Goodbye, briar patch; hello, bayou. Disneyland has announced that Splash Mountain will have its final day of operation at Disneyland park on May 30, closing permanently on May 31 to make way for a new “Princess and the Frog”-themed attraction. The new ride, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, is expected to open in 2024 at Walt Disney World and Disneyland.
Walt Disney World’s Splash Mountain closed permanently Jan. 23 and work in Orlando is already underway on the overhaul. The ride at both parks will retain its log flume format, with the iconic “mountain” exterior reimagined as a Louisiana salt dome.
First announced on June 24, 2020, the new attraction picks up after the events of the 2009 animated film “The Princess and the Frog” and will center around a Mardi Gras celebration hosted by Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.
Carmen Smith, senior vice president of creative development for Walt Disney Imagineering, announced the closing date in an April 12 Disney Parks Blog post that also revealed new artwork and updates about the ride.
Jenifer Lewis Will Reprise Her Role As Mama Odie
New concept artwork depicts Mama Odie, the kindly voodoo priestess/fairy godmother, surrounded by colorful hanging bottle lights, joking with guests on the ride “after a special display of her magic,” as Disney describes it. Actor Jenifer Lewis, who voiced Mama Odie in the film, will return to voice the character on the attraction.
Disney also shared another piece of artwork of Mama Odie and her snake Juju, created by visual artist Sharika Mahdi. An alumna of the YAYA (Young Aspirations Young Artists) Arts Center in New Orleans, Mahdi was commissioned to create original paintings lending what the company calls “a local’s perspective” to inspire the creative team working on the attraction.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Will Feature New And Returning Characters
Dozens of new audio-animatronics figures are being created for the attraction, which will introduce a cast of new named original characters alongside well-known characters from “The Princess and the Frog” like Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen, Mama Odie, Louis, Eudora, Charlotte, the King and Queen of Maldonia, Prince Ralphie and “Big Daddy.”
Joining Lewis are Bruno Campos (Prince Naveen), Michael Leon Wooley (Louis) and Anika Noni Rose (Princess Tiana), who will all return to reprise their voice roles from the film.
As for the soundtrack, the ride will feature a mix of new, original music and recognizable songs from the film. Concept art released in December provided a closer look at a band of new animal characters playing music on handmade instruments.
And because no Mardi Gras celebration is complete without food, Disney says guests will be tempted by “the alluring scent of beignets” in the queue.
More Tiana Stories Coming To Disneyland
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure isn’t the only Tiana-inspired offering headed to Disneyland. In September, Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets, a shop selling home goods, apparel and accessories, opened in New Orleans Square. And later this year, Tiana’s Palace, a new quick-service restaurant replacing French Market Restaurant, will open and serve a menu of New Orleans classics, seasonal flavors and dishes previously offered at French Market.
As for those beignets, they will be available from nearby Mint Julep Bar.
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