More than two years after the project was first announced, the “Princess and the Frog” retheme of Splash Mountain at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World now has an opening time.
Disney announced Friday that the ride will open in late 2024 as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The reveal came during the Essence Festival of Culture in New Orleans.
“Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome,” Carmen Smuth, Disney’s senior vice president of creative development, wrote on the official Parks Blog. “Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.”
Tiana voice actress Anika Noni Rose had said the new ride would open in 2024 in a recent interview, though Disney subsequently refused to confirm that date.
The retheme will remove a representation of “Song of the South” from Disney parks. The 1946 Disney film was criticized by racist even upon its release, with the the NAACP saying at the time that it “unfortunately gives the impression of an idyllic master-slave relationship which is a distortion of the facts.” While Splash Mountain focuses only on the film’s animated sequences, Disney has never released the film for home viewing in the U.S.
Disney did not reveal when Splash Mountain will close at either park, which would provide a clue as to how extensive the overhaul will be.