In June 2020 Disney announced that it would be reimagining their Splash Mountain ride into Princess and the Frog following racial justice protests a year earlier. After not hearing further news for more than a year Melissa Valiquete, vice president of Magic Kingdom, stated that reimagining the ride is a “a lenghty process’ in August of 2021. Now, after a further year of waiting, Disney has finally released new information about the ride’s transformation and most importantly it’s new name: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.
Splash Mountain was conceived in the summer of 1983 by legendary imagineer Tony Baxter while stuck in traffic on his way to work. Construction began in April 1987 and the ride opened July 17, 1989. The ride is based on cartoon segments of the ’40s “Song of the South” movie and tells the story of Br’er Rabbit and his struggle to not get caught by Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear. The almost nine-and-a-half minute long ride features over 100 audio-animatronics, several splash downs and a large indoor dark ride portion. Two more installations opened in Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland in 1992. The ride system was supplied by O.D. Hopkins Associates
Now, two years after the first announcement, Disney released the new name, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, along with the expected opening of the reimagined version. Both the Florida and California resort will welcome the new version to their line-up in late 2024.
The Walt Disney imagineers visited the Louisiana state extensively over the last few years to make sure they could get as many authentic details as possible into this new version. From visiting the French Market to speaking with local academics, chefs and cultural institutions, all available sources were looked at to ensure the right atmosphere and story are achieved.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure picks up where the animated movie ended. Guests are welcomed to explore the Bayou together with well known characters such as Princess Tiana, Naveen and alligator Louis. Visitors will come across both known and new faces and music during the ride. It is yet unknown when Splash Mountain will welcome its last riders, but don’t wait too long if you really want to experience the well known Disney Park classic!