ICYMI: Watch the Full Panel Discussion on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in New Orleans

Thomas Smith

by , Editorial Content Director, Disney Experiences

In case you missed it over the weekend, we were down in New Orleans at ESSENCE Fest celebrating Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, coming to Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland park in California in late 2024.

To share all-new details of this adventure, we gathered at historic Preservation Hall, a local community destination, for a panel discussion moderated by Victoria Uwumarogie, senior lifestyle editor at ESSENCE Magazine. She spoke with Carmen Smith, senior vice president of creative development – content, product and inclusive strategies at Disney Parks Experiences and Products at Walt Disney Imagineering, 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. Alongside the breaking news, a variety of topics were discussed from drawing local inspiration to Stella Chase’s honorary Imagineer status.

Be sure to watch the full panel discussion below, including a show stopping performance by none other than the voice of Mama Odie herself, the legendary Jenifer Lewis:

We couldn’t have imagined a better place to celebrate this next milestone. Thank you to the city of New Orleans for welcoming us and joining in the festivities!


  • Thank you for making video of this panel available. I’m looking forward to hearing more details at the D23 expo.

  • I don’t know guys, I really think Splash Mountain is a classic example of pure Disney Magic. It feels like a ride that Walt would have designed.

  • Save song of the south for the future children

  • Create a new ride for Tiana! Fans are NOT happy about this in case you haven’t noticed. Keep turning comments off on YouTube, this blog, etc. You can’t hide the fact that this is not a popular move. Keep Splash as is!

  • So excited about this! Splash Mountain is a great ride but the theming has been tired and outdated for decades. While I am old enough to remember Song of the South and to have loved it as a child, I am young enough to recognize that it’s time has passed and there is no reason to introduce it to the younger generation. This is a spectacular way to revive it, move it forward, make it relevant again!

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