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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

  • I welcome the idea, that movie is one of my little girl’s favorites! The music is awesome, so it will add to the ride. However, I am sad because nothing happens fast at Disney and I’m afraid the ride will be closed for quite sometime.

  • Why. Why take away something historic. Generally I’m all for upgrading but something’s just need to stay the same. Why did you have to touch my Splash Mountain. So sad now 😭

  • Losing splash mountain is like losing a heritage!!
    Most people would miss it if it’s gone!!
    Please don’t do this!! I pray that’s not gonna happen!! I can’t be more disappointed!!
    Why can’t Tiana has her new ride and save splash mountain? I’m so sad!!!!
    The animals live equally in splash mountain!!
    There’s no status in that world and of course no princess!! It’s an animals world!!!
    I believe Disney will save this greatest ride.

  • This seems great! I love when the Imagineers create new music inspired from the film! I hope to see more new creations or new songs versus the songs from the movie! The Imagineers did a fantastic job with Incredicoaster when it comes to the music! Also, having Tony Baxter as the Creative Advisor is the best thing that can happen during this reimagining! As iconic as Splash Mountain is, the change definitely follows the iconic phrase, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” -Walt Disney. With that said, please keep the iconic name of the attraction as is now!! Something like Splash Mountain-An Enchanted Adventure or similar ideas!

  • I am very disappointed in losing yet another original Disney group of characters. The old animation and drawing of the characters is so much better than the newer ones. Even though the book basis for the ride presented issues, it would have been easy to change the dialect on these wonderful deeply loved characters. We are DVC members and go to the park often. This was our favorite ride because of the music and the happiness of the theme riding through it. The song, Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Da won an academy award. This ride was a treasure and these daring look like more modern inferior drawings and animation.

  • I am very sad to hear this news. Splash Mtn is a safe and fun family ride. Princess and the frog is dark and at times very scary for the littles. Why would you do this??

  • I think this is a Fantastic idea!! Please, please, please tell me you will also be re-theming Hungry Bear Restaurant to Tiana’s place.

  • Responding to Sam’s comment on June 27, 2020 at 1:05 pm:

    Splash Mountain is very sentimental to me as it’s the last ride I went on with my abuela and abuelo my maternal grandparents before they passed. That being said what you wrote is amazing and helping me get over this grief of losing a physical connection to them. Thank you.

  • Bravo, Disney! You’ve made a difficult decision and turned it into something exciting and fun. I wish all the animals of the Briar Patch well and thank them for the many fun trips my family and I made down Splash Mountain, and to Princess Tiana and her entourage, I say welcome!

  • No.

  • I’ll miss you, Splash

  • I’ve spent a great deal of time since this announcement was made reminiscing on old pictures featuring what my friends have dubbed “The Point,” our signature pose we would attempt to hold as long as possible as our log began its descent down Chickapin Hill. Splash Mountain encapsulated the very essence of the joy I feel when at the Disney parks. Aside from the ride being the unanimous favorite of my friend group, Splash Mountain always represented something more – it became synonymous with good times, laughter, adventure, and the care-free days of our youth. It taught us the importance of finding our “Laughin’ Place,” and it served as an optimistic reminder that the best of times are often right on the other side of life’s hardest falls.

    Splash Mountain was a perfect ride built upon a deeply imperfect premise. Ultimately, this premise ended up being its demise – and for good reason. Recent times have brought race relations and the importance of diversity, representation, and inclusion to the forefront of the world stage. I absolutely applaud Disney for standing up and doing the right thing, regardless of the criticism and backlash they have already begun, and almost certainly will continue, to receive. Princess and the Frog deserves a marquee attraction in the parks. Princess Tiana is more than worthy of the spotlight, and her ascent to the throne atop Splash Mountain will undoubtedly serve as a beacon of inspiration to young African-American girls for generations to come.

    The thing about the Disney parks is that they aren’t made for me, nor are they museums fixed on a specific moment in time. They are for the youth, and they will continue to create millions of magical, awe-inspiring moments for this demographic until long after I’m gone. Because of this, it is only right that they fulfill Walt’s promise when he said (and I paraphrase) that they will never be finished or complete; they will continue to evolve to be more in line with the times, with what hope and fantasy mean to the youth of today and tomorrow. With this in mind, I will step aside, continue to cherish and celebrate the memories I was lucky enough to make on Splash Mountain, and look forward to bringing the magic that is Disney to my own children someday.

    Rest easy, Br’er Rabbit. Glad you found your Laughin’ Place. Thanks for showing me mine.

  • While I am sad to see it go, I can only hope they will find my husbands wedding ring when they redo the ride. He lost it overboard on the ride one day after we got married at yacht and beach club May 2008. That would really be some Disney Magic!!! LOL

  • yessss im so happy. my favorite princess is now being added definitely not tear up… THANK YOU DISNEYY wooohoooo

  • Couldnt disagree more with this retheming. Splash mountain wildly popular and wait times to prove it. Should have replaced small world.

  • My only ask is that the music on the newly themed ride be authentic New Orleans Jazz from the era! Some examples would be Louis Armstrong, Jelly Roll Morton, etc., please, please do not use the music from the movie! Honor black musicians and showcase the great artists from the New Orleans 20s. Thanks!

  • One thing that Splash Mountain is in Critter Country. Each land at the parks focuses on the characters that reside there and well last I knew Princess and the Frog, is a story about a Princess she belongs with the other Princesses in Fantasyland. Why can’t the ride stay true to where it resides in Critter Country there was Brother Bear and even Fox and the Hound. Why couldn’t the Imagineers figure something out that would stay true to what the land the attraction resides in? I get that Song of the South has issues but let’s stay true to the concept of the area it lives, I even hear of why not just Star Wars land take over that area and expanded more of Star Wars themes.

  • Love how the concept art turns the mountain into a tree! It looks gorgeous and I’m sure the team will do a great job making it look perfect in its surroundings! Love the suggestion of a beignet stand outside! I’m here with a name suggestion; I think I nailed it haha: Splashin’ Through the Bayou!

  • I 100% support this decision. It is the right thing to do. With cautious optimism, I am exercising my faith in the Imagineers and I think it will be great. Splash Mountain is my FAVORITE ride in Disneyland, but let’s be real, the theming is problematic. The Imagineers have done a great job updating attractions in the past. For example, there was nothing wrong with Tower of Terror, and I had my doubts when they changed it, but now I much prefer the new Guardians of the Galaxy experience. I’m trusting them to do a really great job with this beloved attraction too.

  • To say I am disappointed would be an understatement. I hope Disney would chose to add rides to their parks instead of taking some away. I love Splash Mountain, it is my favorite ride.

    Tiana deserves the respect of having her own attraction, not a reskinned ride.

  • While riding Splash Mountain I never felt a “Song of the South” connection, even if that was the original theme. It sort of told its own story. And Brer Fox and Brer Rabbit were characters in the Thornton Burgess books that I read as a child. Even as a child (I’m in my 60’s) when I watched the Song of the South, I never noted any animosity in it. The large Black man in the movie reminded me of a friend of my parents named “Smitty” that was equal in size and demeanor. He was great. Of course, like my parents, he has long since passed away, but I loved that man.

    I would love to see the Princess and the Frog ride be built. There is no doubt in my mind that Disney will do an amazing job, but add it to the collection. Don’t lose the great Splash Mountain ride to get the other. I have heard that at Disney Land space is limited so there may be no choice but Disney World has room. I want to take my future grandchildren on the rides that their parents loved so much when they were young, not just tell them about it.

  • Can you please make this concept art picture downloadable for wallpaper?? I love it! Gorgeous! Thank you!

  • PATF will thematically work at Disneyland since the attraction is right on the edge of New Orleans Square. It won’t work so well at Walt Disney World since the attraction is right in the middle of Frontierland. Maybe it’s time to dust off Marc Davis’ concepts for the Western River Expedition attraction and use them for Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World. There was logging in the West you know. 🙂

  • No, Disney, please don’t do this!! I’m so sad. It’s another punch in the gut. Why do you have to do this now? Why can’t you just keep it the same beloved attraction when so much is crazy in the world right now? Do you recognize and understand that you have a huge fan base that loves this ride? I’m so disappointed. Princess and the Frog is great, but put it somewhere else. Don’t let us lose our favorite attraction! PLEASE change your mind!!

  • Very sad to hear that this iconic ride and story is being -suddenly- repurposed. We are DVC/Disney lovers and Disney is our family go-to vacation choice, a magical oasis free from the day-to-day. Any thoughts on changing the Disneyland version and keeping the WDW as-is? Let’s hope that the Hall of Presidents isn’t the next target.

  • I think change is great, honestly when Disney had thought to change rides like submarines with Nemo or add characters to its a small world, I originally was annoyed. I realized it was nostalgia….when my kids went the first time they thought rides were OK but adding those Disney components they were familiar really helped them fall in love with the rides. My kids love the nightmare before Christmas because of the haunted mansion holiday. It should be done right and themed well. Please add in a little snippet of zip a dee do dash…..or some of the characters just for nostalgia’s sake…I don’t know if it should be completely gutted or if keeping the song would be appropriate. Honestly my daughter was interested to learn about the song and found the first black person to win an academy award. That being said my kids loved the princess and the frog and led to them both falling in love with jazz music and jazz singers….

  • Very excited for this update. I love splash mountain but I couldn’t imagine a more perfect movie for the Disneyland version due to its proximity to New Orleans Square. As soon as the movie came out I was hoping there would be a water based dark ride for it. I kinda knew it had to be Pirates or Splash for Disneyland and think this was a great choice.

  • Princess Tiana deserves a new ride. Not one that has already been a favorite and a staple of Disney for so long. As excited as i am for this new ride, I’m very very disappointed and sad.

  • I don’t know why splash mountain needs to be replaced. It’s so disappointing that I cannot see the cute animal characters. Even though the movie, Song of the South has been banned, the animal characters and music of the ride have nothing to do with racism. I can’t imagine that we lose the characters and Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah song. They are wonderful work and need to be inherited!!!!! PLEASE save Splash Mountain as it is! It’s definitely people’s favorite ride for many years!

  • I am 34 and have been going to Disney World as long as I can remember. I didn’t know until a few years ago that “Song of the South” movie existed! I thought it was just a cute ride with a bunch of animals in it. The Imagineers CAN NOT just stick Tiana in the middle of a basically random land. And since when are there mountains in Louisiana? She should get a good restaurant that plays JAZZ music. That being said if they do retheme the ride and keep it where it is, they need to take as much time as they need to do it right and I agree with other people to put a beignet stand outside the attraction.

  • News of ride re-themes usually bums me out (I still miss Maelstrom and The Great Movie Ride, even through their replacements are stellar). I am 1000% on board with this, though. So happy to see Princess and the Frog get some much-deserved love, and so excited to see how this turns out! 🙂

  • This AP can’t wait for the new ride. Proximity to New Orleans Square is perfect. Best movie soundtrack. Will be a hit.

    P.S. Keep WTP if you can. Rename Critter Country the 100 Acre Wood?

  • Disney, please don’t change most people’s favorite attraction. I’m really sad for this. Tiana can have a new attraction. Please save splash mountain as it is.

  • Been on Splash Mountain a bunch of times. Excited about the change, mostly because ot just needs to be updated and I look forward to it. Nothing wrong, in my opinion, with Song of the South, but most people have no idea what it is. Make it great Disney…

  • Seems like more opposition coming from fans of Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom. Fans of the Disneyland S.M. seem more in favor of the new theme. Certainly, the DL version’s location adjacent to New Orleans Square will make it much more relevant from an area theme standpoint. As much as I am sad to see S.M. go away, I will enthusiastically embrace the new Tiana attraction if it is executed spectacularly. This is nothing new at Disneyland… Swiss Family Treehouse became Tarzan’s Treehouse, Tower of Terror became Guardians of the Galaxy, Submarine Voyage was saved from removal, quite frankly, because it was transformed into Finding Nemo Sub Voyage.

    All of these were very well done and totally refreshed the rides in question. I’m very eager to see how the imagineers integrate new Tiana storylines, animatronics and set pieces into the existing ride infrastructure, especially how they handle the big lift and flume drop! Maybe it’s time to simultaneously put into development a Princess and the Frog movie sequel based on the new story developed for the ride!

  • Nooooo!! I could not be more disappointed. Splash Mountain is the best ride at Disney, so sad they’re getting rid of it. It has a beautiful/uplifting storyline throughout the ride, why change it? I’ve honestly lost a bit of excitement to go again now! So sad.

  • Honestly, I love Splash Mountain! I love The Princess & the Frog. The meaning in the ride currently Has always been there and to decide to change it now after current events is sad. If Disney was going to do it, then they should have years ago. The social issues were there then too. That being said, The Princess & the Frog deserved so much more long before now so it’s about freaking time!!

  • I’m very sad about this announcement. Splash Mountain is my favorite ride. There is absolutely no need to change it.
    Of course I always look forward to new Disney rides and it would be exciting to have one based on The princess and the frog. But NOT at the expense of this classic ride with the amazing songs and critters. PLEASE keep the original Splash Mountain.

  • I’m looking forward to this! I think this will be a great update. I am a little worried about the voodoo representation being added to the park. The movie gets quite dark at times and presents voodoo priestesses in a positive light. That’s quite a shade different than harmless spooky fun like the haunted mansion. If the ride avoids religious references like that and concentrates on a fun journey to Mardi Gras, this should be really special!

  • Splash Mountain has been one of my most favorite rides in Disney World. I always look froward to going on the ride and have a lot of found happy memories since I was a kid.

    That being said, there comes a time where things don’t age well and need to get changed. And as we move forward it makes sense to change this to be themed around “The Princess and the Frog”or Zootopia. I think it is the right thing to do in the long run.

    I personally hope Disney will keep Splash Mountain open and have a preview for the retheming for “The Princess and the Frog”. I just want Imagnieers to take the time to make the new ride the best ride experience.

    I personally can’t wait to take one last ride on Splash Mountain and will be in line when the new retheme to “The Pricess and the Frog” opens up.

  • We enjoyed the ride in the past. It was on our must ride list for each visit. We are looking forward to the reimagined theme of this ride. The updates and changes at the theme parks and resorts are always magical!

  • Splash Mountain is my family’s favorite ride. I had no idea about the story behind it. I never watched that movie. I am a little sad to see it go. We were supposed to go to Disneyland the week they shuttered everything. I’m okay with the change, but for old time’s sake, is there a way to see a video of going through the ride? For nostalgia?
    I can’t wait to see what the new ride will be like though! 🙂

  • I’m so excited about this! This is one of my favorite movies! Hopefully they will also add Tiana’s Place!

  • Yay!!! Love Princess and the Frog Movie. Can’t wait to ride Splash Mountain revamped.

  • Recreate “America Sings”with the old Animatronics figures if you are replacing them.

  • No SPLASH at Disney…No CASH at Disney… DONE !

  • I am very sad that Disney is giving in to pressure of some of the people again. There was nothing wrong with this classic ride and most people do not even know or care about the background. It was such a fun and happy ride with great music, nothing can replace it. I will not ride the new one. With all of these changes, I may stop going to Disney after 34 years of great times, it is just not the same any more. I am very disappointed.

  • BRAVO. This is the right thing to do. Disney is doing the next right thing. We will miss Splash Mountain, but it’s about time we right the wrongs of celebrating a problematic movie in an iconic ride. I trust Disney will keep the nostalgia. I am excited to celebrate this incredible princess on the new ride!!!

  • Please don’t replace America Sings’ animatronics! I love them.

  • Well, I cried.