Since it opened in 1989, Splash Mountain has been one of Disney’s most beloved theme park attractions. However, its origins in the 1946 film “Song of the South,” marred by deeply controversial and racist undertones, have long been a point of contention among Disney fans. In a move that many Black Disney enthusiasts have eagerly awaited, Disney announced in 2020, following the global Black Lives Matter protests, that it would re-theme the attraction to center around “The Princess and the Frog.” This reimagined experience, named Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, marks a monumental step towards inclusivity and representation in Disney parks.

Scheduled to open on June 28 at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World Resort, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure delves into the life of Disney’s first Black princess, Tiana, post the events of the film. The story involves Tiana setting up a food co-op, Tiana’s Foods, in a converted salt dome mine. Visitors will join Tiana on a quest through the bayou to gather a special ingredient for a grand Mardi Gras celebration, offering an immersive adventure that expands her tale in a vibrant, engaging way.

Fans of the original film will be delighted to know that the star-studded voice cast, including Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Bruno Campos (Prince Naveen), Michael Leon Wooley (Louis), and Jenifer Lewis (Mama Odie), are all reprising their roles. The ride’s continuity with the film ensures it feels like a genuine extension of Tiana’s world, making it all the more special and authentic for long-time followers of the story. To bring the rich musical legacy of New Orleans to life, Grammy-winning artists PJ Morton and Terence Blanchard are scoring the ride’s soundtrack, promising a captivating auditory experience.

Moreover, Tiana’s character has received a stylish, practical makeover suitable for her bayou adventures. Eschewing her royal ball gown, she now sports knickers, a jacket, and sturdy boots, aligning with her active, entrepreneurial personality. The ride also introduces 17 new characters, including Naveen’s younger brother, Ralphie, who drums up excitement with his jazz rhythms.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure also brings a touch of culture and authenticity to Disney’s thematic storytelling. The new attractions in Critter Country, like Eudora’s Chic Boutique and Ray’s Berets, promise a plethora of merchandise celebrating Tiana and other Black characters, catering to a fandom eager for representation. Artwork by New Orleans artist Sharika Mahdi further infuses the attraction with rich, cultural ambiance, celebrating the essence of Black excellence that “The Princess and the Frog” embodies.

With anticipation building, fans can expect the familiar thrill of Splash Mountain’s iconic drop integrated into this fresh narrative. Though details remain closely guarded, the ride’s anticipated nine-minute experience promises excitement and a narrative depth that pays homage to Tiana’s indomitable spirit. As Disney continues to share glimpses of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, be sure to add your thoughts in the comments and share this exciting update with fellow Disney lovers!

For further details and insights, check out Disney’s official announcement and stay tuned for more updates!