the end of the French Market’s run in New Orleans Square. Soon, Tiana’s Palace would take its place and be serving guests who visited New Orleans Square at Disneyland.
The Daps Magic team stopped by the French Market on its final operating day to document the day and take photos and video of the location for posterity. During the day, both Mr. Daps and Angela stopped by at different times to capture some memories. Below is both a video and photos of the final day of operation for the French Market. This includes a tour and also the final moments of the location in operation on its final day. It is hoped that this moment will be appreciated and enjoyed as guests anticipate the exciting things coming to the location in the future.
French Market Final Day and Final Moments – Disneyland
The French Market served Cajun- and Creole-inspired fare. Through the years, a jazz band could often be heard playing on the stage outside. When it becomes Tiana’s Palace, the location will be inspired by the adventures and friends of Tiana. It will still be a quick service restaurant and will center around authentic New Orleans Flavors. The menu will be an expansion on the favorites that were offered at the French Market. There will also be some seasonal offerings to be enjoyed. When the location reopens, the Mint Julep Bar will again serve its popular mint juleps and Mickey beignets and Tiana’s Palace will allow guests to experience The Princess and the Frog in a whole new way.
The addition of Tiana’s Palace continues the expansion of the telling of Tiana’s stories at Disneyland Park, particularly in New Orleans Square. Last year at D23 Expo several announcements were made about the addition of Tiana’s stories to the area of the park. This includes the already open Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets and also Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which will be opening at Disneyland in 2024.
The French Market initially opened in 1966 in New Orleans Square. New Orleans Square was the first new land to be added to the park. Walt Disney and the mayor of New Orleans Victor H. Schiro dedicated the land on July 24, 1966. Schiro also announced that Walt Disney was an honorary citizen of New Orleans that day. Through the years, New Orleans Square has embodied the spirit of New Orleans and the dreams of Walt Disney. As it moves into this new era, those dreams will continue to live on and expand with more stories, more magic, and the continued dedication of Disney cast members and Imagineers to create an experience that authentically represents the culture and stories found in New Orleans along with The Princess and the Frog.
What are you most excited about the arrival of Tiana’s Palace in New Orleans Square? What did you think of French Market? Do you have any favorite memories there? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!