Princess and the Frog: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction is coming to the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World and the Disneyland Park in California in late 2024.
Disney Parks announced the name of the upcoming attraction that will replace Splash Mountain, and it projected date, during New Orleans’ Essence Fest, which included a panel of Imagineers who discussed how the culture and history of New Orleans was the inspiration for the upcoming attraction.
Imagineers made several research trips to Louisiana, including locations such as the French Market and backwater bayous, consulting with academics, chefs, cultural institutions, and musical artists.
Among the Essence Fest panelists were Victoria Uwumarogie, senior lifestyle editor at Essence Magazine; Carmen Smith, senior vice president, Creative Development, Product/Content & Inclusive Strategies; 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, the inspiration for Tiana’s story.
During the event, guests were treated to a performance by Jenifer Lewis, who voiced Mama Odie in the Walt Disney Animation Studios film, “The Princess and the Frog.”
The new attraction reimagines the world of the central character, Princess Tiana, though a “musical adventure” that picks up where the movie left off, as Princess Tiana, Naveen, and jazz-loving Louis the alligator embark on a bayou adventure in preparation for a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration.
Disney Parks Blog shared a quote from Imagineer Charita Carter: “In many ways, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a love letter to New Orleans. 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: July 1, 2022, 5:30 p.m.] Tiana will also have a new look in the attraction, based on the 1920s, which is the era in which the story takes place.
“Tiana was equally at home in the bayou as she was at a banquet,” said costume designer Ida Muldrow. “We wanted her look to reflect that, and be a compliment to the story’s setting.”
The design team placed a great deal of emphasis on the versatility of Black women’s hair when they made creative decisions about the new look, taking into account its “significance to our identity across geographies and generations.”
While speaking about the Black community’s story, Muldrow added, “Our efforts are a tribute to the beauty and dignity of all the proud Black women who came before us. And to their great-grand daughters joining us on the journey today, we’re celebrating with you.”