What’s So Special About the Tiana’s Palace Menu? We’ve Got the Details

tiana's palace disneyland
Credit: Disney and Disney Parks Blog

The Disney Princess from Walt Disney Animation Studios’ The Princess and the Frog (2009), Princess Tiana, has been the talk of the town for months now.

The New Orleans native and ambitious chef has a Disney theme park ride on the way (much to Splash Mountain fans’ chagrin), a Disney+ series in production, and a Disneyland boutique under her belt.

Aside from her upcoming ride (which is called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and has not been well-received so far by many Disney Fanatics, particularly after this glimpse of the ride’s construction), her upcoming Disney+ show, and her boutique, Princess Tiana has also been honored with a Disneyland restaurant recreating the restaurant from her animated movie.

Anticipation has been high when it comes to this restaurant, especially now that we’ve seen the mouthwatering menu, and Disney chefs have just spoken up to explain why this menu is worth the hype!

Tiana's Palace Marquee Disneyland

Tiana’s Palace has replaced the French Market Restaurant in Disneyland. Credit: Disney

Love and Authenticity

According to the Walt Disney Company itself, “each dish is served the way good food should be — with love!”

If the authenticity of a meal’s ingredients or recipes is important to you as a Disney diner, then fear not: apparently, “the quick-service restaurant’s menu utilizes ingredients that are sourced directly from New Orleans or Louisiana whenever possible.”

Some specific menu items that come directly from New Orleans are Tiana’s Palace’s andouille sausage, the Carolina gold rice, and the bread. The beverage that many Disney visitors love, Joffrey’s Coffee, is also being served in the form of a Chicory Cold Brew that “uses cane syrup from Louisiana.”

“Not One of Our Chefs Speaks the Same Spice Level”

Disneyland’s Food & Beverage Experience Integration Director, Michele Gendreau, referred to the Tiana’s Palace menu as  “a study of palates.”

“Not one of our chefs speaks the same spice level,” Gendreau explained. “We had very big discussions about how to bring the authenticity: ‘How is it not too flat? How is it not too spicy?’”

Tiana's Palace Disneyland

Credit: Disney

According to the Disneyland department director, Disneyland’s behind-the-scenes team at the restaurant is also specifically interested in “guests’ opinions.”

The chefs for this Disneyland restaurant and Princess and the Frog establishment also explored the “Crescent City”  in order “to gain a deeper appreciation of what makes the city’s flavor profiles unique.”

The team sampled food from dozens of restaurants, including famous establishments like the Dooky Chase restaurant, Morning Call Coffee Stand, and the High Hat Café. Meetings with the team behind the 2009 animated movie that first introduced Princess Tiana to audiences were also involved.

Starting with Tiana’s “Heart and Soul”

According to Gendreau, her team “met with the film’s production team to talk about: ‘What is this going to be — and how does that come to life in food?’ It had to start [with] Tiana’s heart and soul, and her history with Eudora, her mother, and James, her father.”

The chefs also confirmed that gumbo (a favorite of Princess Tiana’s father, James) and beignets (a New Orleans staple) would be highlights of the menu. Chef John State, the Culinary Director of Disneyland’s Food and Beverage department, referred to the gumbo recipe’s development as both “a privilege and an undertaking.”
Lily Pad & Lotus Flower plate set Tiana's palace

Tiana’s Palace has replaced the French Market Restaurant in New Orleans Square within Disneyland, but it brings a whole new version of beignets and New Orleans cuisine along with it! Credit: Disney

Not Your Average Beignets

A beignet might sound delicious and simplistic, but the beignets at Tiana’s Palace will reportedly be unique compared to “something you can find in a commercial restaurant.”

The beignets at this Anaheim restaurant will contain “lemon ice box pie filling” and be “topped with a lemon glaze.” According to Lindell Skinner, Disneyland’s Food and Beverage Operations Manager, “you really have to go into the neighborhoods to find [lemon ice box pies].”

Do You Hear What I Hear?

While you’re eating in Tiana’s Palace, try to engage more than one of your senses as well; instead of focusing on taste alone, hone in on your ears, because Walt Disney Imagineering team members have created a special jazz soundtrack for diners to enjoy while eating! 

Are you going to pay Tiana’s Palace a visit, now that it’s open for business in Disneyland?

About Sharon

Sharon is a writer and animal lover from New England. Sharon's two main focuses in her work are Disney's correlations with pop culture and the significance of Disney princesses (which was the basis for her college thesis). When she's not writing about Disney, Sharon spends her time singing, dancing, and cavorting with woodland creatures!

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