Disney Execs Announce Details About New Orleans-Themed Ride

Bi868768767686 CopyNEW ORLEANS — At a July 1 event at Preservation Hall in New Orleans, Disney executives announced more details about the Crescent City-themed makeover coming soon to the Splash Mountain attraction at Magic Kingdom in Florida and Disneyland park in California. Company representatives announced that the ride will be reimagined as “Tiana’s Bayou Adventure,” based on the 2009 animated film “The Princess and the Frog.” 

The Preservation Hall event timed to coincide with the 2022 Essence Festival, an annual celebration of Black music and culture. The ride is expected to open in late 2024.

“Walt Disney Imagineers have been frequent travelers to Louisiana while conducting extensive research to ensure Tiana’s Bayou Adventure preserves the heart and soul of the city that inspired Princess Tiana’s story,” wrote Carmen Smith, a senior vice president for Walt Disney Imagineering, in a blog post about today’s event. “From exploring the French Market and the bayou, to consulting with academics, chefs, musicians and cultural institutions, Imagineers have received inspiration from all over the region and learned from local experts along the way.”

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A Disney spokesperson said Preservation Hall was the ideal location to celebrate an attraction where music and community are at the heart of a transformational journey. 

The celebration included a panel featuring Smith and moderated by Victoria Uwumarogie, senior lifestyle editor at Essence magazine. Other speakers included Charita Carter, executive producer of relevancy activations at Walt Disney Imagineering; Ted Robledo, executive creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering; and Stella Chase, daughter of the late chef Leah Chase, who inspired Tiana’s story. Guests watched live art demonstrations provided by emerging talent from YAYA Arts Center. The Preservation Hall Jazz Band performed.

“In many ways, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a love letter to New Orleans,” said Carter at the event. “Like the musical city that inspired this attraction, Tiana’s second act is about a community working in harmony to achieve something extraordinary. She reminds us of an immutable truth: ‘If you do your best each and every day, good things are sure to come your way.’”

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