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Mama Odie to Appear in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, Plus More Updates

Carmen Smith

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

The magic of the bayou is calling, so listen closely because we’re “digging a little deeper” into the experience guests can expect from the future attraction coming to Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure! The enchantment of the bayou will illuminate with a celebration during Mardi Gras season hosted by Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen. And today, I’m thrilled to announce that Mama Odie will reprise her role as the catalyst to that magic.

Mama Odie inside Tiana's Bayou Adventure concept art coming soon to Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World

As depicted in this newly released rendering, Mama Odie jokes with guests along their journey after a special display of her magic. The two-hundred-year-old Bayou Fairy Godmother, with her eccentric belongings and “seeing eye snake,” Juju, is comically eccentric, yet wise and all-knowing, throughout the adventure. We’re so delighted that legendary actress Jenifer Lewis, who starred as the voice of Mama Odie in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Princess and the Frog, is once again returning to her role for the attraction.  

Legendary actress Jenifer Lewis posing with Disney's Tiana at 2023 New Orleans Disney event

If Mama Odie is a catalyst to the magic, then Sharika Mahdi is a catalyst to the Imagineers’ creations. This New Orleans artist and YAYA Arts Center alumna has inspired our work on the attraction with a local’s perspective. As we bring our attention to Mama Odie and the important role she plays in Tiana’s story, I’d like to share the latest in a four-part series commissioned to Sharika: a tribute to our wise and whimsical keeper of the bayou.

Sharika Mahdi New Orleans artist and YAYA Arts Center alumna four-part series artwork tribute to our wise and whimsical keeper of the bayou Mama Odie

Notice how the long, flowing brush strokes offer visual cues for the floating journey that lies ahead in Tiana’s premier attraction. Along with “The Princess and the Frog” film, our team continues to use Sharika’s latest piece as inspiration for how Mama Odie will appear throughout the attraction. You may see evidence of this in the resemblance of the images above depicting Mama Odie.

Mama Odie joins a cast of friends – familiar and new – in Princess Tiana’s debut attraction. In December, we shared how a band of newly introduced critters will provide some of the soundtrack to your journey. In February, we shared the backstory behind the water tower that will punctuate the exterior. But what else is in store? Here’s a sample of what to expect from this musical adventure:

  • Brand-new cast of original Disney characters with distinct names and personalities
  • Dozens of entirely new Audio-Animatronics figures
  • Adorable critters with incredible talent, bringing the diverse flavors of musical gumbo found in New Orleans!
  • New, original music alongside favorite tunes from the film
  • Do you love beignets as much as Louis? Well, you’re in luck because the alluring scent of beignets being prepared for the party will be part of the attraction queue!
  • Additional talent voices from the film reprising their roles, including Bruno Campos as Prince Naveen, Michael Leon Wooley as Louis, and the one and only Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana
  • Familiar faces from the film such as Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen, Mama Odie, Louis, Eudora, Charlotte, “Big Daddy,” the King and Queen of Maldonia and Prince Ralphie

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure builds on the story of Princess Tiana, a character whose pride and perseverance reminds us of a universal truth: within us lies the potential to make our dreams come true. This all-new adventure will bring Disney Parks guests into Princess Tiana’s world like never before when the attraction opens in Disneyland park at Disneyland Resort and Magic Kingdom Park at Walt Disney World Resort in 2024.

To make room for this new magic, Splash Mountain at Disneyland park will be closed starting May 31, 2023, so we can begin the next phase of development for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Comments

  • Mario land is too small so this will be a good change

  • I’m glad that I never get to see Splash mountain anymore at Disneyland because I never liked Splash Mountain.

    As I’m excited to see Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in Disneyland and relocating to New Orleans Square from Critter Country and changing and upgrading the new flume boats for 2 seaters for Disneyland as well to comfort me even better because I love Princess and the Frog movie. Yayyy!!!

    Good job Disney.

  • I am beyond thrilled for this new attraction!!! Tiana is such a wonderful character and role model. This ride sounds incredible and every detail I hear makes me even more excited!!!

  • Hi exited for the change just wondering what will come to be of briar patch in Disneyland California , will there be a retheme or just completely go away ?

  • Why close it before summer and the busy holiday season

  • Cant wait!

  • This is going to be amazing!! I’m so curious to know if this ride will be part of New Orleans Square or stay in Critter Country? Either way, can’t WAIT to experience it!

  • Will the ride photo still be functional if we go to Disneyland in may?

  • Thank you so much for the update. I’m really looking forward to this, and I am always open to new experiences in the parks. The parks need to change and evolve to avoid becoming stale and stagnant.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again;

    The people on social media who think that the majority of the public is against this change are most likely wrong, because they’re not taking into account the millions of people who support this change who never share their opinions social media in any form at all. Online polling (such as petitions) are *not* accurate scientific polling, online polls are just made up of biased convenience sampling. All of the “save splash” people on social media have encased themselves in an echo chamber.

    In addition, Splash Mountain is *not* a representation of “authentic” African American folklore, because it is just the Disneyfied version of Br’er Rabbit. Splash Mountain is only loosely based on the actual Br’er Rabbit stories for the sole purpose of needing a theme for a log flume ride. In the case of the Disneyland original, it was also an excuse to reuse many of the animatronic figures from the park’s America Sings show.

    It’s important to keep in mind that the *real* Br’er Rabbit folktales that have been passed down through generations *still exist* and are going to continue to exist. Therefore, authentic African American history is *not* being erased. New generations of kids will still be able to learn and read about these folktales. (Because the internet exists).

    Remember everyone; history can *never* be erased because the internet exists. So there is no reason for anyone to panic.

    For the people on social media who are unhappy with this change, they can always go to Tokyo Disneyland if they really can’t live without riding Splash Mountain.

    So there is really no need for people to be so overly-dramatic about Splash Mountain closing in the the U.S. parks. Yes, change can be hard, but this is obviously not the first time that the Disney parks have changed/replaced a ride, and it most likely won’t be the last time either.

    I’m looking forward to something new! Bring on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure!

  • This is so exciting! I love every update and look forward to each one. Every bullet point just gets better and better.
    If you could just give us an opening date so we can plan our vacations in 2024 🙂