Tiana’s Bayou Adventure – Everything New We Learned

Since the announcement that a Princess and the Frog based attraction would be replacing Splash Mountain, we’ve slowly received details on exactly what it would be. About a year ago, we got its name: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Since then, we’ve learned some details about the story including that it’s set after the events of the film where Tiana has created an employee-owned co-op called “Tiana’s Foods” that’s built in an old salt dome. Several new characters will be introduced including a musical band of critters that create instruments based on items found in the bayou. The characters were designed by Imagineer Laura West, while Eric Goldberg, who animated the alligator Louis, was also consulted. Also, all of the original voice talents from the film will be back for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Specifically mentioned were Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Jenifer Lewis (Mama Odie), Bruno Campos (Prince Naveen) and Michael-Leon Wooley (Louis).

Last week, I was at a media event held in New Orleans that showed us how Imagineers immersed themselves there as a part of the process of creating Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. I wrote about that experience and also transcribed a Question and Answer session with the Imagineers. Here, I’ve extracted some specific items about the attraction that were announced or gleaned from the event.

What We Learned About Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

  • The ride itself will be the same length as Splash Mountain — approximately 9 minutes at Disneyland and approximately 10 minutes at the Magic Kingdom
  • There will be original animation created by Walt Disney Animation Studios that will be used on screens within the attraction.
  • Songwriter and producer PJ Morton, a native of New Orleans, is creating an original song that will be heard in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. He is also doing new arrangements of the classic songs within the attraction.
  • Jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard, also a native of New Orleans, who can be heard playing all of Louis’ trumpet parts in the The Princess and the Frog. He is working to select songs from the film as well as iconic themes from New Orleans for use in the queue.
  • The flora, the wildlife, the sounds are all authentic to New Orleans and of the period. The Imagineers made a point of validating their creative decisions via visits to New Orleans and the bayou and research at The Historic New Orleans Collection.
  • There will be a radio show playing in the queue that talks about the celebration we’re about to visit and informs us that Tiana needs assistance. The radio playing it is based on c. 1930 Avrin radio and record player combination

  • Naveen’s little brother Ralphie will be a part of the attraction as an Audio Animatronic playing the drums. The drum set he uses is based on a children’s set that includes a c. 1900 Chinese tom tom and a c. 1920 Zildjian and Chinese cymbals. The actual set is in the office of the New Orleans Jazz Museum director Greg Lambousy.

  • The attraction will have 17 new characters, all represented by Audio Animatronics. This includes the critter band playing zydeco music.

  • The attractions overall story will touch on some new themes
    • Tiana’s father being a WWI veteran and what’s it like for an African American man to fight for his  country back then
    • Tiana’s mom made dresses not only for Charlotte but for other clients in the community which served as an inspiration for Tiana’s entrepreneurship
    • New representation of the other nationalities that make up New Orleans including Philippines, Mexico, Caribbean, nations of Africa and China
  • Tiana will have more new costumes and hairstyles beyond the Adventure Tiana we’ve seen

  • Prince Naveen will play humorous role in the story
  • Look for a sneak peek of new consumer products at the next ESSENCE Fest, which runs from June 29th through July 3rd, 2023
  • While the attraction won’t necessarily be tied to the Disney+ series, they are working with Disney+ for continuity
  • A chair designed by current and former YAYA students for Imagineering will be put into Disneyland’s Eudora’s Chic Boutique. YAYA is a place we visited where people aged 13 to 25 can learn to become artists. While there, each student paints a chair that is sold and the student shares in the profits.

  • When asked if there were changes coming to the Magic Kingdom beyond the attraction itself, they responded “I will say, can’t say. Stay tuned.”

Doobie Moseley
Doobie is a co-owner of LaughingPlace.com having founded the website with his wife Rebekah in 1999. He became a "hardcore" Disney fan in 1995. His favorite Disney film is Snow White and his all-time favorite attraction is the PeopleMover. Having lived near both Disneyland and Walt Disney World, he's visited them literally thousands of times. He currently lives in Nothern California with his wife and teenage son, but looks forward to living in Florida again soon. His absolutely favorite activity is going on a Disney cruise (he's done 12 as of February 2023).