Disney shows off animatronics from Tiana's Bayou Adventure

April 4, 2024, 9:00 AM · On Tuesday afternoon, I got to see several of the Audio Animatronic figures for Tiana's Bayou Adventure in action, at Walt Disney Imagineering's headquarters in Glendale, California.

During our tour of the WDI facilities, invited reporters saw animatronics depicting Eudora, Charlotte, Prince Naveen, Ralphie, two iterations of Mama Odie, and multiple versions of Louis and Tiana. We were not allowed to take photos or videos of the characters in action, but Disney today released four photos of the animatronics.

One of the Tiana Audio Animatronics. All photos courtesy Walt Disney Imagineering


Mama Odie
One of the Mama Odie animatronics

One of the Louis animatronics

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In Glendale, all but the Louis animatronics were complete and functioning, with impressive levels of detail in movement and decoration, even when viewed much more closely than fans will be seeing them on the ride. The Louis animatronics were in various states of dress, through their underlying mechanics appeared complete.

A Disney source said that the animatronics we saw in Glendale will be installed in the Disneyland version of the ride, confirming that the Magic Kingdom versions of the animatronics are already on site within the Walt Disney World installation of Tiana's Bayou Adventure in Florida.

One of the Tiana animatronics was perched atop about 15 feet of scaffolding in the Glendale warehouse, to approximate her position above riders on the flume ride's lift within Tiana's Bayou Adventure. The ride will not be a "book report" recreation of the events from "The Princess and the Frog." Tiana's Bayou Adventure, which is built upon the ride system of the former Splash Mountain, takes place after the events of the Disney Animation movie and depicts a salt dome where the Tiana's Foods cooperative is seeking the "missing ingredient" for a New Orleans party.

The characters within the ride will be aware of riders' presence and will be addressing them directly throughout the attraction. Music also will play in every scenes of the ride, save for the splashdown after its final drop - where it wouldn't be heard, anyway.

In addition to the characters from the film, Disney is adding several original musical critter characters to Tiana's Bayou Adventure - composing the bands that will be playing through several of its show scenes.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure will open this summer at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom, with the Disneyland installation to follow later this year. Still no specific opening dates yet.

You can see more about the development of the new Tiana's Bayou Adventure animatronics in the first episode of WDI's new YouTube series.

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Replies (8)

April 4, 2024 at 11:08 AM

These AA’s are a visible improvement over the projection-mapped faces of the Frozen ride’s. Cant wait to see them in action.

April 4, 2024 at 12:31 PM

@fattyackin - I actually don't mind the projected AA figures when they deployed in the right setting - and they're certainly more cost effective to create and maintain. However, these are obviously a massive step forward, though as we've seen with RotR and Na'Vi River Journey (and Everest), steps forward in technology just mean more things that can go wrong and results in scenes operating in "B-mode".

April 4, 2024 at 12:50 PM

I have to say, these AAs look absolutely incredible. This brightens my outlook on Tiana's Bayou Adventure considerably.

April 4, 2024 at 3:10 PM

@Russell: I agree. I don’t mind the projections at all. They are very effective when aligned perfectly with the lighting and audio. My favorite application is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train tunnel, and of course, the original classic effects on the Haunted Mansion. These newer models are beauties though.

April 4, 2024 at 3:17 PM

They look great. Can't get the ride open soon enough!

April 4, 2024 at 7:59 PM

Amazing and thrilling lol

April 4, 2024 at 8:37 PM

Louis out of his skin in motion was so cool to see.

April 5, 2024 at 10:02 AM

Wow. These look incredible.

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