Disney Reveals a Sneak Peek at New Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Attraction
The newest Disney Parks attraction will descend the bayou! Walt Disney Imagineering recently unveiled Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, a new attraction inspired by the beloved 2009 Disney animated film, The princess and the Frog.
New the attraction will open at the end of 2024 at Magic Kingdom Park in Orlando, Florida and at Disneyland Park in California. During round table at the ESSENCE Festival in New Orleans, Disney Imagineers revealed that the ride will pick up where the movie left off.
Disney Parks has released new images of the attraction, showing guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen and their jazz-loving alligator pal Louis on a boat ride through the bayou. The attraction will feature the voices of Anika Noni Rose, who plays Tiana and the original music from the film.
Disney Imagineers also took the time to research the culture of Tiana’s hometown of New Orleans to capture its authenticity. While in Crescent City, the team visited historic sites such as the French Quarter and, of course, the bayou.
“We have the opportunity to reconnect with Tiana who has always loved her since the movie,” said Charita Carter, executive creative producer of Walt Disney Imagineering, in a video for Disney Parks detailing the research. “We have the opportunity to bring her to a new generation because we’re creating a dimensional space for her and that’s very important to us as a team because the city has been so kind and open to us to make sure that we give our guests an experience that is a love letter to New Orleans.
The team also visited historic African-American sites in the city such as Congo Square, the Free People of Color Museum and Ducky Chase Restaurant. Tiana’s story is largely inspired by the real-life story of Ducky Chase’s late owner, Chef Leah Chase. “It’s his way of continuing to do for our city, his community by giving back and as an inspiration to Tiana,” Chase’s daughter Stella said during the ESSENCE panel. “We are so happy that his legacy of giving back and his concern for the community continues because the New Orleans community is a city that loves, loves everyone.”
Work on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure began in 2020 following a petition calling on The Walt Disney Company to change the theme of Splash Mountain. The original 1966 attraction was based on southern song, the 1946 Disney film that is “infused with extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes,” the petition wrote, and critics accused the attraction of romanticizing the Reconstruction-era South.
The Imagineers say Tiana’s new attraction should celebrate NOLA culture and black joy. “Like the musical city that inspired this attraction, Tiana’s second act is about a community working in harmony to achieve something extraordinary,” Carter said. “It reminds us of an unchanging truth that we can all relate to: ‘if you do your best every day, good things await you’. And it’s a melody we can everything sing!