Louis animatronic from Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Copyright Disney.

Imagineers Share Footage of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Animatronics

Disney launched a new YouTube series. “We Call It Imagineering” aims to “pull back the curtain as Disney Imagineers work to ideate, design, and create new lands, attractions, and entertainment that will amaze new generations to come.” The first episode does not disappoint as it takes us through the history of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics, from Tiki Room birds to the Shaman of Songs. Much of the show is dedicated to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure animatronics. I was stunned by the footage. Disney Imagineers have created masterpieces.

Tiana animatronic from Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Copyright Disney.
Imagineers working on Tiana. Copyright Disney.

We were able to catch a quick glimpse of Tiana last month. Today, we saw even more of her incredible animatronic. Imagineers Heather Greene and Rob Fox explained the collaboration that goes into constructing true-to-life characters. For example, Rob’s team installed three motors in each of Tiana’s wrists, allowing her full range of motion in her hands. Heather has to make sure the costume can accommodate that motion. It’s a give-and-take process.

The highlight of the episode was Louis, the Bayou’s trumpet-playing alligator. Imagineers explained the process of creating “one of the largest and most dynamic figures [they’ve] built to date.” The video shows Louis in action, with and without his outer costume. The footage of his moving parts is stunning, down to the plates that make up his large belly.

Louis animatronic from Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Copyright Disney.
An Imagineer demonstrates Louis’ movements. Copyright Disney.
Louis animatronic from Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Copyright Disney.
A peak inside Louis. Copyright Disney.
Louis animatronic from Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Copyright Disney.
Louis in full costume. Copyright Disney.

“We really try to think of what Lewis is as a character. He’s a very jolly character. We want to make him appear as happy as possible, and a big part of that is having his belly joyfully move up and down.”

Jessica Basgerow, Show Programmer Imagineer

We also caught our first glimpse of Byhalia (the Zydeco drummer), Ralphie (drummer and brother of Prince Naveen), and Mama Odie.

Byhalia animatronic from Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Copyright Disney.
Byhalia is the Zydeco band’s drummer. Copyright Disney.
Ralphie animatronic from Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Copyright Disney.
Ralphie. Copyright Disney.
Mama Odie animatronic from Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Copyright Disney.
Mama Odie. Copyright Disney.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure animatronics debut this summer in Magic Kingdom and later this year in Disneyland.