Disney’s Highly Anticipated New Attraction Up in Smoke Months Before Its Debut, Report Reveals

in Disney Parks, Walt Disney World

An amusement park scene featuring a lush, green forest-themed building with a sign reading "Tiana's Foods," alongside a watermill and vibrant flowers, celebrates the opening of Disney’s newest attraction. An inset shows a close-up of a water splashing effect.

Credit: Edited by Inside the Magic

It looks like the drop down the bayou on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is going to be a smokey one.

Yesterday was a huge day for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the ride inspired by Disney’s The Princess and the Frog which is set to replace Splash Mountain as we learned that the ride is set to debut at Walt Disney World in Florida on June 28, 2024.

This announcement was made by Disney Parks in a blog post and during Disney Night on American Idol, exciting guests about the upcoming opportunity to experience it.

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

The park also shared the news on social media. Below, you can take a look at the official Instagram post:

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens June 28 at @WaltDisneyWorld! 💚✨ #Disney #DisneyParks #DisneyWorld #Tiana #TianasBayouAdventure

 

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Disney’s upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure promises a truly immersive experience, featuring a bustling cast of characters brought to life with cutting-edge technology. Dozens of Audio-Animatronics will populate the ride, with many voiced by the original cast members from the beloved film The Princess and the Frog. This includes Anika Noni Rose as Princess Tiana, Bruno Campos as Prince Naveen, Jenifer Lewis as Mama Odie, and Michael-Leon Wooley as Louis.

The experience goes beyond familiar faces, though.

New characters will join the bayou adventure, including a menagerie of musical critters like otters, rabbits, raccoons, beavers, and turtles. These playful animals will serenade guests with authentic Zydeco, Rara, and Afro-Cuban music, reflecting the rich musical heritage of New Orleans. Additionally, the ride will feature both new compositions from award-winning artists PJ Morton and Terence Blanchard alongside favorite tunes from the original film.

An official poster announcing Tiana's Bayou Adventure, opening late 2024.
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure extends its tribute to New Orleans beyond the musical realm. The queue will showcase artwork by Louisiana artist Malaika Favorite, further immersing guests in the region’s vibrant culture. A custom metalwork weather vane, crafted by third-generation master blacksmith Darryl Reeves and his apprentice Karina Roca, will add a touch of local craftsmanship. Finally, the artistry of Sharika Mahdi, another New Orleans talent, served as a key inspiration for the entire attraction from its very inception.

While the announcement of the June 28th opening date was leaked accidentally by The Walt Disney Company themselves, as we confirmed following the initial press release with the information being deleted (something that we are used to with Disney ever since the TRON Lightcycle / Run opening date was revealed prematurely), it was announced for a second, and much more official time, during the Disney night on American Idol. We also learned that on May 14, details regarding the Annual Pass and DVC preview will be revealed.

Now that guests are more excited than ever to join Princess Tiana and her critter pals in the bayou, other details surrounding the attraction have come to light.

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: Inside the Magic

While the ride is opening soon in Disney World, it is also being added to Disneyland with a 2024 opening date. Much like Magic Kingdom’s version, the ride is taking over the racially insensitive Splash Mountain over in Critter Country at Disneyland Park. The timeline for the ride’s debut it slower on the West Coast due to the ride having closed later than Disney World’s version. The loss of Splash Mountain in Disneyland also stings more due to the timing of it all, as its closure has shut down The Many Adventures of Winne the Pooh, while Haunted Mansion is also closed, forcing Disneyland to have to add Pirates of the Caribbean to Disney Genie+ due to the lack of attractions.

Matt DH visits Disneyland often and recently shared that there seems to be white smoke rising from the attraction. It appears that this smoke is deliberate and will be a part of the drop on the attraction.

White smoke is rising from Tiana’s Bayou Adventure which, if I remember correctly, means a new Pope has been chosen

Interestingly enough, we have not seen this smoke effect reported at Walt Disney World just yet, so this could indicate some subtle changes between both renditions of the attraction.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure has faced quite a lot of controversy since its inception, as it took over Splash Mountain, which was at the Disney parks for decades, creating an air of nostalgia for guests. Some guests have even gone as far as to start petitions to request Disney cancel the retheme of the attraction to leave the original Splash Mountain.

While the story of Br’er Rabbit escaping Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear seems innocent enough, the IP that the characters are based on, Song of the South, has racist undertones.

The film romanticizes the Reconstruction era South, glossing over the harsh realities of racial segregation and oppression faced by African Americans following the Civil War. It portrays a harmonious coexistence between former slaves and their white employers, which is a far cry from the actual historical context.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom.
Credit: Inside The Magic

The film relies heavily on racial stereotypes in its portrayal of Black characters. Uncle Remus, the central Black character, is depicted as a simple, slow-witted, and subservient figure who speaks in an exaggerated dialect. This reinforces negative stereotypes about Black people and their intelligence.

The film borrows elements of African American folklore and culture without fully respecting their depth or significance. The “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” song, for example, is presented in a lighthearted manner, but it may have originated as a work song used by African Americans during slavery. By trivializing these elements, the film diminishes their true meaning.

The film downplays the violence and exploitation inherent in colonialism and slavery. The happy and content demeanor of the Black characters ignores the struggles and injustices they likely faced. These are the main reasons why Song of the South is considered a racist film. It presents a sanitized version of history that erases the complexities of the era and reinforces negative stereotypes about Black people. The film has been criticized for its inaccurate and insensitive portrayal of race relations.

Are you excited to see Tiana’s Bayou Adventure open up at Walt Disney World and Disneyland? 

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