Disney gives reporters a first look inside Tiana's Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom

Jan 17, 2024 in "Tiana's Bayou Adventure"

Posted: Wednesday January 17, 2024 3:30pm ET by WDWMAGIC Staff

Disney is entering the final stages of transforming Walt Disney World and Disneyland's Splash Mountain attractions into Tiana's Bayou Adventure, and a few lucky reporters have been given a hard-hat tour inside for a look at the progress.

Mike Scott from NOLA.com was one of the reporters to go inside Tiana's Bayou Adventure, and you can read his full report at NOLA.

Here are some takeaways from the tour, led by Ted Robledo, Executive Creative Director of Walt Disney Imagineering.

Concept and Design: The retheme starts from the ride queue area, with storytelling elements integrated throughout. A mural by Malaika Favorite and various New Orleans-inspired artistic touches are featured. The first floor of the barn, that was the entrance to Splash Mountain, now houses the main offices for Tiana's Foods business.

Integration of New Orleans Culture: The attraction includes a soundscape with New Orleans music, scents like beignets, and contributions from local artists and musicians like Terence Blanchard, Darryl Reeves, P.J. Morton, and the Chase family. In the outdoor queue, speakers will broadcast an old-timey radio show featuring reimagined New Orleans classics.

Ride Changes and Features: The ride maintains the same track and ride vehicles as Splash Mountain but incorporates new elements like native Louisiana flora, animatronic swamp animals, and scenes involving Tiana and other characters from the movie.

The loading area where guests board the ride vehicles includes cranes hoisting pallets of crates marked "Tiana's Foods," reinforcing the notion that it is a working food operation which Tiana founded after the events of The Princess and the Frog movie.

Advanced AA Technology: The attraction uses advanced animatronics similar to those in Hong Kong Disneyland's World of Frozen, meaning we should see real physical faces, not projections. Tiana will make multiple appearances, seeking guests help to find a missing element for a Mardi Gras celebration she's planning.

Preservation and Adaptation: While much of the interior architecture will be retained from Splash Mountain, new additions have been made. According to Walt Disney Imagineering, the tree trunk from the old attraction was removed to accommodate new elements.

Final Surprise: Reporters were not allowed into the finale scene, and the tour stopped just before the Laughing Place scene. Robeledo said, "I'll just say it's got a lot to do with magic. It's a magical moment that happens down there."

Tiana's Bayou Adventure opens in 2024 at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The earliest and most optimistic estimates place opening around Memorial Day (late May) at Magic Kingdom, but Disney has yet to make any announcement beyond "2024."

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GladToBeHear9 minutes ago

I agree.

_caleb1 hour ago

Awww, thanks! That's literally the nicest thing you've ever said to me!

EagleScout6101 hour ago

I agree with your first point. I miss Splash and wish it could have stayed. My problem is that they keep trying to push this as the most realistic and authentic New Orleans this side of New Orleans, which I admit, on its own isn't a problem. It becomes a problem when they have to come up with a convoluted "Find the salsa but oh it's in a giant salt dome that Tiana owns along with 30 other businesses" plot to not only make it seem like they have more than they do, but also explain the reuse of the existing Splash facade.

Brer Oswald1 hour ago

This is probably the least funny post I have ever read on this forum, and there is a TON of competition.

_caleb3 hours ago

What’s with those modern, industrial-style stairs? They totally clash with the theme. Were those wooden posts designed by Louisiana artisans, too? Half of the pavement is gray and the other half is tan. Modern WDI doesn’t have a clue what they’re doing!! Those hedges are hideous, and they’re the same ones I see all throughout the parks. Why can’t they do something creative for a change? Are they just going to leave that yellow foam board insulation there covering those openings like that? And to think we lost Splash for this! I am so done with Disney’s modern fixation with realism. You just know they’re going to leave it like this. Walt must be spinning in his grave. Disney’s standards have slipped so much over the years! The water is all brown and dirty, those logs look used, and there are a bunch of dead, dried leaves where guests’ hair bands are supposed to go. What is it with all the walls? When people spend thousands on a Disney vacation, they want to see rides, not walls! I heard Bob Iger personally walked through TBA and complained that it was way too wet, and that’s why they drained all the water from the splashdown area. Such a stupid decision, and from someone who claims to be an expert in hydrology! He’s a disgrace! A very quiet bayou today. Disney turned the most lively and vibrant corner of the park and turned it into an absolute ghost town.

MerlinTheGoat4 hours ago

While I think the exterior is complete enough that we can give reasonably accurate impressions of it, I seriously doubt it's opening that soon. Even for previews.

Brer Oswald4 hours ago

It’s very likely opening for previews within a month and a half. It’s fair to judge the exterior based on how it looks, as it won’t be changing much more.

SilentWindODoom4 hours ago

We could... just... say we don't know how it's going to wind up and we'll wait and see and be happy about things that come out that are encouraging and not jump to conclusions saying things will happen that we don't know will happen. But suggesting that in the past has had me dubbed a "pixie duster" who will swallow any tripe I'm given with a smile and applause.

Splash4eva5 hours ago

Are they really keeping the logs the same?

BrerFoxesBayouAdventure6 hours ago

I disagree. If it was a new attraction I'd still call it tacky and ugly, because well it is.

Drew the Disney Dude6 hours ago

771339771340771341771346771349 A very quiet bayou today.

Disstevefan16 hours ago

What about Guardians visible giant box?

TrainsOfDisney6 hours ago

I think it looks better than tron’s visible giant box. Does that help?

Brer Oswald6 hours ago

If it was original, most of us still wouldn’t like this exterior. So far it’s the most disliked aspect of this project (besides the co-op business subplot) amongst fans and detractors of the retheme.