As Disney Parks reveals new details about the plot of the upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction, Walt Disney Imagineering hopes that the ride’s storyline will inspire future generations to uplift their communities.
The Princess and the Frog (2009), one of the last hand-drawn animated films by Walt Disney Animation Studios, tells the story of a hardworking young woman named Tiana (voiced by Anika Noni Rose) in New Orleans who goes above and beyond to get enough money to build her own restaurant… Even if it means kissing a prince who’s been turned into a frog by dark magic. Turned into a frog herself by mistake, the duo crosses the bayou in search of a way to turn human again, falling in love in the process and breaking their own curse.
Notably, Tiana was the first African American princess in a mostly white line-up going all the way back to the 1930s with Snow White. As a result, her presence continues to represent the Black community and inspire Disney fans of all kinds through her resilience in the face of adversity. Now, Princess Tiana’s story will continue within the Disney Parks as the new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction replaces Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.
According to Disney Parks Blog, the new attraction will feature an original storyline that shows fans “where Tiana’s life has taken her following the success of Tiana’s Palace, a restaurant she had dreamed of owning and worked so hard to make come true.” In fact, this story will carry into the next chapter for Tiana and explore her new “multi-faceted enterprise:” Tiana’s Foods.
Tiana’s Foods, a new business investment created by the princess slash entrepreneur after the success of Tiana’s Palace in New Orleans, has transformed an old salt mine into an employee-owned cooperative that benefits the local communities. With the help of the salt dome’s fellow owners, her mother Eudora, the jazz-loving alligator Louis, and of course, her husband Prince Naveen, Tiana has brought new life to the once forgotten land, growing a “wide array of vegetables, herbs, and spices” which she uses in her recipes like her famous gumbo.
Apparently, Tiana’s Foods utilizes a boutique farm and working kitchen to teach the community cooking and whip up a new line of products like Tiana’s original hot sauce flavors, following her father’s motto that good food brings people together to educate the children of the diverse community and inspire “other women to run successful businesses as the brand grows nationwide.” To thank the community for supporting her, Tiana plans a grand Mardi Gras party for everyone, inviting Guests to help her locate a missing ingredient she needs after an unfortunate mix-up.
While many loyal Splash Mountain fans are upset by the ride’s construction on principle, with other Disney lovers being skeptical of the refurbishment’s ability to rework an existing attraction into a new ride, it’s clear this story means a lot to its creators at Walt Disney Imagineering and hopefully, will contribute positively to future generations of Parkgoers. Additionally, it will be interesting to see how this plays into the new Southern California restaurant coming to Disneyland Park and the Tiana series announced for Disney+!
As promised, soon Disney Guests in the Magic Kingdom or Critter Country will be able to journey into the bayou with Tiana, along with new and familiar faces!