Tiana’s Bayou Adventure – All Details on New Princess & the Frog Ride

Splash Mountain is currently closed at Walt Disney World and now also at Disneyland (it closed earlier this week) as it receives its transformation into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. This entirely brand new reimagining of the attraction is themed after The Princess and the Frog characters and film. Imagineers along with experts in New Orleans culture have been working hard to create this new space to celebrate Tiana.

Keep reading for all the information we have so far on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure including queue details, exciting new animatronics, and concept art of this beautiful new attraction,

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Opening Datesplash mountain princess and the frog

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will officially open at Disneyland in California and Magic Kingdom in Florida in late 2024. Walt Disney World’s Splash Mountain attraction closed to begin this retheme at the end of January 2023 while Disneyland’s closed on May 30th, 2023. You can see more details on the closing for the Splash Mountain retheme. Since Walt Disney World’s attraction closed first and Imagineers have already made significant progress on the retheme I expect we will see Tiana’s Bayou Adventure open first there before Disneyland.

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NEW Details Shared for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

We have NEW details to share about the upcoming retheme of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Some of these details further expand on what we already know and other information is brand new.

Recently we had the opportunity to join Disney Imagineers in New Orleans, Louisiana to learn more about the new attraction and the great lengths that they are going to deliver an authentic story grounded in the real-life magic of the city of New Orleans. You can read about our entire trip to New Orleans to learn about the city’s inspiration on the attraction here. Below you’ll also see some photos from our trip down to New Orleans to illustrate some of the news items.

Totally New Audio-Animatronic Figures

We know now that 17 new characters will be a part of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure including Otter, Ms. Beaver, Rabbit, Possum, Turtle, and Racoon. We got a chance to see the Louis audio-animatronic and he looks great! A full-sized figure that will live in one of the indoor show scenes. These are all brand-new Audio-Animatronic figures and are not repurposed figures used on Splash Mountain.

We will also see familiar faces from the film including Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen, Mama Odie, Louis, Eudora, Charlotte, “Big Daddy,” the King and Queen of Maldonia, and Prince Ralphie.

Disney revealed that Ralphie would join the attraction and would seen playing the drums.

We do not have confirmation if any of the Splash Mountain Audio-Animatronics are sticking around but some of these older Audio-Animatronics may be past their prime as many were also reused from previous Disney attractions to begin with! Disney has confirmed that these are all “brand new” audio-animatronics created for this attraction with unique new characters with their own personalities and stories.

Multiple Looks for Tiana

Best Magic Kingdom Rides - tiana

Tiana will have multiple looks on the attraction beyond just the adventure wear we have seen previewed for the attraction. Ted Robledo, the Executive Creative Director on the project, shared “We are going to see other outfits inside the attraction” in addition to Tiana’s adventure wear.

We are assuming this means there will be a princess dress reveal in the finale scene on the existing Splash Mountain riverboat in the middle of a Mardi Gras celebration. During our visit to New Orleans, Disney welcomed Princess Tiana wearing both her princess dress and flapper dress. I think this is another good clue that this look will definitely continue to be seen in the parks and likely also in the attraction.

We will also see multiple versions of Black women’s hair. Costuming specialists that usually handle the upkeep of the Audio-Animatronics at Walt Disney World had already created a presentation on black hair that made it onto the desk of the Imagineers working on the project. The Imagineers working on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure were very impressed and brought those Cast Members in to consult on the project.

New Animation from Disney Animation Studios

Part of this new transformation includes NEW animation from Disney Animation Studios that will include some character animation and magical scenic enhancement animation. This may be along the same lines of how we see the scene technology blend nicely with the physical sets in the popular attraction Alice in Wonderland or the recently completed Snow White’s Enchanted Wish attraction.

Terrence Blanchard Creating Score for the Queue

Terrence Blanchard, who previously played all the trumpet parts for Louis the Alligator in The Princess and the Frog, is arranging a brand new score for the queue. Terence, a seven-time Grammy award winner and two-time Academy Award nominee, is working with Disney Imagineering to select and arrange songs from The Princess and the Frog film and classic New Orleans songs for inclusion in the ride queue. The songs will be played in a radio program in the style of the 1920s.

He is also a notable collaborator with Spike Lee and worked on one of my favorite films, Inside Man. Blanchard is also the first African American to have a work premiered at the Met in its 138-year history.

PJ Morton Creating New Original Song 

Grammy Award-winning musician and New Orleans native, PJ Morton, is writing and producing an all-original song for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Morton is a Disney fan with early memories of enjoying the music of Mary Poppins and The Little Mermaid with his siblings. He shared how much it means to be working on the attraction.

Morton has an incredible set of achievements that should have us all thrilled about the new song. He’s earned nineteen career GRAMMY Award nominations and four consecutive years of wins – Best Traditional R&B Performance in 2019, Best R&B Song in 2020, Best Gospel Album in 2021 and Album Of The Year in 2022 (for his contributions to Jon Batiste’s We Are).

The music in the attraction will incorporate various music styles and instrumentation connected to New Orleans. This just further adds to the details Disney previously shared about Zydeco music being a part of this new attraction. Zydeco music is a blend of rhythm and blues that originated in Louisiana.

Sadly we didn’t get to hear any of the new song when Morton spoke about the collaboration, but we are quite excited for them to release some of the song.

Fireflies Lead Guests

Disney is using a unique integration of lighting techniques that will bring flattering fireflies to life as they light the path for guests in the attraction.

Water Tower 

Here’s a look at the water tower on the model from the Disney D23 Expo.

Later this summer, Disney will install the Tiara on the new water tower added to the Splash Mountain facade at Walt Disney World.

No Dr. Facilier 

We do have confirmation that we will NOT see the original movie villain, Dr. Facilier, in the attraction. This is the only thing that is even slightly disappointing to me about this list of new details shared as I really enjoyed the song from the movie.

Otherwise, this attraction is shaping up to be an out-of-this-world transformation! Keep reading to see everything we know so far about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

On Splash Mountain vs Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

One quote of note for those concerned about the transition from Splash Mountain to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Ted Robledo, the Executive Creative Director at Imagineering on the project shared “We’re not trying to burn it all down and say that was bad. We want to add to it.”

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure NEW Animatronics

Some of the most exciting news coming out about this retheme of the attraction is that Disney has announced more than dozens of new audio-animatronics are being added to the attraction.

princess and the frog splash mountain

Tiana’s new look designed just for the new attraction!

This is a much-needed upgrade from Splash Mountain which had many animatronics in need of upgrades/repair due to the general age of the attraction. I am hoping we might see some of those animatronics updated and kept for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure!

What Princess and the Frog characters will be in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure?

Disney has already confirmed the characters of Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen, Mama Odie, Louis, Eudora, Charlotte, “Big Daddy,” the King and Queen of Maldonia and Prince Ralphie for the new attraction. We are not sure yet if these will all be audio-animatronics but this offers a great variety of beloved characters from The Princess and the Frog. Personally, I am really hoping to see an audio-animatronic of Tiana that’s on scale with the talent we saw from Imagineers that developed Hondo Ohnaka for the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run attraction.

Disney has confirmed that 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 reprising their roles for this attraction.

Imagineers discussed this new animatronic they’re creating for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at the 2022 D23 Expo.

In addition to our familiar film characters, a brand-new cast of original Disney characters with “distinct names and personalities” will also be part of this new attraction. One of this new characters has already been confirmed such as this new Otter audio-animatronic seen in the panel photo from the 2022 D23 Expo above.

Mama Odie Audio-AnimatronicTianas Bayou Adventure- Mama Odie

The details for the new Mama Odie audio-animatronic seems as it will be a great example of the talent of Disney Imagineering like we’ve seen with the Hondo Ohnaka for the Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run attraction and the Na’av shaman animatronic seen in Walt Disney World’s Pandora.

Princess and the Frog’s fabulously eccentric fairy godmother will be a focal point of the ride as she will show off her magic and joke with guests during their adventure. The appearance of Mama Odie has been inspired by the work of Sharika Mahdi, a YAYA Arts Center alumna. Her local New Orleans artwork has been an inspiration for Disney Imagineers. The image above is a part of a four series commission to depict “our wise and whimsical keeper of the bayou,” which be the inspiration for Mama Odie in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

What about the Splash Mountain animatronics?

Tiana's Bayou Adventure- Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain audio-animatronics

It would make logical sense to keep many of the original animatronics from Splash Mountain as part of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure as these critters would blend in nicely with the story. There are more than 100 animals in Splash Mountain! After all, this wouldn’t be the first time these critters have been repurposed. The singing audio-animatronic animals in Disneyland’s Splash Mountain finale were repurposed from the America Sings attraction in Disneyland from 1974-1988.

In fact it’s a well-known practice for Disney to reuse animatronics. In Walt Disney World, the Three Caballeros characters who appear in EPCOT’s Gran Fiesta Tour were originally part of Mickey Mouse Revue in Fantasyland. It would be a great homage to Splash Mountain to reuse some of the critters of Splash Mountain in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Especially since Disney Legend Marc Davis, who was one of Walt Disney’s “Nine Old Men,” designed many of them.

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Tiana’s Bayou Adventure StorylineTiana's Bayou Adventure- storyline concept art

The storyline for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is an original story for Tiana that begins after the ending of the Princess and the Frog film. This story tells the tale of Tiana’s success after opening her own restaurant and the adventures she had after.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Ride QueueTiana's Bayou Adventure- Tianas Foods logo

The story will begin in the queue for the attraction as it will focus on Tiana’s growing business, Tiana’s Foods, an employee-owned co-op. Tiana’s culinary talents are combined with her love for community as she works to transform an aging salt mine into her own food brand. This part of Tiana’s story shows the stage of this adventure as she purchases the salt mine and area around it with the help of  her mother Eduora, Naveen, Louis and other co-0p owners.  They work together with Tiana to transform the old salt mine and the land by growing vegetables, herbs, and spices.

The aging salt mine also features a boutique farm and teaching kitchen where Tiana’s Foods works to create new products with her community including a new line of original hot sauces.

But the most exciting part of this ride queue for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure? There will be beignet scent pumped throughout the attraction queue!

Princess and the Frog Attraction StorylineTiana's Bayou Adventure- new logo

Tiana will invite guests to meet her at Tiana’s Foods to help find the miss ingredient for their Mardi Gras party! 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 to plan and there is one missing ingredient to search for, which is where the guests come in.

When guests arrive in the beignet scented queue, they will see decorations of art from local artists, food being prepared and of course, beignets being loaded into carts for the celebration. (Hence, that beignet smell!) Guests will see all these preparations as they go through the queue to begin their journey into the bayou.

The concept art above shows what guests will see when they first enter the interior of the attraction after that first drop into the ride. This concept art is beautiful and depicts Tiana in her new outfit created just for this new attraction. Disney described the impact of the Zydeco music in this scene as “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.”

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure tells a positive story of empowerment as it brings to life Tiana from The Princess and the Frog. Her story brings characters together with her brand Tiana’s Foods as it becomes a treasured place to spend time and celebrate diviersity. Tiana spends time with the community teaching gardening, cooking and inspires women to run successful businesses.

The main conflict of the ride is that guests are helping Tiana find this missing ingredient they need for the Mardi Gras celebration. We don’t know much more about the story but I can’t wait to hear more. I’m personally hoping Dr. Facilier and his song make an appearance!

Eudora’s Chic Boutique featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets Now Openprincess and frog store disneyland

The new Princess and the Frog themed shop at Disneyland is now open in New Orleans Square featuring a variety of home goods, apparel, and more. The store is just a few steps down the street from the Blue Bayou restaurant. The interior design of this store pays homage to the roots of New Orleans Square with its antique features and stained glass lamps overhead.

Tiana’s Palace Restaurant Coming to DisneylandTiana's Bayou Adventure- Tianas Palace new restaurant

Tiana’s Palace is a new restaurant coming to Disneyland to replace the classic Disneyland restaurant French Market in New Orlean’s Square. French Market is already closed and work is in progress to improve both the food selection at this historic restaurant and transform the theme to match what we see in the concept art above.

Read all about Tiana’s Palace coming to Disneyland in our guide to this new restaurant opening later this year. No official word has been given on a Princess and the Frog restaurant coming to Magic Kingdom at Disney World.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Exterior Concept Art

Outside concept art models of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure were shown at the 2022 D23 Expo. This concept art model is a great way to visualize how Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will look like from the outside in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure- concept art

For Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World, the new tiara-topped water tower will be installed soon! You can see this water tower in the concept art above.

The video above from Disney gives us the full preview of this new tower and what it will look like installed on the previous Splash Mountain. I like the addition of the tiara as a nice touch for this princess themed attraction!

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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 content director 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 Disney Dose- you can also view her recently featured posts on Disney Parks travel on Visit Anaheim, 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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