Disney reveals opening season for Tiana's Bayou Adventure

February 13, 2024, 9:53 AM · We now have an opening season for Tiana's Bayou Adventure at the Walt Disney World Resort.

Disney this morning announced that the replacement for the former Splash Mountain will open this summer at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. In addition, Walt Disney Imagineering's Charita Carter shared a first look at one of the new Tiana animatronics that will be featured inside the ride.

@disneyparks FIRST LOOK ?? at one of the new Audio-Animatronics figures coming to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ??? #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #Tiana #TianasBayouAdventure #DisneyNews #MardiGras #Technology ? original sound - Disney Parks

This is one of Disney's latest Audio Animatronic design, also seen in the Frozen Ever After ride that recently opened at Hong Kong Disneyland: Disney does it again with Hong Kong's new 'Frozen' land.

For those of you on or visiting the west coast, Tiana's Bayou Adventure also is under construction at Disneyland. However, construction there got started later than in Orlando and appears to remain behind the progress at Disney World. Disney's announcement today confirms that the Disneyland installation will open later in 2024 than the Disney World version, so maybe... fall?

Tiana's Bayou Adventure rethemes the former Splash Mountain flume rides to "The Princess and the Frog," with the iconic mountain becoming a salt dome where the Tiana's Food Cooperative operates. The story takes place after the events of the movie, celebrating New Orleans, music, food, friends and family: Here's how Disney is cooking up the story for Tiana's Bayou Adventure.

The ride will feature new decoration and music throughout, including more than a dozen entirely new Audio-Animatronics figures. Along with Princess Tiana, the ride will featire Louis, Mama Odie, Eudora, Charlotte, Prince Ralphie, Prince Naveen, and others.

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Replies (25)

February 13, 2024 at 10:55 AM

Previously we had a sass-talking Fox and Bear that were attacked by bees, nearly eaten by an alligator, blasted into the air by a water spout . . .

And now we have somebody's aunt waving at us. Thrillsville. Between this, the Frozen "coaster" and 35th iteration of their same trackless ride, Disney's really on fire lately.

February 13, 2024 at 11:14 AM

Maybe wait for the actual ride to open first?

I swear, the Internet existed in the late 80s, the takes on upcoming Disney attractions would have been wild. "So a Star Wars ride where you just sit in a car that shakes with a movie rather than a full coaster? What a letdown."

February 13, 2024 at 11:26 AM

Hey, they're the ones that put out the teaser trailer . . . of someone's aunt waiving at us. I'm just going off what they're showing us. So far we've got:

*Someone's insane Aunt who opened an underground grocery store staffed by rodents
*Local artisans
*A weather vane, created by local artisans
*Songs no one's ever heard before
*Extensive research into local art, and local artisans
*The smell of fried bread
*Regional murals, created by local artisans
*A water tower next to a waterfall (presumably to supply potable water because the river is filled with the feces of the animals who sell the carcasses of other animals as food)
*The missing ingredient is YOU, so clever

February 13, 2024 at 12:44 PM

You know thecolonel, you can really live up to the 'colon' part of your moniker sometimes. Sometimes you're on the ball, don't get me wrong, but your negativity around Disney advance projects sometimes just really grates.

As someone who grew up with Brer Rabbit and loved those stories I never found Splash Mountain to be that exciting. As a flume it was awesome but as a story it was just meh. And the animatronics were pretty basic. I'll happily swap that out for a visually stunning trip through a bayou with a few more lifelike animatronics. If Tiana's Bayou Adventure is even remotely as good as Hong Kong's Frozen ride looks it will be great and will be a big hit. Not everyone wants high thrills or peril. Sometimes just a pleasant, pretty, mildly thrilling ten minute ride can be awesome.

And just for the record, Oaken's Wandering Sleighs is almost exactly the same ride length as Universal's Flight of the Hippogriff, only whereas the latter is just some steel rails in the air, Oaken's is a short but exhilarating rush through an amazing and convincing landscape. Fully themed, totally immersive. Give me Oaken over Hippogriff any day...

February 13, 2024 at 12:52 PM


I swear, the Internet existed in the late 80s, the takes on upcoming Disney attractions would have been wild. "So a Star Wars ride where you just sit in a car that shakes with a movie rather than a full coaster? What a letdown."

That's not true. Star Tours is an intergalactic cruise to different locations from the movies. So far this is a trip to a salt mine and employee owned one where the local restaurants are cooking the critters who work at the mines! Yeehaw!!!!

Splash Mountain is about a character who will die if they do not outsmart the villains, this is about restocking the store's shelves. Zero stakes.

Why are they releasing so little about this ride when it's opening this year? Because they know it's lame.

February 13, 2024 at 1:19 PM

I'm willing to give WDI the benefit of the doubt here. I was highly skeptical about the conversion of Maelstrom to Frozen Ever After, but was proven completely wrong about that retheming. I still think that if Dr. Facillier does not appear in this reskinning, it would be criminally negligent, but I'm not picking any nits on this until it's completed and opened to the public.

February 13, 2024 at 1:10 PM

Easy predictions:
1. When the ride opens, many of you critics will be saying: "Wow, that was way better than I thought it would be."
2. The ride will be very popular.

February 13, 2024 at 1:19 PM

Just wait until the final scene, when the old Riverboat and its animals are replaced by a dystopian factory floor, where we realize that we are, literally, the "missing ingredient." Then the Tiana Audio Animatronic laughs at us manically, "Beignets are people!"

(This is snark, BTW. ... I hope.)

February 13, 2024 at 1:27 PM

It's the same ride as Splash Mountain without any of the stakes. It will obviously be popular simply due to being a log flume ride, that's besides the point. If the villain doesn't appear in the ride and the story is as far as they have released to this point, it will be majorly disappointing. Not because they got rid of Splash, not because it's Princess and The Frog (a movie I love), but because it will be done in such a rushed manner with zero storytelling.

Put another way, if they made this exact same ride but it was a Winnie the Pooh style dark ride, people would still hate on the storytelling.

February 13, 2024 at 1:30 PM

@Byrne "You know, your critical opinions really grate, so let me offer MY critical opinion, derp."

@robert The final scene is Tiana in a straightjacket, and you realize the entire "underground grocery store run by rodents and bugs" was just her fever dream. It's like shutter island except with local artisans. Did we mention the LOCAL ARTISANS!?!

February 13, 2024 at 1:33 PM

@Beacher - You're absolutely on target. Let's not forget that this will still be the ONLY water ride in MK, a theme park located in a climate that is an oppressive sauna for 6-8 months of the year and a stifling rainforest another 2 months of the year. They could retheme this to the Cat from Outer Space, and it would still be a popular attraction.

February 13, 2024 at 1:35 PM


"They could retheme this to the Cat from Outer Space, and it would still be a popular attraction."

Hahahaaa 10000%!!!!

February 13, 2024 at 2:24 PM

@Robert: maybe as an Easter Egg and a nod to Splash fans, they could sell some sort of Brer Soylent meat in a can in the gift shop?

February 13, 2024 at 2:46 PM

I loved the Cat From Outer Space! Hey, retheme Stitch's Escape to that and we've got something!

February 13, 2024 at 3:30 PM

re-theme Stitch's Escape to literally anything and we've got something (but preferably return it to the OG)

February 13, 2024 at 6:04 PM

I agree with FingerPoppinDaddy’s view on this pretty much exactly. Splash Mountain excelled because it had perhaps the greatest synchronization of ride layout to ride narrative in theme park history (slow build up to a final climatic drop). Connecting Princess and the Frog and this weirdly wholesome sugar/baking storyline to Splash Mountain’s dramatic ride layout really just doesn’t seem like a great fit.

But, who knows. That animatronic looks great in my opinion, and WDI’s dark ride output over the past few years has been solid. Personally, I think with the inclusion of Dr. Facilier and a refrained use of screens, this ride could really work.

February 13, 2024 at 6:26 PM

Maybe it's just me, but I could literally look at any animatronic inside a flume boat inside a frickin' mountain and decide it was the greatest day of my life. I don't honestly care too much about the story. I love the one at Knott's, I love the one at IOA, hell I even love the one at that mall in Minneapolis.

February 13, 2024 at 6:30 PM

I'm pretty sure there will be a narrative "build up" before the final drop.

The ride will be exactly the same, and I'd wager during summer, the log flume ride aspect will continue to be the bigger draw. The story may not be as exciting...but the animatronics & updates will be.

We're on a theme park site (the best IMO :), so we'll certainly dissect the merits & decisions, but as I often say, there's a general / mainstream audience.

Even if the story makes no sense, you'll have people coming out saying it was "cute".

At the end of the day, this will still have people lining up waiting to ride. Mission Breakout still has the same wait times as Tower of Terror.

February 13, 2024 at 6:42 PM

… But what about the local artisans , lol - another imagineering “ triumph” that’s sure to outshine epic universe attractions, haha

February 13, 2024 at 8:15 PM

@tiptop22 - It doesn't need to outshine Epic Universe. It just needs to be a new experience offering a reason for guests to spend a day or 2 at the WDW parks while they're checking out Universal's new theme park.

February 13, 2024 at 10:42 PM

Wasn't the OG Stitch's Escape the Alien Escape, aka the most terrifying ride Disney ever made?

February 14, 2024 at 1:46 AM

Well, I guess we'll know in about six months whether or not Princess and the Frog is a worthy replacement for Splash Mountain (I'm not holding my breath) and in about a year whether or not Disney made a massive misstep by redoing Magic Kingdom's most popular E-ticket with a more well known but less atmospherically pleasing IP. Honestly, I'm surprised it's opening so soon...I wonder if the poor performance in Florida over the past few quarters caused Disney to accelerate the timeline of the project. Eh, if it results in removing Tron and Guardians from virtual queue (as there's next to no chance Tiana's Bayou Adventure won't be using it), that'd be more of a reason for me to plan a pre-Epic WDW visit than experiencing the new ride.

February 14, 2024 at 7:52 AM

I’ll be honest: I always thought winter 2024 was going to be an optimistic opening based on how much work would be needed to transform rural Georgia into a swampy bayou. But if it’s moving up to Summer 2024, then Disney must really be hauling butt to get this ready.

February 14, 2024 at 11:13 AM

Or they're just half-assing it so hard it didn't require that much time to build. That fancy Tiana animatronic is just a re-skinned Elsa from the Frozen ride, yeah?

February 14, 2024 at 11:16 AM


yes OG Stitch was Alien Encounter which was bonkers and awesome.

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