Disney has revealed the name it has chosen for the reimagining of the “Splash Mountain” attractions at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
The name of the new attraction was announced today during ESSENCE Fest in New Orleans, which Disney is sponsoring, and it is:
“Tiana’s Bayou Adventure“
The all-new adventure will bring guests into the world of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ film “The Princess and the Frog” like never before.
The reimagining is coming to both Disneyland park in California and Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida in late 2024.
No word on when the attractions will close for the revamp, or how long they will be down. We’ll let you know when we hear details.
Picking up where the 2009 film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen, and Louis, the jazz-loving alligator, on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome.
Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.
Extensive Research For the Attraction
Walt Disney Imagineers have been frequent travelers to Louisiana to conduct extensive research to ensure “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure” preserves the heart and soul of New Orleans, the city that inspired Princess Tiana’s story.
From exploring the French Market and the bayou, to consulting with academics, chefs, musicians and cultural institutions, Imagineers have received inspiration from all over the region and learned from local experts along the way.
Walt Disney Imagineering is also maintaining close ties with the Chase family as they continue work on “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.”
They even put together a short video showing the places they visited along the way:
The Announcement at ESSENCE Fest
Today’s name announcement was held at the French Quarter’s historic Preservation Hall during an intimate event held with ESSENCE Fest.
The celebration included a panel moderated by Victoria Uwumarogie, senior lifestyle editor at ESSENCE Magazine.
She was joined by: Charita Carter, executive producer of relevancy activations at Walt Disney Imagineering; Ted Robledo, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering; and Stella Chase, daughter of the late Chef Leah Chase who inspired Tiana’s story.
Guests were treated to live art demonstrations provided by emerging talent from YAYA Arts Center, where Disney Imagineering commissioned four paintings from New Orleans artist Sharika Mahdi to use as key elements during the conceptual phase.
There was also a performance the world-renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band with guest Jenifer Lewis, the voice of Mama Odie in the movie.
“In many ways, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a love letter to New Orleans,” shared Carter during the panel.
“Like the musical city that inspired this attraction, Tiana’s second act is about a community working in harmony to achieve something extraordinary. She reminds us of an immutable truth we can all relate to: ‘If you do your best each and every day, good things are sure to come your way.’ And that’s a melody we can all sing along to!”
Update: Tiana gets a reimagined look for the new attraction
Walt Disney Imagineering also revealed a first look at Tiana’s reimagined look for this all-new attraction during the ESSENCE Fest panel.
In discussing Tiana’s new look for the attraction, Costume Designer Ida Muldrow from Disney Live Entertainment revealed their meticulous approach to cultivating this crucial aspect of Tiana’s second act.
The team ensured Tiana’s look was historically accurate and authentic to the character by researching 1920s fashion trends – the era in which the story of the Bayou Advengture takes place – and going through family archives.
“Tiana was equally at home in the bayou as she was at a banquet,” Muldrow said. “We wanted her look to reflect that, and be a compliment to the story’s setting.”
Attendees at the ESSENCE Fest were also informed about the creative process and the factors considered in developing a unique hairstyle for Tiana. The team focused on the versatility of Black women’s hair and its importance to the identity of Black Americans across geographies and generations.
“Our efforts are a tribute to the beauty and dignity of all the proud Black women who came before us,” Muldrow said. “And to their great-grand daughters joining us on the journey today, we’re celebrating with you.”
Hoping that the new attraction will feel authentic to the Black American experience, Disney’s team took special care to ensure the representation of Tiana is true to her spirt and the era. We will see for ourselves in late 2024 if the Imagineers were a success!
Tokyo’s Splash Mountain
Currently Tokyo Disney Resort has no plans to reimagine their Splash Mountain attraction, though this summer riders will be getting extra-wet.
We’ll let you know if the decision is made to change this attraction, too.
Note: additional contributions from John Frost
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