With a century of rich history honoring U.S. military service members, Disney parks continue their tradition with the new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World Resort, set to open on June 28. This enchanting attraction, inspired by Disney’s “The Princess and the Frog,” shines a heartfelt spotlight on military service through the thoughtful expansion of Tiana’s father’s backstory.

Longtime fans of the film will remember Tiana’s father, James, as a brave World War I veteran. Disney Imagineering, in collaboration with Disney Animation, has meticulously expanded his narrative. “We wanted to honor the military families who visit our parks,” says Ted Robledo, Executive Creative Director for Imagineering. By referencing actual photographs of soldiers from the 369th Regiment, one of the first African American regiments in the American Expeditionary Forces, the team ensured an authentic representation, paying homage to history and heroism.

The connection between this attraction and real-life military service runs deep. Project lead Charita Carter, Executive Creative Producer for Walt Disney Imagineering, shared her personal connection, being the daughter of a career U.S. Air Force officer. “Through this attraction, we aim to reflect the pride families like mine feel for their military heroes,” she remarked. The attraction features touching scenes, including James offering gumbo to fellow soldiers, bringing a sense of community and warmth to this historical backdrop.

In recognition of National Military Appreciation Month, Disney has also unveiled the President George W. Bush Portraits of Courage exhibit, set to open on June 9 at EPCOT. This joins the daily flag retreat ceremonies and ferry boats named after esteemed Navy and Army veterans, showcasing Disney’s ongoing commitment to honoring military service. Furthermore, Disney is preparing to welcome military athletes and their families for the 2024 DOD Warrior Games, offering another platform for honoring bravery and resilience.

As we celebrate Tiana’s Bayou Adventure’s tribute to military families, we’d love to hear your thoughts. How do you feel about Disney’s efforts to honor military service in such heartfelt ways? Share your opinions in the comments below and don’t forget to spread the word by sharing this story. Together, let’s celebrate the heroes who inspire these magical moments at Disney parks.

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