Tiana’s Bayou Adventure: Everything We Know About The New Attraction
Everything old is new again, or at least it will be eventually. That’s pretty much the case with all attractions at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World. Eventually, rides and shows get replaced, or at the very least upgraded or updated. Such is now the case with Splash Mountain. The popular log flume ride is now closed at both resorts and when it reopens, while the mechanics of the ride will remain the same, everything else will be quite different.
Splash Mountain is done, and Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is now on the way, but just what will the new attraction be? How will it tie into The Princess and the Frog, and what major changes outside of the story being told might we see? Here’s everything we currently know about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
(Image credit: Disneyland Resort)
Why Splash Mountain Is Getting Rethemed
It was in the spring of 2020, while both Disneyland and Disney World were closed due to the pandemic, that a sort of grassroots organization sprung up on social media that suggested that Splash Mountain should be rethemed. The original attraction had been based on Song of the South, a movie that had been controversial in its depiction of the Reconstruction-era American South since it had been released in 1949. While the attraction only contained the animated character from the film, many felt that was not sufficient.
It was suggested by some fans, and in a popular online petition, that The Princess and the Frog could serve as the inspiration for a new version of the ride. Somewhat surprisingly, a few weeks after the initial call for change, Disney announced plans to do exactly what fans had been asking for and actually claimed plans for exactly this change had already been in the works. However, due to the slow speed in ramping back up during and after the pandemic, it would be years before things would really move forward with the change.
(Image credit: Disney Parks)
When Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Will Open At Disneyland And Magic Kingdom
In July 2022, at the New Orleans ESSENCE Festival, Disney officially announced that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the new version of Splash Mountain, would officially open at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World in late 2024. That’s the most detailed answer we currently have, which could technically mean anytime in the second half of the calendar year.
Walt Disney World’s version of Splash Mountain closed in January 2023 and the one at Disneyland shuttered after Memorial Day Weekend. That gives both attractions well over a year to complete the massive update.
Technically, the version of the ride at Magic Kingdom inside Disney World is physically bigger, though the Disneyland version has more animatronics, so there’s no telling which one will actually take longer to complete.
While both rides are set to open in late 2024, that certainly doesn’t mean they will open at the same time. Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge construction began on both coasts on the same day, but Disneyland opened its Star Wars Land ahead of Disney World by months, and Disney World’s version of Rise of the Resistance beat the one at Disneyland significantly. Assuming the rides don’t end up actually opening in 2025, we could see one Tiana’s Bayou Adventure open in the early fall of 2024 and the other open closer to the end of the year.
(Image credit: Disney Parks)
The Story Of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
Splash Mountain took its Song of the South inspiration and simply told a version of one of the animated sequences from the film, in the way that most traditional dark rides do. Other Disney Parks’ dark rides, like Rise of the Resistance, tell original stories that are not directly related to the canon of the franchise. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is planning to do something a little different, as the ride is being promoted as a direct sequel to The Princess and the Frog.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will pick up after the events of the film, when she has started a new business, following her successful Tiana’s Palace restaurant. Tiana’s Foods is an employee-owned business that she started, even buying an old salt mine in order to transform it into a garden and kitchen where ingredients for recipes are grown and the food is actually created.
She wants to throw a party to thank everybody, and it’s Mardi Gras season, the perfect time for it. Unfortunately, Tiana is missing some key ingredients. This is where the guests on the ride come in, as they will be dispatched through the old mine to find everything she needs. Exactly how the big plunge will work into the story is unclear, but it all sounds like great fun.
(Image credit: WDAS)
The Princess And The Frog’s Voice Cast Is Returning
If you’re going to make a ride based on The Princess and the Frog movie, you’re going to need to bring those popular characters to life, and that includes their voices. One of the most exciting things about the new ride is that nearly all of the key voice actors from the movie will be back for the new ride.
Anika Noni Rose, who voiced Tiana in the original film, will be back to play the same role for the new attraction. In addition, Bruno Campos will be back as Prince Naveen, and Michael Leon Wooley will return to voice the jazz-loving trumpet player who happens to be an alligator, Louis. Jenifer Lewis, who voices Mama Odie will also be on hand.
A few more characters from the movie, including Tiana’s mother Eudora, her best friend Charlotte, and her father, “Big Daddy” are confirmed to appear in the ride, though the voice actors have not yet been confirmed to be back. That announcement may still be forthcoming, as they would include the biggest stars to be part of the ride. Big Daddy was voiced by John Goodman in the film and Eudora was brought to life by Oprah Winfrey. It’s also possible that those characters will be voiced by others, or not voiced at all and will be seen but not heard.
One character conspicuous by his absence is the villain of The Princess and the Frog. Dr. Facilier, a.k.a. the Shadowman, has not been referenced and voice actor Keith David has not been confirmed to return. The character was taken to “the other side” at the end of the original movie, so it’s possible, even likely, he simply won’t appear, but considering how popular a character he is, it’s possible the writers will find a way.
(Image credit: Disney)
The New Attraction Will Feature Classic Princess And The Frog Songs, As Well As New Music
The Princess and the Frog has some of the most memorable, and fun, music in the Disney animated canon. Fans are certainly going to want to hear some of that music while getting on a the attraction. But, there will also be brand new music on the ride.
Maroon 5 keyboardist P.J. Morton is writing and producing a brand new piece of music for tit. Trumpet player Terence Blanchard, who played all of Louis’ trumpet parts in the original movie, is handling arrangements for the music that guests will hear while waiting in the queue. This will include classic New Orleans jazz music as well as, apparently, new arrangements of music from the movie.
As construction on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure continues we’ll certainly learn more about what the new attraction will be like. It’s going to still be quite a while before anybody is going to get to ride it, but a lot of people are going to be very excited when that day finally comes.