Tiana's Bayou Adventure coming soon sign

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Details Revealed

The animatronics in Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will have real faces! That’s according to nola.com reporter Mike Scott, who recently toured the coming attraction with Imagineer Tom Robledo. There’s plenty to talk about in Scott’s article, so let’s jump right in.

The Setting

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure begins where The Princess and the Frog left off. Tiana has expanded her business by purchasing an old salt mine and transforming it into a farm and kitchen. Tiana’s Foods was born, and no, it’s not going to be a Disney World restaurant. It’s just for storytelling.

FYI, the “mountain” from the previous ride is now a salt dome. Imagineers had to get creative in transforming Splash Mountain into something so different.

A New Orleans-inspired Attraction

Imagineers are drawing heavy inspiration from New Orleans:

“One of the things that blew my mind (in New Orleans) is the amount of art all over. This is our love letter to New Orleans, and in that spirit, art is everywhere. The city as a place is as important as a character. The story reacts to the place. We’re starting to hint at that in the queue, to try to craft that love letter to New Orleans in every way possible.”

Tom Robledo

That New Orleans vibe will be apparent as soon as you step into the ride queue. The courtyard will appeal to many senses. First, multiple speakers will broadcast “an old-timey radio show” featuring New Orleans classics performed by the city’s musicians. Terence Blanchard is leading this aspect of the project.

A mural painted by New Orleans artist Malaika Favorite already adorns the barn which houses the main offices for Tiana’s Foods.

Part of Malaika Favorite's mural on Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Copyright Disney.
Copyright Disney.

Darryl Reeves, a New Orleans blacksmith, recently forged a weather vane for the exterior of the attraction.

Weathervane made by Darryl Reeves for Tiana's Bayou Adventure
Copyright Disney.

In addition to sights and sounds, guests will be tortured with the aroma of beignets. I say “tortured” because, as of today, beignets aren’t available in Magic Kingdom. I imagine that will change once Tiana’s opens.

The ride

The loading area features cranes moving pallets of food marked “Tiana’s Foods.” Guests will feel they have stepped into the middle of a busy enterprise. Once on the ride, guests will notice that Splash Mountain’s vegetation has been removed in favor of Louisiana-native plants. Those include cypress trees, Spanish moss, and marsh grasses.

Imagineers are repurposing the ride vehicles, track, and larger structures, but they are reskinning everything else. Robledo said that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will have nods to Splash Mountain but didn’t offer any other details.

Animatronics

Robledo confirmed the audio-animatronics will be similar to those used in World of Frozen in Hong Kong Disneyland and not those in EPCOT’s Frozen Ever After. The latter’s animatronics with face projections pale in comparison to those unveiled recently in Hong Kong. It’s going to be great seeing them in person.

In addition to Tiana and Louis the Alligator, other animatronics include a band made up of swamp animals. The nola.com reporter wasn’t able to see any animatronics on his tour. Instead, Imagineers were using character cutouts to set the scenes.

The drop

Disney fans didn’t love it when construction crews removed the tree trunk that sat atop Splash Mountain. According to Robledo, that was done with a purpose.

“We needed some real estate there to fit the added show magic.”

Tom Robledo

The nola.com reporter wasn’t able to see the post-drop portion of the ride, but apparently, that room will have more magical touches. Robledo wanted to keep some details to himself. I’m cool with that. I’m not a fan of too many spoilers.

See pictures from the inside of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is supposed to open in both Walt Disney World and Disneyland in 2024. Disney hasn’t shared firm dates as of yet, but Scott made it seem as though construction is close to being complete in Orlando. I can’t wait!