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New Adventures with Princess Tiana Coming to Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom Park

Michael Ramirez

by , Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Today we are thrilled to share a first glimpse of a project Imagineers have been working on since last year. Splash Mountain – at both Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom park in Florida – will soon be completely reimagined. The theme is inspired by an all-time favorite animated Disney film, “The Princess and the Frog.” We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.

Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou. In 1966, Walt himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first new “land” added to Disneyland park, so it feels natural to link the story and the incredible music of “The Princess and the Frog” to our parks.

The voice of Princess Tiana and Tony Award-winning actress, Anika Noni Rose, shared, “It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized! As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon. The Imagineers are giving us ‘The Princess and the Frog’ Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for, and I’m here for it!”

The approach to retheming or “plussing” attractions (as Walt Disney referred to it) begins with Imagineers asking the question, how can we build upon or elevate the experience and tell a fresh, relevant story? It’s a continuous process that Imagineers are deeply passionate about. And with this longstanding history of updating attractions and adding new magic, the retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today. The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.

Charita Carter, the senior creative producer leading the project at Walt Disney Imagineering shared, “Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures. I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun-filled experience to our guests.”

For Imagineers, change is rooted in a tradition set by Walt Disney who encouraged new innovations, new ideas, new scenes and current storytelling. And the experiences they create can be enjoyed by guests who visit our parks from all over the world.

As part of the creative development process, conceptual design work is well underway and Imagineers will soon be able to conduct preliminary reviews and develop a timeline for when the transformation can start to take shape.

Stay tuned for more!

Comments

  • Just curious if the updated ride goes into New Orleans Square and if so, what happens to Critter Country with just Winnie the Pooh? Will that land still exist or is another new ride coming in??

  • This is thrilling news! My family loves Tiana’s story and the music from her film. It is wonderful to see Disney respecting the voices of the diverse groups of fans who have never been comfortable with Splash Mountain’s link to Song of the South. Thank you!

  • This is FABULOUS!!! Brava to everyone involved. x Beyond thrilled to experience this magical film in such a creative, immersive way!

  • I won’t say that I am not a bit misty eyed about losing a favorite attraction, but at the same time, I am over the moon to find out that Tiana and company are going to be getting some serious Disney Parks love, finally!!! Thanks for finally giving that hard working woman her due.

  • Most excellent.

  • how is this new ride going to fit into the land at the magic kingdom? since wdw doesn’t have a new orleans square 🤷🏼‍♀️

  • I can’t wait to see the new theming/plussing!

  • The world changes, and when it changes for the better, it’s wonderful to see Disney changing with it. While the original ride is a classic, there’s no way to escape its movie roots. Thank you for preparing to unveil what I’m sure will be a worthy successor to the original Splash Mountain!

  • Very sad news about a long time favorite attraction.

  • This is exciting! Now, Imagine having a swamp at the edge of this ride/Critter Country that continues and bleeds into a Dagobah expansion at Galaxy‘s Edge.

  • Love that it’s not just a retelling of the movie! Over at Disneyland, it will probably be a great transition between New Orleans Square and Critter Country. Though I am a little bit worried as to how thematically it’ll fit in in WDW’s Frontierland. At WDW, Haunted Mansion is across the river so it’s not near anything New Orleans/swamp related and its in the middle of a more Western vibe area.

  • I cried a bit when America Sings was torn down and thus, never embraced all Splash Mountain was. However, I am BEYOND excited about this change and cannot wait to ride! Now, tell me there will be a Tiana’s Place for lunch after my FastPass.

  • Although I am sad that a classic will be gone it’s undertones from the movie will not be remembered any longer. I am very excited to see what the imagineers will have in store and how they will fit the drop into the story line! Very excited to see Princess Tiana and Louis in action!

  • Not really happy at all. Splash Mountain was the best ride in MK. They havent been “imagineering” this at all. I believe they just fell to ongoing pressure to change it. Why else would they have just refurbished it in Jan/Feb?Also, a New Orleans themed ride does not fit AT ALL with the western town feel of the rest of that park area. Going to change Big Thunder next?

  • A little sad, but embrace the changes! What makes it bittersweet is my dad was an audio animatrition Imagineer back in the 80’s. His last project before he passed away was the baby bunnies before the drop. I always had a special connection passing by them. I hope a part of them will be preserved. Tiana and friends will be an amazing transformation. I was hesitant when they changed the Tower of Terror, but it turned out awesome. Trust in the magic.

  • This is AWESOME!!! I love the music and characters from The Princess and the Frog. That theme put onto that ride is going to be so much fun. Great idea! Maybe some beignets can be sold at Magic Kingdom now? 😉

  • Always a bit mixed when these changes occur. Bravo to Disney for the acknowledgement of necessary, enlightened updates. Hoping this gives an opportunity to change WtP back to Country Bears to recreate a bigger draw to the area!

  • This is disappointing news on 2 levels. 1) Tiana deserves a whole new & not some half baked and probably cheap redo like they did to Maelstrom for Frozen. 2) I love Splash Mountain as is. There is nothing offensive in the ride and it’s just a fun and happy ride as is. Yes, I understand it’s based on a movie that has objectionable segments but the ride is fine.

  • This is going to fit in perfect at Disneyland. I know some WDW fans are upset but I’m really happy our park gets the preferential treatment once in a while. Especially since DL theming areas are more consistent to begin with anyway.

  • Bravo Disney! Growing, learning, and constantly imagineering. Wonderful news.

  • I’ve been a Disney fan since I was a kid, I always will be! I am sad about this though because, the executives just gave in to the peer pressure and and is going to change a wonderful ride that hasn’t been changed since 1989; smart!

  • I am thrilled! Although it is a little bittersweet to say goodbye to something that has been, in some cases, very integral to our memories and childhood, change (especially for the better) is such a huge component to Walt Disney’s philosophy. I’m just crossing my fingers that Hungry Bear restaurant gets turned into Tiana’s place!

  • I couldn’t be more happy and excited! Thank you so much Charita and Carmen for your thoughtful and inspiring work!!!

  • This is awesome! My hope is that someday Jungle Cruise also gets tweaked to remove the sterotypes (not the jokes, we love the jokes) so that my family can ride on it again.

  • Why not giver Tiana a brand new ride for her special and better fitting a Princess and change the character names of Splash Mountain and new voices, I personally had no idea they were from a film and its background. All I saw were adorable little characters on a big boat doing cute dances and singing songs before we took the PLUNGE!

    You swapped Norway out and it’s just not the same either.

  • That’s so sad! No more laughing place at Disney. I have never seen Song of the South, so I just appreciated the cute animal characters.

  • I will miss hearing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah. It’s such a happy song!

  • Well why not make Princess and the Frog their own completely unique ride. Splash Mountain with its award winning song and perfect placement in frontier land shouldn’t be going away. There is enough land and demand for a totally new ride and experience. Too bad the imagineers couldn’t come up with that. I hope to ride the ride once more this year before the renovation starts.

  • I am all in for Tiana getting her own ride.
    I am completely not all in for Splash Mountain being changed. I think it sets a slippery slope no pun intended. Who’s next Pinocchio? I never knew it had anything that was remotely upsetting to anyone. I see many smiling faces laughing and screaming and enjoying a wonderful and joyous ride and now for pressure it’s being changed. The characters are sweet and funny and beloved!

  • Love this idea. Any word on whether Keith David would be reprising his role yet?

  • Can there be a smaller, modified “Tiana’s Place” snack stand at the exit 🙂

  • One of my favorite moments when Tiana is with her friend Charlotte La Bouff in the room with Tiana’s mother and the kitten is distressed by Tiana’s friend Charlotte La Bouff. That would make any child laugh. I really loved seeing Tiana at the shanghai resort, that made my heart just light up. I can not wait to see this to come true. Tiana to have a restaurant at the parks, would be a plus, I enjoyed going to beauty and the beast restaurant. It’s an experience I, a wait!

  • Could you let us ride it one last time before changing it??? Can you just wait until after reopening – so those of us who miss America Sings can see it one last time, PLEASE???? Zippidy Doo Dah <3 For me it holds a special place – my Mom's favorite song was Zippidee Doo Dah – just because she was always a happy person who endured much hardship and shared God's love. She passed away and my Aunt gave us all little glass blue birds for mom sitting on our shoulder. One last ride please.

  • I really loved Splash and I’m sorry to see it go.

  • This is awesome and judging from the artwork, it’s going to be SO AMAZING!!! I have chills already! I only wish that Ray and Dr. Facilier! They’re the best characters and def have the best songs that need to be showcased!🤩👏🏼

  • Love this. I’m also curious about how this will affect Pooh but that ride can use some rethinking as well. Hopefully this will give us a reason to have some dedicated focus on Creole/Cajun/Zydeco with food and live music. It always gets lost in New Orleans Square.

  • My daughters and I are jumping up and down with excitement!!! Splash Mountain is our favorite ride, but it definitely seemed outdated. We LOVE the story of Tiana and the lesson of hard work and determination to achieve your goals. The music is awesome too! This is amazing! Thanks Disney!

  • When will the refurbishment start?

  • Mixed emotions on this. Love the ride and love the story of Brer Rabbit. That said I do understand the reason for the change and maybe it will extend the New Orleans Square atmosphere at little more. It will be interesting to see how they reskin the ride to go from the briar patch to Tiana’s story but that’s why we call them the Imagineers. Others have also voiced the concern over Pooh. He is now the only critter in Critter county at Disneyland. Is it on the way out as well? That would make me sad.

  • Maybe you can do this in Disney World but not Disneyland. From a lifelong Disneyland lover and a Walt Disney history lover, this is a horrible decision and disrespects Disneyland history. Once again executives not really in touch with what makes Disneyland so special.

  • Ohhhh no! I’m so sad, I love the songs and the animatronics on the ride. So many great memories! Disney can you please rethink this. I love princess and the frog but can you just give that movie a whole new ride. Don’t give into the politics of the time. Disney should be a place where you don’t have to think about politics and enjoy the time with family. Life is short!

  • Why don’t you give Tiana the love she deserves with a brand new original attraction instead of a cheap retheme and leave Splash Mountain as it is.

    There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Splash Mountain and no reason to change it. It’s even disrespectful to all of the wonderful Imagineers who developed and worked on the attraction.

  • BRAVO, DISNEY!!! Let’s not forget — “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” ~ Walt Disney

  • Too many people are high five-ing this ignoring the art and music of the ride as if it should all just be thrown away!
    People worked long and hard on this ride, MILLIONS have enjoyed it!
    Not once in my hundreds of trips to Walt Disneyworld did I see anyone complaining about this ride in any way, shape or manner.
    If anything I saw a unity!
    Do we really want to throw this all away – discard it as if it didn’t have meaning to people?
    Let Tiana get her own ride, that’s fine, but you need to rethink this rethemed version of Splash Mountian.
    Everyone has sensitivities and we all need to appreciate that but this isn’t the way to fix things.
    Two wrongs don’t make a right. It seems rushed and doesn’t really pay homage to Tiana. Is she really from Frontierland/Adventureland? Maybe Fantasyland would be better suited for her!

  • Please put a beignet stand nearby with gluten free options 🙏🏻. Change is good.. now can you add country bear jamboree to the list of possible updates.. I love the ac on the attraction but maybe Pocahontas could get some love too.

  • There are no mountains in New Orleans. So, they’re going to take away the critters and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah and replace it with voodoo dolls and spells. Great. Why not just make the Blue Bayou restaurant Tiana’s Palace?

  • Splash Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland won’t be changed because the movie “Song of the South” is available in Japan.

  • This is going to be awesome!! I love splash mountain and the music. I’m super stoked to see it transform to princess and the frog! So excited!!

  • I think this is a really cool idea! I’m looking forward to hearing more about it. I am always open to new experiences.

    I feel that it is very important for Disneyland to get a breath of fresh air every once in a while.

  • Rode Splash Mountain without knowing anything about Song of the South and thoroughly enjoyed myself! I LOVE this ride so I hope this new theming will be top notch! Don’t try and save too much money on this, it has to be perfect!! :=)