the princess and the frog

Disney Unveils First Look at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

It seems like its been 84 years since Disney Parks announced their long-overdue revamp of the problematic Splash Mountain ride in 2020, but then again, so much about 2020 feels light years away. Splash Mountain, which featured characters from Disney’s racist 1946 film ‘Song of the South‘, will soon be known as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, with a story inspired by the 2009 animated film ‘The Princess and the Frog’. Tiana is the first Black Disney princess, and a fan-favorite character since her introduction, so the revamp just makes sense. Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Princess Tiana, shared some new art from the upcoming ride on Twitter.

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Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will follow the events of the film, with riders joining Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen and alligator Louis on a bayou adventure that sees the trio hosting a Mardi Gras celebration. Disney added that the attraction will feature new and fan-favorite faces from the TPATF universe, as well as songs from the film.

Disney shared more details of the new ride during a special Essence Fest panel held at New Orleans’ Preservation Hall. Taking inspiration from the film’s setting in New Orleans, Disney shared a video of the Walt Disney Imagineers visiting several unique NOLA sights. We see them taking an airboat ride through the bayou, exploring the French Market and Congo Square, and meeting with artists, chefs, and educators from Xavier University to delve into the city’s rich history. Carmen Smith, Walt Disney’s Senior Vice President of Creative Development, said in a press release, “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.”

“In many ways, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a love letter to New Orleans,” said Executive Producer of Relevancy Activations Charita Carter. “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!” 

As a NOLA native, it makes me happy to see the Imagineers take such an interest in the culture and community of my hometown. New Orleans is rich with history, storytelling, and the best food in the world (IMHO).

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will make its debut at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Disneyland in late 2024.

(via People, featured image: Disney)

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Author
Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.