Disney Implements Cautionary Signage After Several Ride Denial Cases

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

Entrance sign of Magic Kingdom

Credit: Theme Park Tourist, Flickr

Are you ready to head down the bayou with Princess Tiana? While it is okay to be excited about the new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction opening at Walt Disney World Resort this summer, guests are being publicly warned by Disney about the attraction’s status after a string of disappointments.

The image shows what Tiana's Bayou Adventure will look like at Magic Kingdom after the Splash Mountain retheme is complete.
Credit: Disney

On May 31, 2023, Splash Mountain shut its doors to the Laughin’ Place and the Briar Patch forever as Magic Kingdom geared up to begin replacing the attraction with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, a new log ride with all new show scenes, storylines, and animatronics, all while keeping the same thrilling drops and track that guests love on Splash Mountain.

Not all guests were ok with this change, as many were upset to see the nostalgic Splash Mountain shut down after decades of memories. While the ride certainly seemed joyful and friendly, the movie that it is based on, Song of the South, is not very “Disney” in the sense that it is racially charged and promotes slavery.

A few years ago, Disney noted that they were pledging to diversify their films and parks and admitted: “We haven’t always got it right.” Now, there is far more representation in their films, and aspects of attractions that were inappropriate, such as the women being sold at auction on Pirates of the Caribbean, suggesting prostitution has been removed.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure Concept Art
Credit: Disney

Adding in the Princess and the Frog attraction seemed like a perfect fit for the log ride, with so much of the film having taken place in the bayou. At the moment, we do not have an opening date for the ride, but we do know that it will open this summer at Magic Kingdom. Disneyland has also committed to switching their Splash Mountain to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. However, their opening date is just set for 2024, as they have just closed Critter Country to complete the project and are a little behind Walt Disney World’s progress due to their later start.

At Magic Kingdom, much of the construction scaffolding on the attraction has come down, and we have heard music coming from the attraction (according to online reports, Mama Odie’s Dig a Little Deeper will play after the big drop). We have also seen the logs testing repeatedly with real riders sitting in the seats. 

Disney has been testing the attraction with actual guests, but it is not open to the public, which has made it quite confusing for regular park guests who do not know much about the ride or its opening timeline. To remedy this, Disney added signs that say, “Sorry, friends, we are ride testing only. Opening this summer!”

A log flume ride under testing, featuring empty log-shaped boats on a water track, with a sign stating "sorry, friends, we are ride testing only. opening this summer!" in a lush, green park setting.
Credit: ITM

Inside the Magic spoke with some of the cast members by the attraction, who said that there were guests who saw the ride testing and were asking about riding. To curb disappointment, Disney added these signs to make it clear that even if they see the ride moving or guests going down the drop, it is only a testing phase that Disney is undergoing.

We also recently discovered that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will be operational during Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party. We also just received dates that the party will begin on August 9, meaning the ride will be operational on or before August 9!

Tiana's Bayou Adventure construction.
Credit: Inside the Magic

“This ride will be all about Tiana after she made her own dreams come true and how we all have the potential to make our dreams a reality,” Sarah Riles, vice president of Magic Kingdom Park, said in the same February blog post.

“In Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, she’s throwing a festive party during Mardi Gras season to thank her family, friends, and the entire community for all the support they’ve given her as a successful business owner; it’s incredibly special that we get to celebrate with her.”

Disney has been hinting at the numerous new audio-animatronic characters set to debut in the ride, featuring Tiana, Mama Odie, JuJu, and Lewis among them. The attraction will showcase fresh original music composed by PJ Morton and Terence Blanchard, alongside some of the iconic songs from the film. One of the movie’s cherished tunes is Almost There, performed by Tiana, voiced by Anika Noni Rose.

Are you excited for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to open at Magic Kingdom this summer? 

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