A new Princess and the Frog attraction is closer to becoming a wish come true at Disney Parks. According to the company, the re-theme will begin with the closure of the flume ride’s current Splash Mountain incarnation on January 23 at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, making way for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Imagineers have shifted from research and design to focus on an immersive experience inspired by the 2009 Disney Princess animated film. We’re ready for it to take us back to New Orleans in a re-imagining starring main character Tiana, who’ll be joined by other Princess and the Frog characters on a new adventure filled with new friends, as revealed in the concept art below!
The ride’s story takes place during carnival season as Tiana prepares for a one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans and visitors riding along on the water log. In this new concept piece shared by Disney Parks, we see jazz-loving Louis the alligator leading a new river band of critters, including an otter, a rabbit, a raccoon, a beaver, a turtle, and others. (Ordinarily I’d be concerned about Louis eating them but with Tiana’s cooking to tempt him, I bet he’ll be good.) In the bayou you’ll hear them play instruments made of natural materials from their environment.
The firefly-filled scene depicts the “thrilling moment you first drop into the bayou and encounter some friends both new and familiar,” according to Disney. It’ll be exciting to hear more music sung by one of my favorite Disney Princess voices, Princess and the Frog star Anika Noni Rose—but a little terrifying if you don’t like rides with drops (it’s me, I don’t like drops). Still, for Tiana, I’ll do anything. Imagineers took special care to make sure the musical aspects of the water ride adventure are authentic to New Orleans; they’ll be inspired by the zydeco rhythm and blues that hails from Louisiana, setting the mood for the next chapter of Tiana’s story and exploring what role the band may play in it.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set to open in 2024. Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort will be closed starting January 23, 2023, and its counterpart at Disneyland Resort will follow at a later date. For more information check out the Disney Parks Blog.
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