We’re Almost There! All About Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
While Splash Mountain may have sent its last log into the briar patch (at Walt Disney World, anyway), we’re already excited for the rethemed ride’s new adventure: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, that is! Although The Princess and the Frog ride isn’t set to open until late 2024, Walt Disney Imagineering has shared quite a few details about the reimagined attraction, and we’re here to break it all down.
So, if you want to “dig a little deeper” into everything that’s in store, then hop into the log and hold on tight because we’re “gonna take you there.” (Sorry not sorry, cher, these Princess and the Frog puns aren’t going to stop anytime soon.)
What to Know About Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, Coming Soon to Disneyland and Disney World
It’s been almost three years since Disney announced plans for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure back in June 2020. And while there’s still a lot that we don’t know, Disney Imagineers have blessed us with enough information to paint a pretty good picture of what we can expect. If you’re anything like us, then chances are that you eat these enlightening tidbits up like especially tasty crumbs of Tiana’s famous beignets. Or, in the immortal words of jazz-loving alligator Louis, “hallelujah!” Alright, let’s dig in.
What is The Princess and the Frog ride, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, about?
Everything in the Disney theme parks has a backstory, whether it’s a retelling of one of the many timeless Disney stories, an extension of a well-known tale or something new and fresh altogether. Here’s what the Disney Parks Blog had to say about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure during the announcement of the new attraction.
“We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure—featuring some of the powerful music from the film—as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.”
We don’t know about you, but that sounds pretty darn magical to us. To top it all off, all of the film’s original voice actors have signed on for this immersive next chapter of Princess Tiana’s story, including Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose as Tiana, Michael-Leon Wooley as Louis, Bruno Campos as Prince Naveen and Jennifer Lewis as Mama Odie.
Since the original announcement, more information has been released by Walt Disney Imagineering about the new attraction’s scope and plot. Here’s what else we know about this jazzy new take on Splash Mountain.
Queue and On-Ride Experience
Just like any Disney ride, the story for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure actually starts in the queue. After her final kiss with Prince Naveen at the end of The Princess and the Frog, Princess Tiana makes her lifelong dream of owning a restaurant come true and opens Tiana’s Palace. Naturally, the place is a roaring success. This is where we continue the story upon setting foot in the queue.
With her restaurant dream fully realized, Princess Tiana, ever the entrepreneur, decides to expand her business and share the wealth with the good people of New Orleans by opening Tiana’s Foods, an employee-owned, community-focused cooperative. To bring her vision to life, the hard-working Disney Princess decides to buy an old salt mine in the area, giving it and the surrounding land new life as an abundant farm, complete with a working kitchen where she can teach her craft to aspiring chefs and restauranteurs.
This is also where she grows the ingredients to make many of her restaurant’s dishes, including her signature hot sauce. A detailed model from the D23 convention and new concept art shows that guests will wind past some of the farm’s bountiful gardens, both in the queue and on The Princess and the Frog attraction itself.
Of course, the perfect time to visit the Big Easy is during Mardi Gras—and wouldn’t you know it, we’re just in time to celebrate. As a thank you to her family and friends, as well as the New Orleans community, Tiana has decided to throw a special Princess and the Frog Mardi Gras celebration in the Louisiana bayou. Luckily, we’ve managed to score an invitation.
Unfortunately, although the party is “almost there,” preparations aren’t exactly going as planned. While you can see Tiana’s delicious beignets beings boxed up and other food being prepared for the festivities, there’s still one essential ingredient missing. We don’t exactly know yet what that missing ingredient is, but our best guess is music. This is a new musical adventure, after all! Hopefully, Louis, the trumpet-playing gator, will be able to help Tiana (and us) out.
The Disney Parks Blog has hinted at what that music might be. After spending a good deal of time in Louisiana soaking up the spirit of New Orleans, Disney Imagineers were inspired by the beautiful sounds of zydeco music, a style of R&B born and bred in Louisiana. The blog also gave us a glimpse of where this incredible music might come from. In a new scene revealed in concept art, we see guests floating through the firefly-filled bayou alongside Princess Tiana, Louis and a merry band of critters. Like an actual band of guitar-strummin’, harmonica-playin’ animals.
Sounds like a fun-filled experience worthy of the animated classic to us! Keep reading to learn more about the upcoming Princess and the Frog ride that is set to replace Splash Mountain at the end of 2024.
Which Disney Parks will have The Princess and the Frog ride?
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take the place of Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park in the Walt Disney World Resort and at Disneyland Park in the Disneyland Resort. However, don’t expect The Princess and the Frog overlay to make its way to the Tokyo Disney Resort anytime soon. As of right now, the Splash Mountain at Tokyo Disneyland isn’t scheduled to receive a New Orleans-style makeover.
When is the Splash Mountain retheme and ride closure happening?
As of January 23, 2023, you can no longer ride Splash Mountain in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom. However, over in Critter Country at Disneyland Park, the original Splash Mountain is still alive and well—for now, anyway. Although there has been much speculation, we still don’t know when the classic attraction will close to make way for The Princess and the Frog theme.
That said, with the new attraction scheduled to open late in 2024, we can only assume that the ride’s regal transformation will begin soon. In the meantime, feel free to visit the laughing place as much as you can until a specific Splash Mountain closing date is finally announced.
When is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opening?
As of right now, there is no official opening date for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at either Magic Kingdom or Disneyland Park. All we know so far is that guests can expect to experience the wonderful world of The Princess and the Frog in log-flume form at both of the theme parks sometime in late 2024.
What’s up with the controversy surrounding The Princess and the Frog attraction?
Sadly, not everyone is as excited about this new trip into Tiana’s world as we are. Why? Well, as anyone who has spent even a little bit of time reading Disney theme park blogs or perusing discussion boards can attest, some Disney Parks fans aren’t great with change. So, while many people (like us!) can’t wait for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, others are less than thrilled about the attraction’s re-theme—Splash Mountain diehards in particular.
But, they aren’t the only ones who are perturbed by Princess Tiana’s presence and subsequent takeover of Splash Mountain. More recently, some find the storyline of Tiana’s Foods, her employee-owned cooperative, to be more than a little ironic (and somewhat insensitive) given Disney’s less-than-magical track record when it comes to paying their cast members. In fact, as of 2022, 1 in 10 Disneyland cast members reported experiencing homelessness in the past two years. Over in Central Florida, meanwhile, cast members in the Service Trades Council Union were offered a mere $1 pay raise on their latest contract, with 96% of union members voting to reject the deal.
So, it seems that like Splash Mountain before it, The Princess and the Frog ride is off to a problematic start. Having said all that, we’re still looking forward to seeing a strong lead character, and a Disney Princess no less, take the helm of such an iconic ride.
How to Ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Once It Opens
Ok, let’s get down to the details of how you can experience the wonderful adventures of Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen and Louis once Tiana’s Bayou Adventure finally debuts.
Although no height restriction has been announced for The Princess and the Frog attraction, since the ride is simply a retheme of Splash Mountain, we can only assume that the same height requirement will carry over. If that’s the case, then you can expect Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to require guests to be at least 40 inches (102 cm) or taller in order to ride.
Additionally, since the attraction should have a minimum height requirement, guests will likely also have access to Disney’s Rider Switch service (AKA Parent Swap or Child Swap). This free service allows parents or guardians to “switch” off with each other so one person can ride while the other waits back with their too-small child. Then, once the first rider has had their chance to experience the attraction, they then swap places with the other person so they can ride, too.
It seems highly likely that upon its debut, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will offer Individual Lightning Lane entry for at least the first few (or several?) months following its opening. Depending on its popularity and the crowds it’s drawing, it will then probably transition to being a Disney Genie+ attraction similar to Splash Mountain.
We also wouldn’t be surprised if a virtual queue is offered for The Princess and the Frog ride initially in place of a standby line to help manage what are sure to be massive crowds. Then, similar to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, this would transition over to a standby queue as wait times become more manageable. Of course, all of this is pure speculation, so stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
“Dig a Little Deeper” with These Other Princess and the Frog Experiences
Looking for other ways to get your Princess and the Frog fix before the new attraction opens? From meet-and-greets to shows to shopping and dining opportunities, here are some ideas.
Walt Disney World
Meet Princess Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall
It’s no secret that we love a good character meet-and-greet, and that includes with Princess Tiana. At Magic Kingdom, Tiana holds court at Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland alongside one other visiting princess, typically Rapunzel. The princesses usually greet guests continuously throughout the day, from roughly an hour after the park opens until about an hour before it closes. Check the My Disney Experience app for the current schedule. But, that’s not all! During the holiday season, folks heading to Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party even get a chance to meet her alongside her beau, Prince Naveen.
Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire
See Princess Tiana take to the stage alongside Prince Naveen, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Anna and Elsa, and Mickey Mouse and the gang during Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire. Held on the Cinderella Castle Stage in Magic Kingdom, this lively stage show is well worth a watch. The show is offered several times each day, so check out My Disney Experience for the most up-to-date schedule.
Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade
Nothing says Disney magic quite like a parade. Held at least once per day at 3:00 PM (possibly twice during the busy season with an additional showtime at noon) in Magic Kingdom, the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade is a whimsical procession of Disney characters, vibrant costumes and catchy music. Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen kick off the parade on the very first float, along with other Disney royalty.
Disney’s Port Orleans Resort
For a Princess and the Frog-inspired stay (or heck, just a meal), don’t miss Disney’s Port Orleans Resort. Over at Port Orleans Resort – Riverside, guests can stay in the rustic setting of Alligator Bayou or, for a truly queenly experience, reserve one of the resort’s Royal Guest Rooms in Magnolia Bend. Hosted by Tiana herself and filled with tons of regal, Disney-inspired touches, you’re sure to feel like royalty.
Alternatively, if you’d rather get a taste of New Orleans (beignets included), then Port Orleans Resort – French Quarter may be more your speed. Although there aren’t any Princess and the Frog-themed rooms here, the setting is undeniably charming, with wrought-iron railings, cobblestone pathways and old-fashioned streetlamps. You’ll also want to check out Scat Cat’s Club, which serves up beignets of all sorts, as well as live jazz music several nights each week.
Meet Princess Tiana (and Dr. Facilier) in New Orleans Square
Although Tiana’s Bayou Adventure may be located in Critter Country when it opens, it’s actually New Orleans Square where Tiana can usually be found. You may see her greeting guests along the waterfront of Rivers of America, waving from the Mark Twain Riverboat or cutting a rug to some live jazz. But beware of the Shadow Man—Dr. Facilier has also been known to saunter around New Orleans Square. He’s fun to take pictures with, just don’t go making any deals.
Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures
Princess Tiana is renowned for her love of good food. So, it’s no wonder that you can often catch her at one of Disneyland’s character dining experiences, Disney Princess Breakfast Adventures in Napa Rose at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa. Although the princesses vary at this sumptuous three-course breakfast feast, Tiana is often in attendance. Reservations are highly encouraged for this special meal ($125 each for both adults and children, plus tax and gratuity), so be sure to book a table in advance.
Tiana’s Palace (Opening Later in 2023!)
Beginning February 17, 2023, French Market Restaurant and the Mint Julep Bar in New Orleans Square will close temporarily for their own Princess and the Frog-inspired makeover when they’ll be transformed into Tiana’s Palace. Featuring similar styling to Tiana’s restaurant in the film, complete with wrought-iron balconies and Big Easy flair, as well as plenty of New Orleans flavors, it’s sure to be the hottest table in Disneyland. Best of all, as it’s set to be a quick-service style restaurant, you won’t even need a reservation to eat there. And don’t worry, the Mickey beignets and mint juleps aren’t going anywhere.
Princess Tiana isn’t the only enterprising woman in her family. With a little help from her daughter, her dressmaker mother, Eudora, recently opened her own little shop right in New Orleans Square. Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets offers everything from Princess and the Frog-themed apparel to Disney-inspired home goods perfect for cooking up a batch of gumbo.
Well, cher, that brings our guide to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and the Splash Mountain revamp to an end. What are you most looking forward to about the attraction? Let us know in the comments! Then, learn how you can save on tickets to its opening with our Disney Parks discounts.