Disney is currently working on a project to re-theme 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.” As part of this retheme they are also bringing even more Princess and the Frog to the theme parks.
The story of the new version of Splash Mountain 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.
Keep reading for all info on the retheme of Splash Mountain to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, newly released concept art, and the official closing date for Splash Mountain at Disneyland.
Disneyland Splash Mountain Closing Date
Disneyland has announced that Splash Mountain will be closed starting on May 31, 2023. The last day of operations of the attraction will be May 30, 2023.
The Splash Mountain attraction previously closed at Walt Disney World in January 2023.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Opening Date
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (all details on new Princess & the Frog Attraction) will officially open at Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida in late 2024. No specific date beyond that has been announced yet. Walt Disney World’s Splash Mountain closed sooner than Disneyland so I expect the version at Walt Disney World will be ready first.
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New Splash Mountain Retheme to Princess and the Frog Details
Disney also released new details about the retheme of the attraction that should have fans more excited about the new attraction. Most importantly Disney has shared that dozens of new Audio-Animatronics are being added to the attraction.
The voice talents of Jennifer Lewis as Mama Odie, Bruno Campos as Prince Naveen, Michael Leon Wooley as Louis, and Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana will all be returning.
Disney also said that “familiar faces” including Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen, Mama Odie, Louis, Eudora, Charlotte, “Big Daddy,” the King and Queen of Maldonia and Prince Ralphie will be seen in the attraction. We don’t yet know if these will be unique Audio-Animatronics but it is quite exciting to have them added.
Other new details:
- A brand-new cast of original Disney characters with distinct names and personalities will join the attraction.
- There will be beignet scent pumped throughout the attraction queue.
The Mama Odie Audio-Animatronic looks like it will be a true showstopper as seen in the concept artwork above! The eccentric fairy godmother will be an integral part of this ride as she shows off her magic and jokes around with guests during their bayou adventure.
The character’s appearance in the ride is shaped by the work of Sharika Mahdi, a YAYA Arts Center alumna who has provided inspiration for this new attraction through her expertise as a New Orleans local and talented artist. The below image is part of a four-part series commissioned to Sharika depicting “our wise and whimsical keeper of the bayou,” and this will serve as inspiration for Mama Odie in the new attraction.
Tiara-Topped Water Tower Coming Soon!
A tiara-topped water tower is being installed soon at Walt Disney World’s Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The video above gives us the full previous of this new tower and what it will look like installed on the previous Splash Mountain.
Keep reading our article for all the updates regarding the Splash Mountain retheme for both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Princess and the Frog Tiana’s Palace Coming to Disneyland!
Tiana’s Palace is a new restaurant coming to Disneyland to replace a classic Disneyland restaurant. The restaurant was announced in connection with the retheme of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Read all about Tiana’s Palace coming to Disneyland. No official word has been given on a Princess and the Frog restaurant coming to Magic Kingdom at Disney World.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Queue Storyline Details
Disney has released information on the storyline for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure which will be an original, next chapter story for Tiana after the ending of the film, Princess and the Frog. This new story will tell the story of where Tiana took her life at the ending of the popular film and what she did next after the success of her own restaurant Tiana’s Place.
The queue for the attraction will tell the story of Tiana’s growing business, Tiana’s Foods, an employee-owned co-op. Tiana combines her culinary talents with her love for community and transforms an aging salt mine into her own brand. This next stage in her adventure began when she purchased the salt mine and area around it with the help of her mother Eduora, Naveen, Louis and other co-0p owners. Tiana revived the old salt mine and the land by growing vegetables, herbs, and spices.
Due to this hard work, the aging salt mine is a space that has come alone with a boutique farm and teaching kitchen. Tiana’s Foods is where Tiana and her community create new products including a line of original hot sauces.
Tiana wants to thank her family, friends and community for all their support by throwing a party during Mardi Gras season. But of course, not everything goes as planned and there’s been a mixup with the party preparations. This is when Tiana invites guests to meet her at Tiana’s Foods to help find the missing ingredient for the party.
When guests arrive in the queue, they will see that Tiana has decorated the company with art from local artists, food is being prepared and beignets are being loaded into crates for the celebration. You will see all these preparations underway for the journey into the bayou with Tiana along with new and familiar friends from the animated film.
Tiana’s story is a positive one that encompasses everything the character brought to the screen in The Princess and the Frog. Disney shared that Tiana’s story brings the characters together with her creation of Tiana’s Food which becomes a treasured place to spend time together and celebrate a diverse community. Tiana works to teach gardening and cooking to children and inspires women to run successful businesses.
Concept art (pictured above) of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure shows guests what they will see as they first drop into the ride. The scene captures the beauty of the bayou with fireflies inviting guests deeper into the ride with zydeco music playing as the ride begins. As Disney described in their announcement, “Zydeco is a special blend of rhythm and blues that was born in Louisiana, and when you hear it, you’ll feel like you’ve truly stepped into Tiana’s world.”
You can also see in the concept art that the music is being played by Louis, from Princess and the Frog, along with some new friends- a band full of bayou animals. I am hoping to see some of the original animatronic critters from Splash Mountain re-utilized in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and since most of this concept art seems pretty “critter focused”- there’s a chance this could happen!
So far we don’t have more details about the storyline once you enter the ride but from this description from Disney it sounds like the conflict the ride focuses on is finding this missing party ingredient as you go down the bayou during this Mardi Gras celebration. We can’t wait to hear more details about this… and I’m personally hoping Dr. Facilier has something to do with that missing ingredient!
What Will Splash Mountain Retheme Include?
The concept model released at the 2022 D23 Expo (pictured above) is scaled down from how ambitious the previous concept art originally released (below) with the removal of the tree with a crashed boat inside it at the top of the mountain. This is a significant change between the two concepts that will impact the length of construction this retheme will take.
It’s hard to say what decision impacted this shift in exterior design plans. However, the concept model does resemble the likeness more closely of the original Splash Mountain more so than the previous concept art released. For guests looking to preserve some of the original integrity of this historic attraction, this could be a welcome shift and this also will shorten the time this retheming will take if the exterior imagining isn’t quite as large in scale.
In the exterior concept art revealed at the 2022 D23 Expo, we also see what Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will look like at night and we can see that it will be visually stunning with the use of lighting effects to mimic the mystique of a New Orleans bayou. This will also require significant time to restructure the exterior of the attraction to incorporate this new lighting along with new plant growth and the addition of the new tower paying tribute to Tiana.
In terms of the interior of the attraction, we know that the ride path itself will remain the same and that Disney is creating a new animatronic Otter to be part of the story.
Eudora’s Chic Boutique featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets
The new Princess and the Frog themed shop at Disneyland is now open in New Orleans Square.
The shop is just down the street from the Blue Bayou restaurant. The store is called Eudora’s Chic Boutique featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets and features an eclectic selection of home goods, apparel, and more. The store takes it’s inspiration from the Princess and the Frog New Orleans heritage.
The unique nature of the merchandise in the shop feels like a return to New Orleans Square’s roots. When the land first opened there was a real antique store in the land.
You can also see a TikTok from Disney Parks that captures a few more of the details of what is being sold in the shop. The store is inspired by Princess Tiana’s dressmaker mother Eudora. You’ll find accessories to serve and create New Orleans style cuisine.
@disneyparks JUST OPENED! Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets is open in #NewOrleansSquare at #Disneyland 💚✨ #Disney #DisneyParks #Tiana #PrincessAndTheFrog #NOLA #Shop ♬ original sound – Disney Parks
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure D23 Expo Details
During the 2022 D23 Expo, we got an update on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and how this attraction not only pays homage to Tiana’s story but remembers that New Orleans is a “real place with real people” and honors that cultural heritage. We saw some visuals and concepts from the interior of the attraction and it’s shaping up to look like a magical addition to New Orleans Square!
You can see the new animatronic otter created for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure above.
We were also treated to a live performance of Anika Noni Rose! They also announced that all the voice actors from Princess and the Frog will be reprising their roles for the attraction.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will open in late 2024 at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Splash Mountain Exterior REVEALED
Splash Mountain is being rethemed into a Princess and the Frog overlay called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure which will open in late 2024 in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. We just got the first look at what the exterior redesign will look like at the 2022 D23 Expo.
We can see how the ride’s original design has remained largely intact but if you look close you can see the details that will bring Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to life! I notice some purple lights coming from the top that might indicate we will see some “friends from the other side” before the big drop?
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure NEW Concept Art
This concept art shows what the model represents as the exterior of Splash Mountain’s redesign into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure during the daytime and night.
A look at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure during the day!
And at night! Notice all the fireflies…!
NEW Princess Tiana Look For the Attraction
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 at ESSENCE Fest (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.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Imagineers
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:
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.
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.
As you can see from the team working on transforming the prior Splash Mountain to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, this is a project built with love!
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Frequently Asked Splash Mountain Retheme Questions
Yes, Splash Mountain is currently closed for its new retheme into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Disney is retheming Splash Mountain due to the ride’s connection to the film Song of the South which has received years of criticism.
Disney has announced that the retheme of Splash Mountain will be finished by late 2024.
No, Disney is not canceling Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Any reports of a cancellation of this project to retheme Splash Mountain is based on rumor or satire sites.
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