In 2020, it was announced that Disney was replacing the ever-popular Splash Mountain attraction with a “Princess and the Frog”-inspired ride, thereby swapping out the old for the new. While this news instigated a number of varying reactions from Disney fans, updates on the attraction’s development were few and far between. But now, Disney has just released some more tidbits about the planned ride, as well as an interview with one of the women who inspired Princess Tiana in the first place!
While some fans might have expected the new ride to copy the animated movie’s plot, Disney is taking a different approach and focusing on Tiana’s life after the movie’s conclusion. With her own restaurant up and running, Tiana will be enjoying an “exciting new chapter” as she prepares to host a large Mardi Gras event! Concept art for the ride has been released, as well, and is shown above. We can only assume from this picture that Tiana is guiding the people of New Orleans into the bayou for a celebration, and it looks like a friendship between swamp life and humanity might be a factor.
Disney has confirmed that the attraction will feature “original music inspired by songs from the film”, and their statement that “fans will be able to encounter old friends and make new ones” implies that some different characters might be making an appearance!
Original art by “The Princess and the Frog” director John Musker, courtesy of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant
Disney expanded on this new information by interviewing the daughter of Leah Chase, one of the inspirations for Princess Tiana, at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant.
In the interview with Stella Chase Reese, topics range from Tiana’s importance since her creation, the new technology being used for the ride, and the cultural connections between New Orleans and food. Four paintings were commissioned by Disney, and made by local artist Sharika Mahdi, to inspire the Imagineers. The first revealed painting is below!
As a token of its connection with New Orleans and the value that it places on the arts, Disney also made a $50,000 donation to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.
With a new attraction in progress, promotion through World Princess Week, a new spot on Disney’s next cruise ship, and her own series coming to Disney+, it seems safe to say that Disney has decided to back Princess Tiana as a particularly promising princess!