Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

A newly released piece of conceptual art shows a scene from Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, a New Orleans-set attraction scheduled to open in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in late 2024. In addition to depicting Princess Tiana and Louis the trumpet-playing alligator, the scene – set at ‘the thrilling moment you first drop into the bayou’ – includes new characters who make up a critter band that will play zydeco music, according to Disney Parks Senior Vice President Carmen Smith.

Disney Imagineers were in New Orleans for Mardi Gras in hopes of capturing a little Carnival magic to infuse in the new Princess Tiana ride, the company confirmed this week.

They released a video about their visit, which includes a new preview of what Splash Mountain will look like after transforming into Tiana's Bayou Adventure at Disney World and Disneyland.

Related: Why is Splash Mountain changing?

The new ride is slated to open at the end of 2024 and is described as a love letter to New Orleans.

Watch the video:

Can't see it? Watch here.

"We're here taking in the color, the energy, the love, the rhythm, the music -- everything that Mardi Gras has to offer the celebration," says Charita Carter, who is Disney Imagineering's executive creative producer for the ride, in the video. "After all, Tiana is throwing a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras party and everybody is invited."

Carter, in the video, is decked out in beads and a crown outside Dooky Chase's Restaurant. Princess Tiana is inspired by Leah Chase, the longtime chef and owner at the restaurant.

'Inspired by people from New Orleans'

The video also includes parade floats, St. Charles Avenue street scenes, marching bands, New Orleans architecture and more.


The Smokey Mary float heads down the street for the Krewe of Orpheus parade in New Orleans on Monday, February 20, 2023. (Photo by Chris Granger | The Times-Picayune | The New Orleans Advocate)

"The atmosphere here is one of a kind," says Ted Robledo, executive creative director with Walt Disney Imagineering, in the video. "This is where Tiana is from. She's inspired by people from New Orleans.

"Tiana has a love for her community, a love for her city and that's exactly what we want to bring to this brand new story and adventure," he adds.

What is the new ride?

Splash Mountain closed in Florida in January and is expected to reopen in late 2024 as the new ride. Splash Mountain in California also will transform, but officials haven't released a timeline for the closure.

Princess Tiana ride at Disney

New concept art illustrates the vision for the upcoming Disneyland and Walt Disney World attraction inspired by the New Orleans-set animated fairy tale 'The Princess and the Frog.' According to Disney Imagineer Charita Carter, the ride will see Princess Tiana decked out in 'bayou-ready adventurewear' as she leads guests on a journey down the bayou.

The revamped ride is inspired by the 2009 Disney film, "The Princess and the Frog," which features Disney's first Black princess.

The ride is set in the 1920s like the film and will pick up where the movie left off.

"Guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome," Disney said.

Flora, fauna in the bayou

This is at least Disney's second research trip to New Orleans. Last year, Carter said they visited the bayou and did an airboat tour.

"We were just looking at the flora, the fauna that you would see there," she said in another video from Disney.

They also went to Dooky Chase's, Congo Square, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Xavier University and the salt dome at Avery Island.

Watch the video:

Can't see it? Watch here.

What will the ride look like?

Disney has released several renderings and models of the new attraction.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure will remain a log-flume water ride, according to Disney. The renderings show familiar elements - guests riding in a log through a mountain, floating through outdoor scenes and ending with a five-story drop into a pool of water.

Princess Tiana will be decked out in "bayou-ready adventurewear" as she leads guests on a journey down the bayou, Carter previously said.

Princess Tiana on Tiana's Bayou Adventure

Disney costume designers said they researched prevailing trends of the 1920s to ensure Tiana’s look was historically accurate and authentic to the character. (image via Disney)

She'll be joined by a critter band that plays zydeco music, according to Disney. The zydeco scene is set at "the thrilling moment you first drop into the bayou."

The briar patch on the outside of the mountain will be replaced with cypress trees, according to renderings released by Disney. A water tower with a logo for "Tiana’s Foods" is also part of the plan.


Disney said the ride will include some of the music from the movie but it hasn't said which songs.

Two of the more popular songs from "The Princess and the Frog" are "Dig a Little Deeper" (watch it) and "Almost There" (watch it).

tiana ride 04.jpg

Stella Chase Reese, second from left, poses with a handful of Disney creatives outside Dooky Chase’s restaurant on Orleans Avenue after the taping of a panel discussion about the cultural impact of Princess Tiana, the ‘Princess and the Frog’ character who because Disney’s first Black Princess in 2009.

Carlie Kollath Wells is a breaking news reporter at NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune.