We are learning more about the story that will drive the replacement for Disney's popular Splash Mountain flume rides when it opens at Disneyland and Walt Disney World next year.
Tiana's Bayou Adventure will be the replace the "Song of the South" characters from Splash Mountain with a new storyline that picks up after Disney's "The Princess and the Frog." In this new attraction, the familiar mountain has become a salt mine that Tiana has purchased to help supply her Tiana's Foods business. (Which, in Disney's backstory, is "an employee-owned cooperative.")
"With the help of her mother Eudora, Naveen, Louis, and fellow owners of the cooperative, Tiana revived the old salt mine and the surrounding land, growing a wide array of vegetables, herbs and spices for her recipes," Disney said.
The new story has riders meeting Tiana at Tiana's Foods to "help with the missing ingredient" for the Mardi Gras party she is throwing. (I am guess that ingredient is us - but in a welcoming, accommodating way and not in a creepy, Soylent Green way.)
"When we arrive, we may see that Tiana spruced up the company's facilities with vibrant art from local artists. Food for the party is being prepared and beignets are being loaded into crates for the celebration. All kinds of preparations are underway for the journey into the bayou with Tiana, along with new and familiar friends from the animated film," Disney's backstory continues.
If there's a conflict driving this story, Disney's new details don't really reveal it. But, as we've seen with Radiator Springs Racers, Disney is perfectly capable of delivering an E-ticket attraction where nothing goes terribly wrong and everyone gets along. Given that Disney is trying hard to distance itself from the divisive history behind "Song of the South," I would not be surprised to see Disney's Imagineers write a less conflict-driven narrative for Tiana's Bayou Adventure.
Splash Mountain remains open at Disneyland but is now closed at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. Tiana's Bayou Adventure is scheduled to open at both parks sometime in 2024.
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