Tiana's Bayou Adventure

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Now Open at Walt Disney World Resort

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is now open at Walt Disney World Resort. The attraction, which continues the story of Princess Tiana a year after The Princess and the Frog, takes guests on an all new musical adventure through the bayou. For the opening day, a virtual queue system was utilized. This helped avoid lines stretching throughout the park. Where the lines did not stretch forever from the attraction, the merchandise was another story. It proved the be popular with lines of people waiting to get their hands on the merchandise that was released today.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure

The Next Story for Princess Tiana

The attraction gives a look at what happily ever after looks like for Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen. The duo are now successful business owner who are wanting to bring their community together for a special Mardi Gras celebration. During the ride, guests join Tiana and alligator pal Louis in search of band members to play at their neighborhood soirée. This story begins with the queue where newspaper clippings that chronicle everything from Tiana’s Palace being named Best New Business to the grand opening of the employee-owned Tiana’s Foods, which offers hot sauces, spices, and other food products, can be found. A radio broadcast plays jazz music written by GRAMMY winner Terence Blanchard.

“We wanted to make sure people have a good time while they’re waiting to get on the ride,” Blanchard said. “But we also wanted to represent the city so that they get a bit of a history lesson just by listening to the music as they’re waiting to go through the adventure.”

One of the songs features the voice of Chef Leah Chase, the inspiration behind Princess Tiana. “Leah Chase was a dreamer and a doer—a working mom of four who followed her dream to own a restaurant,” said Carmen Smith, the executive creative producer of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. “She and her husband, Dooky, ran Dooky Chase in New Orleans, but it wasn’t just a restaurant; it was a gathering place that inspired so many… When Disney Animation visited New Orleans and sat down with Chef Chase, they knew that this American original was the perfect inspiration for Disney’s first African American princess.”

As guests continue through the queue, they will discover that Princess Tiana has combined her talents with those in the local community. Together they have revived an old salt mine and the surrounding land in order to grow an array of vegetables, herbs, and spices for her recipes.

“We’re really big on expanding Tiana’s story, and great storytelling is what Imagineering does best,” said Rebecca Clancy, Project Coordinator, Walt Disney Imagineering. “We were really excited to place it amid the backdrop of Tiana’s Foods, a new business that she’s created. In fact, you’ll even see parts of the queue that reference her entrepreneurial spirit.”

“Tiana is our inspiration because Tiana is everybody’s princess,” added Charita Carter, the executive creative producer behind Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. “Everyone can find an aspect of Tiana’s story in their own story… [because] Tiana is a dreamer and a doer.”

Returning and New Friends

Stars from the film reprise their role for this new attraction. This includes Disney Legend Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana, Jenifer Lewis as Mama Odie, and Michael-Leon Wooley as Louis. “It is an amazing thing to have a ride based on something you created,” Rose said. “For people to have felt that, ‘Oh, yes, we want this in perpetuity,’ it’s mind-blowing, really.”

Throughout the queue and the attraction, new music will be heard along with familiar music from the film. There will also be 48 new, innovative Audio-Animatronics figures of characters from the film alongside 19 new musical critters—including an otter named Timloléon, a rabbit named Gritty, a racoon named Apollo, a beaver named Byhalia, and a turtle named Rufus.

The Music

According to Ted Robledo, executive creative director of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the critters showcase “the diverse and rich styles of New Orleans, playing their own renditions” of beloved Princess and the Frog songs such as Almost There, Dig a Little Deeper, Down in New Orleans, and Gonna Take You There, all while playing instruments made of natural materials found in the bayou. The critters also perform a song written just for the attraction, Special Spice, featuring the talents of Grammy winner PJ Morton, Blanchard, and Rose.

Getting to hear Special Spice in the attraction was “literally a dream come true,” Morton said. “It’s going to take some time for me to process this. Seeing it come full circle—because this was a two-, three-year process—and become real is totally surreal.”

“To have spent time with PJ Morton—who’s a brilliant, wonderful representation of New Orleans, a city that I love and that has been so very good to me—was beautiful,” Rose said. “It’s fun. It’s joyous. The song itself is a bop, if I may say so myself! And I think it’s going to permeate kids and adults. They will have fun with it, they will feel it, and they will leave with it—which is what you want for music. You want it to be something that moves people.”

The Magic of Imagineering

Seeing state-of-the-art Audio-Animatronics figures perform those songs is an unforgettable experience. “The progress Imagineering has made is remarkable,” Clancy said. “If you look at Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln in 1964, you can see how far we’ve come. It’s been spectacular to see how that team has grown and innovated in that space.”

“It took a lot of love, passion, and compassion to bring Tiana’s story to life, and we’re so incredibly proud of what we’ve come up with,” she continued. “One of my favorite parts about the attractions we build is that they are re-rideable. If you latch onto something the first time, you’ll notice something new each time you experience Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.”

With the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World Resort, now Disneyland guests/fans get to anticipate the attraction’s arrival on the west coast later this year. An exact date for its arrival has not been announced but it is expected to be before the end of the year. Work continues rapidly on the attraction in anticipation of this.

What do you think of the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World Resort? Have you experienced this attraction yet? If not, what are you most looking forward to with this attraction? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!