Disney has announced that Splash Mountain will be transformed into a princess and the frog– a themed ride called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure by 2024.
While the change of direction for a long time, Song of the SouthThe Br’er Rabbit-inspired theme has been known for some time, details on the ride are scarce. That changed today with an announcement at New Orleans’ famed Preservation Hall in the middle of Essence Fest. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will replace Splash Mountain at Disneyland and Walt Disney World.
Picking 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 unique Mardi Gras celebration where everything everyone is welcome,” Disney Vice President Carmen Smith said in a press release.
Disney said it took time to secure New Orleans and South Louisiana representation for the ride.
“From exploring the French market and bayou to consulting with academics, chefs, musicians and cultural institutions, Imagineers received inspiration from across the region and learned from local experts along the way. “Smith said.
The story at the heart of princess and the frog is based on real-life New Orleans icon Leah Chase. The chef has converted a stall owned by her husband’s family into a sit-down restaurant called Dooky Chase’s that has been a staple of New Orleans cuisine for more than half a century. Chase died in 2019 at the age of 96.
The new ride turns the page on a chapter in their history that Disney would just as quickly forget. southern song has figured prominently in Disney history thanks to its iconic song “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and the rides at America’s two major parks. The film depicts Lost Cause images of a pre-Civil War South, pushing the misconception that slaves were happy living on the plantations. (This is a motif repeated in the Florida State Song, although the lyrics were revised in 2008 to remove offensive passages.)
Disney stopped releasing the film for home video decades ago and refused to add it to its Disney+ streaming platform.
This story first appeared in our sister publication Orlando Weekly.