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Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Coming to Disney Parks in Late 2024

Carmen Smith

by , Senior Vice President, Creative Development - Product/Content & Inclusive Strategies

Strike up the band because we’ve saved a seat for you on this musical journey with Tiana and friends! The name of the new attraction evolving from the reimagining of Splash Mountain was announced today during ESSENCE Fest in New Orleans: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The all-new adventure which will bring guests into the world of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ film “The Princess and the Frog” like never before is coming to Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland park in California in late 2024.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure logo

Walt Disney Imagineers have been frequent travelers to Louisiana while conducting extensive research to ensure Tiana’s Bayou Adventure preserves the heart and soul of the city that inspired Princess Tiana’s story. From exploring the French Market and the bayou, to consulting with academics, chefs, musicians and cultural institutions, Imagineers have received inspiration from all over the region and learned from local experts along the way.

This research was explored in detail today at the French Quarter’s historic Preservation Hall during an intimate event held in honor of ESSENCE Fest, happening this weekend in New Orleans. With its own distinct history bringing people together, Preservation Hall was the ideal location to celebrate an attraction where music and community are at the heart of a transformational journey. 

The celebration included a panel moderated by Victoria Uwumarogie, senior lifestyle editor at ESSENCE Magazine. Joining me in this discussion were colleagues and friends 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. Guests were treated to live art demonstrations provided by emerging talent from YAYA Arts Center, an organization we’ve engaged to commission artwork from alumna Sharika Mahdi. Music from the world-renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band echoed throughout the hall, along with a performance by the voice of Mama Odie and living legend herself, Jenifer Lewis. 

Jenifer Lewis

Guests are in for a true treat with local flavor when Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens in late 2024. As Charita Carter shared, “in many ways, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a love letter to New Orleans. Like the musical city that inspired this attraction, Tiana’s second act is about a community working in harmony to achieve something extraordinary. She reminds us of an immutable truth we can all relate to: ‘if you do your best each and every day, good things are sure to come your way.’ And that’s a melody we can all sing along to!” 

To be able to join New Orleans in the celebration of Black joy as we bring Tiana’s story to its roots is a full-circle moment I’m so proud to realize. Ted Robledo added that “the joie de vivre that animates this region so brilliantly not only inspired Tiana’s journey, but also our team at Walt Disney Imagineering.” It’s our intention to do that jubilant spirit justice when advancing the storyline of Princess Tiana at our parks.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure artwork

First announced in 2020, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film. Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome. Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.

Later in the day, Costume Designer Ida Muldrow from Disney Live Entertainment joined Ted, Charita and me at the ESSENCE Fest center stage to reveal Tiana’s new look for the attraction. In a panel moderated by Yvette Nicole Brown, the team discussed their meticulous approach to cultivating this all-important aspect of Tiana’s second act.

From researching prevailing trends of the 1920s – the era in which our story takes place – to looking through family archives, the team ensured Tiana’s look was historically accurate and authentic to the character. “Tiana was equally at home in the bayou as she was at a banquet,” Muldrow said. “We wanted her look to reflect that, and be a compliment to the story’s setting.” 

Attendees heard about the creative process as well, and the considerations taken in developing a unique hairstyle for Tiana. The team placed emphasis on the versatility of Black women’s hair and its significance to our identity across geographies and generations. 

There’s an important story about the Black community that needs to be told, and to be able to do it at ESSENCE Fest is something special. Ida shared in our intention and enthusiasm for revealing this concept at ESSENCE Fest. “Our efforts are a tribute to the beauty and dignity of all the proud Black women who came before us,” Muldrow said. “And to their great-grand daughters joining us on the journey today, we’re celebrating with you.” Our team has spent a great deal of time to ensure our representation of Tiana is authentic, and giving festival goers a first look at that research proves we’re doing something right.

Ida Muldrow from Disney Live Entertainment and panel

Keep your ears perked and eyes peeled for more updates relating to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. We look forward to bringing you along for the journey as we embark on this exciting endeavor, together.

Comments

  • Splash Mountain is the reason my family loves going to Disney World! When we ride Splash Mountain we are completely immersed in the experience.. from the chipmunks singing in the little house to the musical theme, cute animal characters and the happiness it brings us! That is magic!
    Please, don’t change it!

    Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will be Magic as well, but, it seriously deserves its own original ride all to herself! Respect that!

    Don’t ruin Disney World by getting ride of the iconic Splash Mountain.

    Listen to the people!

  • This is terrible. Disney you need to unwoke up – no one wants this. Read the comments. Splash Mountain is more than a ride to most. When families spend the ever-increasing amount to enter Disneyland, they do so because they want their kids to share in the memories they had when they were a kid. By changing Splash Mountain you’re creating one more reason to avoid Disney. You might think that families will be creating new memories by changing the ride, and you would be right. But, weren’t paying for that alone. There are much cheaper and better options for that. I hope someone of significance reads the comments here.

  • Why are you doing this! Give the Princess and the frog her own ride. You are getting rid of a classic! You will loose more than you gain. So sad!!!!

  • I am personally excited about the transformation! The only downside is that I was planning to take my children next year but now that Splash Mountain is going to be renovated, we definitely will not be going until afterward, as that is the ride my kids are most excited to go on. I always thought it looked outdated, never know the backstory to it until the last time we were at Disney, and I heard some people talking about it in line. I think it’s great they are changing it and we love Princess and the Frog, so my family is extremely happy for it to be included in the park more. My daughter will love to see a princess that looks like her represented at the park!

  • I always love Splash Mountain very much, it’s awesome ride at Disneyland! Please leave it alone, this Ride made me feel happy, I love Princess and the Frog, Princess Tiana should have her own ride, I think it is best, well new ride, not re theme Splash Mountain, the land is not match at all, hopefully some area do match the land?
    #savesplashmountain

  • Such sad news! Why would you take such a popular, so loved ride and change it? There’s other areas you can put new attractions. My dgter who is now 42 has cassette recordings of her and grandpa screaming as they descend the waterfalls. It’s the one ride she’ll get on line over and over again. Oh did I mention she’s blind, has cerebral palsy and developmental delay!. We are from Az and have been bringing her and her brother to Disney since 1981, multi times a yr. We won’t be making that treck very often now if at all when you keep making these changes to beloved rides and attractions. Every time you do you chip away the history of Disney and the dream of Walt Disney.

  • I am just so sad racism should not be the reason why this is going down completely absurd this is probably one of my favorite rides at the Disneyland resort and I am so sad to see that it is going it is so stupid and the worlds dumbest decision to change this yes Walt Disney may have intended and said that the Disneyland Resort was to change and evolve but not like this and we both know the saying when you become woke you become broke this is just so dumb I am really disappointed with you Disney and I hope you know you lost a lot of loyal customers honestly in my opinion I think you should just make a whole area or a different ride that is Princess and the frog and keep splash Mountain it’s just too much work completely absurd and not what Walt Disney intended I hope you know if Walt Disney was to come back and see what his Park has become he’d be very disappointed in the person who chose to do this and who is involved but like I said very disappointed I love the park but very sad that they come to this you guys are becoming way to woke .

  • That is such a Shame!!
    I mean, why can’t Disneyland move their Princess and The Frog attraction somewhere else in the Park, and leave Splash Mountain alone?!?!

  • Am I the only one who feels like the reasons behind these changes andsong if the south being banned from disney plus etc is ridiculous?

    The film was released in 1941 – of course things were different then to now! Yes I don’t agree with slavery, but modern day slavery is not being portrayed in the film. At the time it was filmed slavery was probably an accepted part of us culture.

    It has OUTDATED references to slavery in the film. All you need to do is make it clear that these are present rather than banning the world from seeing an awesome film. The ride itself doesn’t contain a single reference to slavery, yet because the film can’t be shown to us the ride must also be changed Song of the south in my opinion is an amazing film and we should not be blocked from seeing it due to references that were an accepted part of society when the film was filmed 80 years ago.

  • Do they really think we’re taking this comment stuff serious? I send comment after comment and nuthin gets included!? Spect to say the least!

  • I spect this ain’t genuine, I mean, I keep submittin comments and nuttiness! Really?

  • I wonder how some folks get on here twice and us folks don’t get on at tall!?

  • Can it be! WDW? I heard there is going to be a Princess and The Frog wing added to the French Quarter resort!? Gee I hope it is true! Can’t wait! We all need to make our reservations now! Gonna be so fire!

  • Hi! All giddy about this change to splash mountain! It will right all the wrongs of the world for the past 300 years! 👍

  • The imagineer team works endlessly on not just the fun factor of Tianas Bayou Adventure but the message and influence, this ride isn’t just based on a film it’s based on female influence and black culture. Sure, splash mountain was fun, personally it’s my favorite ride! But what more did splash mountain provide rather than fun, what was the moving message or representation? Why are we viewing this remodel as devastating news? This should be a celebrated advancement!! I’m beyond excited to see what the imagineering team cooks up!! I can already tell this is gonna be a huge hit!!

  • The imagineer team works endlessly on not just the fun factor of Tianas Bayou Adventure but the message and influence, this ride isn’t just based on a film it’s based on female influence and black culture. Sure, splash mountain was fun, personally it’s my favorite ride! But what more did splash mountain provide rather than a fun, what was the message? Why are we viewing this remodel as devastating news? This should be a celebrated advancement!! I’m beyond excited to see what the imagineering team cooks up!! I can already tell this is gonna be a huge hit!!

  • Biggest bummer ever! Wish they just kept Splash Mountain alone!! There was absolutely no reference to Uncle Remus. Another beloved ride that got changed. Tired of all the bs. Well after the change it will be one less ride for me to go to. Oh well…

  • Of course we’re all going to miss Splash Mountain, it was a classic. I am just grateful that I got to go back to WDW this year and ride it one last time, which was only my third time ever riding it. I am not able to visit the parks often, so I cherish every visit. What kills me is all the passholders and DVC members complaining about losing a ride they have probably ridden dozens of times. Consider yourself lucky to have experienced it many times and to visit the parks as often as you do.

    As much as I loved Splash Mountain, I’m excited to see this re-theming! Black characters have been underrepresented in Disney movies and parks, so I think this is a good opportunity to update an attraction with somewhat controversial theming. I would absolutely love if we could get some beignets near this attraction without having to go over to Port Orleans! A New Orleans style restaurant or even just a quick service with a few good offerings would fit right in with Tiana’s story!

    As far as Frontierland theming, others have already pointed out that Splash Mountain currently refers to the American South, and not the Wild West, like Big Thunder. Re-theming the Splash Mountain area to Louisiana bayou should be nothing to nitpick about. And as far as nitpicking goes, the Magic Kingdom is entirely based upon fantasy and imagination, not reality. You can sail through pirate waters and fly a rocket through outer space on the same day in the same park. That’s the whole point. Stop looking for things to complain about and just enjoy the magic.

  • Well that a half-hearted lame name! And the logo loos like it should on a cafe or dress shop. I certainly hope this is not an indication of how this make-over will but I feel this all “designed by committee” based on what will be “inclusive” rather than what will be a fun and lively attraction that guests will enjoy as much as they have Splash.

  • All of yall complaining about an update and keeping a deep south song, can make your own park.

  • This is so exciting! Splash Mountain is a perfect fit for a Tiana storyline! And the New Orleans Square location makes it even better!

    It’s nice to see the placeholder animatronics that were hastily moved from America Sings in the 80s being replaced with an original story!

  • How sad. Splash Mountain is probably one of my favorite attractions and the characters and music makes it so. It is no where as popular as Song of the South. Disney is trying to erase Song of the South from its catalog. There isn’t even any depiction of Uncle Remus in the attraction. What a shame.

  • It sounds like at least some or all the music will be original, not in the film but inspired by the film!! This makes me even more excited for the refresh! I love surprises! I’m sure Disney Imagineers will do a great job with the reimagining!!! Guess now we have to wait until 2024!!

  • Princess and the Frog is just as problematic as Song of the South. A movie taking place in the 1920s, a rich white girl would not befriend a poor black girl. Almost all the black people in the movie have a racist southern accent. She’s the only princess who is not human for most of her movies. She also fits the stereotype of not having her father. Most of these arguments are made about Song of the South as well. Point is, neither one of the movies are bad. Leave Splash Mountain the way it is, make Tiana a ride somewhere else. Also, Disney, you need to release Song of the South and let people decide for themselves how they feel about it. #SaveSplashMountain

  • Love this! I’m excited to experience something fresh and new yet still keep the thrill of the classic log flume ride! It’ll be the “bees knees”! See ya in 2024!

  • Or you could, y’know, educate people about Song of the South instead of burying it and pretending it doesn’t exist while you destroy a beloved theme park attraction in the process.

  • Why remove the most popular ride in Magic Kingdom??
    Build a new ride and restaurant for Princess Tiana and make ALL of your fans happy!

  • The Br’er Rabbit tales are important to Black culture. Re-theming this ride is condoning the erasure of authentic Black culture. I understand the need for more diverse representation, but it is possible to achieve this goal without destroying an iconic attraction such as Splash Mountain. A brand new ride should be created from scratch for Tiana, no one argues that. Families love Splash Mountain and look forward to creating memories with their children and grandchildren on this ride. Please don’t take that away from them! There are multiple petitions to save this ride, with one petition alone having over 92,000 signatures. Listen to your fans, keep Splash Mountain as is and create a new ride for Tiana. This attraction has long lines and high wait times every single day. I could understand a re-theme if the ride wasn’t popular, but you and I both know that is not the case here. The ride is just as popular as ever. If you did a poll, the results would be in favor of keeping the ride as is. Do the right thing, keep your customers happy and build a new ride for Tiana that’s separate from Splash Mountain. Many will have a hard time coming back to the parks if you go through with this decision, so please reconsider.

  • Our family has loved Splash Mountain too, but we are very excited to see what Disney Imagineers create because they’ve been doing such creative and unique experiences. We’re going to miss Splash Mt., but glad Disney is giving space for Tiana and her story. We’ve explained that representation matters and at its simplest form, we take turns. Splash Mt had its turn and now it’s time for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure! Who knows this might become our newest favorite ride! Looking forward to late 2024!

  • This is horrible news. Splash Mountain has an amazing story to it. As a DVC member, I go to WDW at least 5 – 7 times a year, and always ride it. When I at the parks and within the resorts,
    I always talk to other visitors and lots of cast everyday. I have not met one person that wants this change.

    STOP RUINING THE PARKS by pushing your corporate agendas and start listening to what the majority of your guests want.

    Leave Splash Mountain alone, and give Tiana an brand new ride in a different location.
    Since WDW messed up the 50th Anniversary so bad, how about giving us the gift we really want…. More rides and not ride makeovers.

  • Splash Mountain was always one of my favorite rides – both in Anaheim and Orlando – and yes, of course I’ll miss it but what it represents is just too painful ans problematic for some and this IS the right thing to do. This country went through a reckoning, forcing people and companies to wake up and re-examine everything. I’m so impressed Disney hasn’t back down based on the embarrassing ignorance of so many people. Do what’s right, and MOVE FORWARD. Disney is on the RIGHT side of history here.

  • So sad…why does everything have to be taken away? Why can’t Splash Mountain stay and just add a new Tiana ride? Why is Disney catering to this group of people? They sure don’t mind standing in line and riding Splash Mountain now.

  • It is a shame that Disney is replacing easily it’s most iconic ride, instead of building Tiana a brand new state-of-the-art attraction. I will definitely miss Splash Mountain and it’s wonderful music. Don’t fix what is not broken

  • Why are you removing the best ride in the park? This is a story from Africa which you are destroying for what reason? We have probably been to Magic Kingdom 9 times in the last 10 years, but we’re really disappointed with this decision and it will dissuade us from coming to your parks in the future. Please reconsider this terrible decision.

  • Change and progress are exciting opportunities. I’m looking forward to what the imagineering team is working on.

  • FINALLY! Sadly is 2 years to see it completed but is still amazing that Disney is doing the right thing with storytelling, tell the stories that needs to be told, and even more based on their intellectual properties! It has been too long that they should have this done.

  • I wish they’d keep Splash as it is and built a new attraction for Tiana. Critter Country needs a bit of love and additions to it anyways. It really won’t be critter country anymore either since it’s more New Orleans with critters.

  • You may already know that Disney’s The Princess and the Frog drew inspiration from the true story of Leah Chase, the legendary New Orleans chef. The real chef behind Princess Tiana owned a restaurant in New Orleans, Dooky Chase’s Restaurant.

  • Thank you for destroying yet another one of my favourite and most dear things about Disney World!

    I understand the need for things to be more inclusive as well as the need for new attractions.

    However, with ALL of the land that Dinsey has, why not utilize some of that space for new attractions so that all the classic attractions that so many of us hold dear remain for everyone to enjoy while adding new inclusive attractions as well.

    Splash Mountain is a staple of amazing songs, and adorable critters. It is my favourite ride and when I think of Disney of course Splash Mountain is the first thing that comes to mind.

    While nothing can destroy the memories I have of riding Splash Mountain, I honestly cannot imagine Disney without it! I am heartbroken!

    Progress and innovation does not have to mean removing and destroying classic attractions. Walt knew this!

  • Wow! Some really misinformed people in this comment thread. I’m very excited for this new attraction, as someone who also LOVES Splash Mountain. However, if you are unable to see how the current story is problematic then I don’t know what to tell you. Yes, Br’er Rabbit is an African American folktale but are we ignoring that he represents the enslaved African American. Yes, he overcomes in the end of the ride but the symbolism still remains the same. Tiana is in part referenced after Chef Leah Chase, if you didn’t read the entire article; Who was the “Queen of Creole Cuisine.” New Orleans is predominantly Black or African American. It’s the birth place of Jazz and Creole cooking. It has a rich history embedded in Black culture. Tiana herself is the first Black Disney “Princess.” Not a symbol of an enslaved person escaping his white oppressors. So let’s do some research and celebrate the growth and progressive movement Disney is playing here rather than hold on to a much beloved ride and ignore it’s very serious and problematic undertones.

  • Splash Mountain. The best ride in the Disney Parks. Nothing is comfier than hopping in a log, floating down a river, and listening to woodland critters regale you with songs following the journey of Br’er Rabbit, a beloved trickster from African American folklore. If you’re in Florida, you get the treat of hearing the music played on bluegrass instruments such as the banjo and mandolin. Truly one of if not the most soulful and aesthetically pleasing rides in all of the parks.
    I have vivid and treasured memories as a child of ducking my head on the way down to the briar patch and being absolutely enamored and enthralled with world created within the ride. The rustic decor and architecture, catchy and joyous music and serene finale cemented this as my favorite ride in any amusement park ever. This ride means the world to me. I don’t get to go to Disney often, but when I did, the majority of my time in Magic Kingdom was spent in Frontierland solely because of Splash Mountain and partially Big Thunder Mountain. My last visit, I spent an entire after-hours event riding Splash Mountain and still not getting sick of it.
    And now you’re destroying it. My heart is completely shattered. Instead of giving Princess and the Frog its own ride or restaurant, you encroach on and destroy arguably the most beloved ride in any of your parks. Instead of acknowledging the petition to keep the ride around with 70,000 more signatures than the one to change it, you insult and ignore the your consumer base, destroy the ride and bury anything related it without acknowledging what it means to hundreds of thousands of people. Instead of having a ride based on actual genuine African American folklore, you replace it with a European fairytale.
    No one is opposed to Princess and the Frog getting its own attraction, but I will never accept it if it means that I lose my laughin’ place. I will never return or spend another cent with this company after Splash Mountain is gone. This is absolutely atrocious. The saddest part of this is that I will never experience this ride with my children.

  • I’m truly going to miss Brer Rabbit. I loved those stories as a kid and it’s an important part of our history. And I have been a fan of Splash Mountain for years. I do understand the need to update and keep the park fresh. I also LOVE Tiana, and the stories, the behind the scenes work. I’m enjoying learning about all of it! I hope there’s some kind of tribute to the Song of the South characters in the balance as well.

    All that said, I am excited to see Tiana’s story in the park and, if what I saw at Disneyland last month is any indication, it’ll be with more than just this ride. I really really want some good gumbo!

  • So excited for this!

  • Thanks for providing a much needed update on this project. As I said when this was first announced, I am always open to new experiences at the parks, so I am looking forward to this. Walt Disney intended Disneyland to change and evolve.

  • At least Tokyo is keeping a pristine version of the original Splash Mountain!

  • This will be one of the best rides Disney ever had! So excited. Princess and the frog is a classic and the ride fits perfectly to the movie theme. I hope it comes off as “swampy” like in the movie!

  • There goes one of my favorite rides at any Disney park.

  • Such a shame they want to remove authentic Black stories in favour of this white European story with Black leads. And here I was hoping we could leave racism in the past. Extremely disappointed with you today, Disney.