By the D23 Team
Since the news broke in June 2020, Disney fans have been wishing on Evangeline for more details on the upcoming The Princess and the Frog-themed reimagining of Splash Mountain. All that wishing paid off, because while Disney was down in New Orleans for the ESSENCE Festival of Culture™ presented by Coca-Cola®, they announced that the new attraction will be named Tiana’s Bayou Adventure! This all-new experience invites guests into the world of Walt Disney Animation Studios’ film The Princess and the Frog, and the opening date is “almost there.” Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is coming to Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland park in California in late 2024.
To preserve the iconic heart and soul of the city, Walt Disney Imagineers made frequent research trips to Louisiana, from exploring the French Market and the bayou, to consulting with academics, chefs, musicians, and cultural institutions. Throughout the region, Imagineers were inspired by local experts along their journey. Check out the video below for more from their research trip:
Today at ESSENCE Fest, Walt Disney Imagineering shared in detail its research during an intimate event in French Quarter’s historic Preservation Hall. With its own distinct history bringing people together, Preservation Hall was the ideal location to celebrate an attraction in which music and community are at the heart of a transformational journey.
The celebration’s panel was moderated by Victoria Uwumarogie, senior lifestyle editor at ESSENCE magazine, and featured 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, who inspired Tiana’s story. Guests were treated to live art demonstrations provided by emerging talent from YAYA Arts Center, an organization Disney Parks has engaged to commission artwork from alumna Sharika Mahdi. Music from the world-renowned Preservation Hall Jazz Band echoed throughout the hall, along with a performance by Jenifer Lewis, the voice of Mama Odie!
During the panel, Carter shared, “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!”
Robledo added that “the joie de vivre that animates this region so brilliantly not only inspired Tiana’s journey, but also our team at Walt Disney Imagineering.” Walt Disney Imagineering intends to bring that joie de vivrewhen advancing the storyline of Princess Tiana at Disney parks—and we can’t wait to join in the jubilation!
Stay tuned to D23.com for future updates on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and more news on the next chapter of Princess Tiana’s story.