What To Know About Disney's Splash Mountain Re-Theme Inspired By The Princess And The Frog

Out with the old, in with the new. That is not just a phrase for a New Year's resolution but a fitting phrase for the transition of Splash Mountain to Tiana's Bayou Adventure happening at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. The history of Splash Mountain at both U.S. Disney theme parks has a controversial past. In 1946, Walt Disney used the stories of Uncle Remus, written by Joel Chandler Harris, to create "Song of the South." These characters inspired the log flume attraction known as Splash Mountain. It opened in 1989 at Disneyland and in 1992 at Walt Disney World. 

However, in June 2020, many Disney fans came together to ask for the ride to be closed, with over 20,000 signing an online petition. "While the ride is considered a beloved classic it's history and storyline are steeped in extremely problematic and stereotypical racist tropes," the petition says. That same month, it was announced that Splash Mountain would be overhauled in favor of a new theme focused on Disney's first Black princess, Tiana, from "The Princess and the Frog." 

"The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year," Disney said when they made the announcement in June 2020 via Disney Parks Blog. The new ride will be called Tiana's Bayou Adventure — and while we don't know all the details just yet, this attraction is shaping up to be quite a thrill-seeking adventure. 

Details revealed about Tiana's Bayou Adventure

With Disney World officially closing Splash Mountain in January of 2023 and Disneyland's version closing in May of the same year, it would be safe to assume the Disney World attraction will open first. However, no specific opening date for either attraction has been confirmed — but Disney Parks Blog says that Tiana's Bayou Adventure is set to open at both parks in late 2024. Apart from that, what has been confirmed includes information on the ride itself, including the theme and storyline.

The ride's storyline takes place around, of course, Mardi Gras. A celebration is being thrown by Tiana in appreciation of her loved ones for supporting her while she worked to grow her business, Tiana's Foods. But when a mishap occurs, and the party planning goes south, Tiana asks her friends for help in taking a trip through the bayou to find a missing ingredient. Though the storyline inside the ride has not yet been revealed, we do know that Princess Tiana will be sporting a new outfit for her adventure through the bayou. 

A cast of beloved characters and top-notch music to match

A pioneering concept at Disney Parks that is still in use today is called audio-animatronics. These figures look and sound like people or animals but are actually machines made of detailed, life-like pieces. Imagineers, what Disney calls their employees who build attractions, have confirmed many new audio-animatronics will appear in Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Fan-favorite characters such as Mama Odie, Prince Naveen, Louis the Alligator, and Princess Tiana will all appear as audio-animatronics throughout the ride.

The voices for each character will be provided by the same actors who voiced them in "The Princess and the Frog," including Jennifer Lewis, Bruno Campos, Michael Leon Wooley, and Anika Noni Rose. One character who will not be appearing on the attraction is the film's villain, Dr. Facilier. To top it off, a new score will be added to the queue, courtesy of Grammy-award winner and Academy Award nominee Terence Blanchard. An original song from Grammy winner PJ Morton will incorporate New Orleans-style zydeco music and will be featured throughout the ride. 

Though the theme and storyline of the attraction will be different than the film, the existing track will continue to be used to take guests through the ride. As the year 2024 draws nearer, we can only hope more details about what's inside the bayou will be shared.