Splash Mountain Retheme to Princess and the Frog: Opening Name, Opening Year, Details

Disney has announced details on a project in works from Imagineers for the past year to retheme Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The entire ride will be completely reimagined inspired by the Disney film “The Princess and the Frog.”

The story is said to pick up after the final kiss and will join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure featuring some of the most powerful music from the film- as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.

Princess and the Frog Attraction Name, New Details, and Opening Year Announced

splash mountain princess and the frog

At the ESSENCE Fest in New Orleans, Disney announced new details on the Princess and Frog retheme of Splash Mountain. This new attraction will feature the characters from “The Princess and the Frog” and will officially open at Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida in late 2024.

The name of the new attraction has also been announced – “Tiana's Bayou Adventure”.

What we still don't know – when Splash Mountain will permanently close in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. Be sure to join our free newsletter for the latest on this attraction and all Disney news.

disneyland 2024 new attraction

The attraction is rooted in extensive research that the Walt Disney Imagineers has conducted in Louisiana. Disney noted that the group has explored the French Market and bayou, worked with chefs, musicians, academics, musicians, and cultural institutions to craft the story of this attraction.

Check out the video below that Disney shared on the new attraction today.

NEW Princess Tiana Look For the Attraction

princess and the frog splash mountain

Later in the day at the ESSENCE Fest, Costume Designer Ida Muldrow from Disney Live Entertainment shared Princess Tiana’s new look for the attraction. In a panel that was moderated by Yvette Nicole Brown (a favorite personality of mine who previously crushed it as moderator of the introductory Disney Plus panel at the D23 Expo), the Imagineering team shared their detailed approach to creating the look for this Tiana adventure.

The costume designer shared that “Tiana was equally at home in the bayou as she was at a banquet…we wanted her look to reflect that, and be a compliment to the story’s setting.”

Audience members heard about the creative process and the considerations for the unique hairstyle for Tiana. There was emphasis placed on the versatility of Black women's hair and the its importance to identity across geographies.

I am interested to see how this new look will be transformed into an Audio-Animatronic or featured in the attraction and how (if?) Disney blends the use of Tiana's new look and the classic Princess Tiana look from the film that was also seen in the initial concept art (above) released for the attraction.

Story of the New Princess and the Frog Attraction

Painting by Sharika Mahdi

Further details of the storyline of the upcoming Princess and the Frog overlay of Splash Mountain was recently revealed by Imagineers! The story will pick up after the final kiss with naveen and Louis joining Tiana on a new adventure where she will host a unique Mardi Gras celebration. The ride will feature original music inspired by the songs of the film with Tiana “leading the way” through the adventure where fans will be able to encounter “old friends” and make new ones along the way.

Tiana will be a focal point of the adventure talking directly to guests making them active participants in the ride. We can't wait to get more details! There is still no date for the retheme to begin for Splash Mountain.

Adventures With Princess Tiana"We continually evaluate opportunities to enhance and elevate experiences for our guests. It's important that our guests be able to see themselves in the experiences we create. Because we consider ourselves constant learners, we go to great lengths to research and engage cultural advisors and other experts to help guide us along the way. I am incredibly proud to see this work continue to move forward with great support from leadership across Disney." - Carmen Smith

This quote from the Disney Parks Blog sums up the passion behind this project and the dedication the Imagineers have to this reimagining:

Tiana is a modern, courageous, and empowered woman, who pursues her dreams and never loses sight of what’s really important. It’s a great story with a strong lead character, set against the backdrop of New Orleans and the Louisiana bayou. In 1966, Walt himself opened New Orleans Square when it became the first new “land” added to Disneyland park, so it feels natural to link the story and the incredible music of “The Princess and the Frog” to our parks.

It's safe to assume that this reimagined attraction will become a part of New Orleans Square in Disneyland based on this announcement. We'll have to stay tuned for news on what this might mean for the rest of Critter Country in Disneyland.

When Imagineers take on the task of retheming or “plussing” attractions (as Walt Disney would call it) it begins with them asking the question of ‘how can we build upon or elevate the experience and tell a fresh, relevant story?' The Imagineers sound incredibly devoted to this new inclusive reimagining of this popular ride.

There are fantastic Imagineers working on the retime of this popular attraction. The redesign will be lead by Charita Carter, an incredible leader that most recently helped lead the team behind Mickey's Runaway Railway coming to Disneyland and now open in Walt Disney World. Tony Baxter, the creative executive behind the original Splash Mountain will also be joining the team to advise on the update to the attraction. Fans should be excited about this team up.

Concept designs are currently in the works and we should have more information soon along with a timeline for when the transformation should take place.

"I think this is great news, or as Louis would say - HALLELUJAH!!" - Michael-Leon Wooley

We will keep this guide updated as we receive information! So far no date for this retheming has been announced.

I am curious to see if Disneyland changes the Splash Mountain name. The original name for the attraction came when Disney CEO Michael Eisner saw the successful Tom Hanks movie Splash and wanted to have the name integrated into the new water ride coming to Disneyland. The cartoon Deep South and the real life Manhattan setting of the film didn't mix so one team member just joked that they could call it “Splash Mountain” and the name stuck. Originally the ride was going to be called the: “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah River Run”.

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About Lindsay Brookshier

Lindsay is a college English instructor and has years of writing experience through various nonprofits, charities, newspapers, and online magazines. As the editor of Mickey Visit, she oversees article content and leads our fantastic team of writers to meet guest vacation needs. You can still find her writing weekly content to help make your Disney Parks trip fantastic here on Mickey Visit and writing Disney culture pieces on DisneyDose.com- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Nerd Wallet and SFGate. Lindsay comes from a dedicated Disney family and enjoys taking her son to the Disney parks as often as possible.

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3 comments add your comment

  1. I am offended by the changing of Splash Mountain in Disneyland to the Princess and the Frog!

  2. Wish they left it alone, It was such a fun tradition to see Braer rabbit and his friends. It was such a fun ride for everyone. The boys have no interest in another Princess theme. The change was a Bad idea in my opinion but I’m sure lots of people will love it.

    • I agree that it is always difficult to stomach change at the parks. I felt the same frustration when I first heard about the change of Tower of Terror over the Guardians of the Galaxy, but now a number of years on from the Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission – Breakout! opening it is my favorite attraction at the resort. I am excited for something new. It is the correct sentiment that Disneyland is not a museum. I appreciate that care is even to ever ince of the park to make sure attractions are the best possible.

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