Disney Shares More Details, Concept Art for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Hi everyone!

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is scheduled to open at Disneyland and Walt Disney World in late 2024 as the reimagining of Splash Mountain (Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom will be closed starting January 23rd, 2023).

A new piece of detailed concept art has now been revealed online in the Disney Parks Blog (see today’s announcement below in the article). I had the opportunity yesterday to learn more about the upcoming transformation from two Imagineers.

A first look at a new scene and some of the brand-new characters coming to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, coming to Magic Kingdom Park, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. and Disneyland Park, Anaheim, Calif., in 2024, will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film. (Disney)

Speaking to us yesterday was Charita Carter, who is Executive Producer for the attraction and Ted Robledo, Executive Creative Director at WDI. Carter has been with Walt Disney World Imagineering for twenty-five years, starting with accounting & finance before moving to the creative side. Robledo has been with Walt Disney Imagineering for fifteen years and has worked at the international parks as well as opening New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom – his last project at Walt Disney World.

Carter talked about how Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is not a retelling of “The Princess and the Frog”, that it starts about a year after the events of the movie. We watched a video about their research trip, and Carter said she gets asked about how there would be a mountain in New Orleans. She says that Tiana has purchased a salt dome. The Avery Island salt dome is one of the only places in the city with elevation, which they visited.

Central to the concept art released today is the addition of new characters, created by concept designer Laura West. West thought about what fun exists in the bayou, and what items could be used for instruments. She consulted with longtime Disney animator Eric Goldberg, who designed Louis. The characters look adorable! I asked about the license tag and if the numbers meant anything and I was told no. We also watched a short animation clip for this area.

(Disney)
(Disney)

We also get another view of  Tiana’s 1927 look, which was designed by costume designer Ida Muldrow from Disney Live Entertainment and cosmetologist Tisha Powell. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set in 1927, and they worked on making Tiana’s look authentic.

It was really nice to get to hear more about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and to meet Charita Carter and Ted Robledo.

From the Disney Parks Blog:

We’re getting closer to going down the bayou with Tiana and friends as progress continues on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Since the attraction was announced in 2020, Imagineers have been hard at work designing an immersive experience inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “The Princess and the Frog” and the heart and culture of New Orleans. We’ve shared additional details and some sneak peeks since then at events such as ESSENCE Fest and D23 Expo 2022, demonstrating how our research brought us to New Orleans in an effort to remain authentic to the story’s setting. 

Walt Disney Imagineering conducts research in New Orleans for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction. The attraction is coming to Magic Kingdom Park, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. and Disneyland Park, Anaheim, Calif., in 2024. (Disney)
Walt Disney Imagineering joins team at the historic Dooky Chase’s Restaurant during their research in New Orleans for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The attraction is coming to Magic Kingdom Park, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. and Disneyland Park, Anaheim, Calif., in 2024. (Disney)
Walt Disney Imagineering conducts research in New Orleans for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction. The attraction is coming to Magic Kingdom Park, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. and Disneyland Park, Anaheim, Calif., in 2024. (Disney)

Today, I’m excited to give you a first look at a new scene and some of the brand-new characters we’re creating specifically for this attraction. In Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, you’ll join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis during carnival season as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans. This new scene is the thrilling moment you first drop into the bayou and encounter some friends both new and familiar. 

A first look at a new scene and some of the brand-new characters coming to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, coming to Magic Kingdom Park, Lake Buena Vista, Fla. and Disneyland Park, Anaheim, Calif., in 2024, will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film. (Disney)

As you can see here, fireflies will light up the night and invite you deeper into the bayou … almost like they’re waving you forward. What you can’t tell from this rendering – so you’ll just have to trust me on this one – is that beautiful zydeco music will fill the air. Zydeco is a special blend of rhythm and blues that was born in Louisiana, and when you hear it, you’ll feel like you’ve truly stepped into Tiana’s world.

Here you’ll find Louis, who explains where this amazing music is coming from. Tiana made some new friends out here – a band full of adorable critters, including an otter, a rabbit, a racoon, a beaver, a turtle and others. The band members sing and play instruments made of natural materials they found in the bayou. It feels like they may have a bigger role to play in this story … but we’ll just have to wait and see on that one. 

Like so many musical genres, zydeco brings together the sounds and styles of many cultures. We wanted that spirit reflected in this scene (and throughout the attraction) so that all our guests feel welcome to join in the celebration. It’s emblematic of what we’re always striving for with our attractions – bringing people of different backgrounds together through timeless Disney stories. This new musical adventure provides us with a song sheet to write that concept into reality. 

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take you on a journey inspired by the story and characters from the hit film, picking up where that story left off. In preparation for this new experience and the many exciting updates ahead, Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort will be closed starting Jan. 23, 2023, so we can begin the next phase of this attraction’s development. Additional information about Splash Mountain at Disneyland Resort will be shared at a later date.

Continue following along with the Disney Parks Blog for all updates relating to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure as it makes its way to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in 2024.