It was more than a year ago when Disney Parks announced its Splash Mountain theme park attraction would be rethemed around the 2009 movie The Princess and the Frog, replacing the problematic Song of the South. Now, we’ve finally got a few details about what’s in store.
For those who might not know, Splash Mountain is the Disney parks’ equivalent of a log flume ride. The reason Tiana needs to hop on a boat is that, immediately after the kiss scene at the end of the film, she, Naveen, and Louis the alligator head downriver to throw a massive Mardi Gras party. You’re along for the ride, quite literally. According to Disney’s Imagineers, guests will be “active participants” in the ride, which means there will be an actor playing Tiana (as well as someone playing Naveen, one must assume) who will interact directly with park visitors—which always sounds stressful when you’ve got social anxiety. There will be new music and new characters inspired by the movie as well and based on the concept art, Disneyland News Today speculates that some of them will likely be built on some of the ride’s current animatronics. At the end of the attraction, the “ultimate Mardi Gras party” awaits.
There was another new piece of concept art released, but it wasn’t made by Disney. “[O]ne of the early sources of inspiration has come from Sharika Mahdi — a visual artist, art educator, and alumna of the renowned YAYA (Young Aspirations Young Artists) Arts Center located in New Orleans — who was commissioned to create a series of four original paintings to inspire Imagineers,” according to Disney Parks. That’s the first of the four images above.
No mention was made when the new, Princess and the Frog-themed attraction will debut. However, this announcement came on day one of Disney’s “World Princess Week,” so perhaps there’s more coming. Or maybe we’ll get more info on the Tiana TV series coming to Disney+ in 2023? Either way, stay tuned.
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