Disneyland's French Market to Become Tiana's Palace

January 12, 2023, 10:10 AM · Disneyland's French Market restaurant and Mint Julep Bar will close next month as Disney plans to transform the New Orleans Square restaurant into Tiana's Palace.

"Inspired by Tiana’s friends and adventures, the quick-service restaurant’s menu will offer authentic New Orleans flavors – expanding on current favorites in the location and exploring seasonal flavors," Disneyland said in its press release.

Tiana's Palace
Concept art courtesy Disney

The change continues Disney's "The Princess and the Frog" makeover of New Orleans Square, which will be highlighted by the transformation of Critter Country's Splash Mountain flume ride into Tiana's Bayou Adventure, opening in 2024.

Tiana's Palace, along with the Mint Julep Bar, will open later this year, at a date to be announced.

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Replies (12)

January 12, 2023 at 10:28 AM

A re-imagining and revitalization of New Orleans Square was inevitable with the reskinning of Splash Mountain to TBA. I do wonder if there will be more incremental changes announced as the conversion of the area progresses. I always thought there was a bit of overkill of the New Orleans cuisine with the three restaurants (French Market, Café Orleans, and Blue Bayou) along with the walk-up window who's menus overlap and are duplicative (not to mention the distinct Cajun/Creole influence at Club 33 too). While I don't think Blue Bayou is going anywhere, I could see a distinct retheme and revised menu to more differentiate it from what Café Orleans and Tiana's Palace offer. I could also see a big renovation in Café Orleans, but the location is really tricky - frankly converting Café Orleans to Tiana's Palace makes more sense than retheming French Market, but this announcement leads me to believe that more dramatic charges are in store for the area between now and when TBA debuts.

January 12, 2023 at 10:32 AM

Yeah this was something expected and hopefully a positive change. The French Market is one of my favorite places to dine at Disneyland so I care about this update.

I also wonder if Splash Mountain, well Tiana's Bayou Adventure, will remain part of Critter Country or New Orleans Square. Perhaps fully removing Critter Country and include Winnie the Pooh as part of an expanded New Orleans Square. You would have a French Quarter part of NOS and then a Bayou part in the former Critter Country. Just a thought.

January 12, 2023 at 10:42 AM

So a character from one of Disney's less popular movies is now being given a ride, a store, AND a restaurant? Why not just change the name to Tiana Country and convert Pooh into a ride through her closet, too? Maybe Thunder Mountain can be Tiana Mountain.

January 12, 2023 at 11:48 AM

No worries it will take at least 5 years to get this done at Disney

January 12, 2023 at 2:39 PM

Just leave the whole area unchanged with their current names, eh, Colonel?

January 12, 2023 at 3:23 PM

I'm ok with them changing the name if they want, but must they modify the architecture? The existing façade is a beautifully authentic piece of New Orleans.. but the modifications with the false steam boat elements are tacky. It looks like a themed restaurant from an outdoor mall in the early 2000's. My personal opinion of course.

January 12, 2023 at 4:46 PM

French Market is one of my favorite places to eat in Disneyland, so I hope they don’t change the menu too much…

January 12, 2023 at 11:57 PM

I'm not against this, but I am worried that Disney going all in on one modestly popular film could potentially backfire and reduce interest in all these projects. I'm reminded of when it seemed like everything was linked to Frozen to the point it was completely oversaturated and turned causal audiences off of the IP, but in that case it was Disney's highest grossing film of all time. Princess and the Frog is not only outside the top 20, but failed to match the gross of many films that came before it even without adjustment, is being added to the parks ahead of IPs with significantly more popularity, and it is coming at the cost of what is arguably Disney's most recognizable attraction.

January 13, 2023 at 4:58 AM

The prominence that “The Princess and the Frog” is being given in the parks far outstrips its popularity as a film.

January 13, 2023 at 12:31 PM

No, Two Bits, I'm fine with them changing Splash Mountain, I get it, but why overhaul the entire land on the basis of a single, less popular movie? Suddenly Princess and the Frog is elevated above nearly every Disney classic. I think AJ has it right.

Also: if New Orleans Square is now Tiana Square, with the Tiana shop and the Tiana restaurant, what's up with the Haunted Mansion? I can't remember the name of the bad guy from P&tF, but are they going to make it HIS mansion now? And what about the Pooh ride, Pooh wasn't in P&tF.

Whatever, you can't rationalize an irrational situation, and Disney is nothing if not irrational.

January 17, 2023 at 4:09 PM

@ AJ, you made some good points, but I always go back to my original thought...at the end of the day, how much will it REALLY alter the guest experience.

We are on a (fantastic) theme park site, and are theme park die hard fans. For the majority of guest the DLR, whether it continued to be Splash Mountain, Tiana's Adventure or Pocahontas River Adventure...people are going to get in line.

The lines for Galaxy at DCA are just as long as they were for Twilight Zone. For the average park goer, after paying X amount to enter the place, will try to hit every major attraction they can.

Disney is certainly going all in with Tiana. But she, like all Disney princess, is instantly recognizable.
The Disney princess brand is strong enough to cover any individual shortcomings of any singular character.

For the mainstream average park goer, I can't see them caring strongly enough either way.

January 17, 2023 at 5:32 PM

The marketing works both ways, right? Disney has an immensely long history, particularly when Walt was running the show, of using the park to increase the visibility of the company's media properties. Princess and the Frog doesn't have the reach of Frozen, but that's an absurd bar for any property to reach. "Dinosaur" is still a featured property at Animal Kingdom, and that movie stunk out loud when it was released.

All to say that while I agree with some of the sentiment — change for the sake of it is bad — this type of crass commercialism, if that's what you want to call it, is the bedrock of the Disney Parks experience. You're not going to like all the properties they choose to highlight.

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