Two years ago, Disney announced that it would be rethemeing one of its most iconic attractions — Splash Mountain. Disney decided to make the change as more and more people noted that the theming itself was problematic, as it was based on the 1946 film Song of the South, which is increasingly being called racially insensitive. When the retheme was announced, Disney shared that the new ride would be based on one of its most popular recent films — 2009’s The Princess and the Frog.
While the choice to retheme Splash Mountain has generated a lot of conversation, there seem to be as many people excited about the change as there are people who want the ride to stay the same. Just this year, we learned that the ride will close at both Disneyland Park and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World Resort in 2023 and would reopen in 2024 as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Disney shared even more information about the new attraction at Disney’s D23 Expo this past weekend and said that the attraction will have “true bayou magic”. According to Walt Disney Imagineers, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will feature Tiana as she prepares to host a massive party. Unfortunately, Tiana realizes that she is missing a secret ingredient and needs to head on down the bayou to find it, bringing Guests along on her journey. Imagineers also confirmed that the ride will feature familiar faces from the film — including Princess Tiana (of course), Prince Naveen, Louis, and Mama Odie.
However, one character was noticeably missing from the list — the villain of the story — Dr. Facilier. Yes, we know that he died at the end of the movie, but remember, he has friends on the other side! Here’s hoping that Disney is keeping his appearance a secret, and we will see him when the ride opens. I mean, what fun is a ride down the bayou if everything goes smoothly?
According to Disney, the ride will also be themed to feature the success of Tiana’s Foods — a company that she opened after the success of Tiana’s Palace. The food cooperative is housed inside an aging salt mine, and growers plant their crops along the waterway that Guests will travel down.
We will keep you updated as we learn more details and, eventually, an opening date!