The Walt Disney Company’s longstanding commitment to honoring military service is taking center stage once again with the upcoming attraction, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, opening June 28, 2024, at Magic Kingdom. With roots tracing back to World War I through founders Walt and Roy O. Disney, Disney has always celebrated and saluted military service. This latest endeavor continues that tradition in a heartwarming and significant way.

In “The Princess and the Frog,” Tiana’s father, James, is depicted as a World War I veteran—a detail that Walt Disney Imagineering has lovingly expanded upon for the new attraction. Ted Robledo, Executive Creative Director, shared that the team drew inspiration from real military histories to craft a story that resonates with military families visiting the park. They studied photos of soldiers from the 369th Regiment, one of the first African American units in the American Expeditionary Forces, known for their bravery and awarded the Croix de Guerre by France.

Project lead Charita Carter, Executive Creative Producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, expressed how deeply personal this tribute is for her as the daughter of a career U.S. Air Force officer. She explained that portraying Tiana’s pride in her father’s service mirrors her own family’s military pride and aims to honor the experiences of military families in a meaningful way.

As National Military Appreciation Month continues, Disney’s tribute to service members extends beyond Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Special events and acknowledgments can be found throughout the parks, from the daily flag retreat ceremonies to the ferry boats named after Navy and Army veterans. This summer, Disney will further honor military heroes with the Portraits of Courage exhibit by President George W. Bush at EPCOT and host the 2024 DOD Warrior Games from June 21-30.

We want to hear from you! How do you feel about Disney’s ongoing tributes to military service? Share your thoughts in the comments below, and don’t forget to share this story with fellow Disney fans and military families. Let’s spread the magic and honor those who serve!

Photo Credits: © Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

– “369th Infantry Regiment (United States)” Wikipedia
– “Croix de Guerre” Wikipedia