Let’s Talk about the Sneak Previews of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

On June 12th and June 19th, Disney Vacation Club members will enjoy our first sneak previews of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. A few lucky guests have already had that privilege. So, we already have a good idea of what the new attraction is like. Let’s talk in detail about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. 

What Is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure?

In case you’re one of the fortunate few who have missed the drama, here’s the story. In 2023, Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom closed their versions of Splash Mountain, a charming ride with a regrettable connection to Song of the South, a movie buried deep in the Disney Vault.

Disney chose The Princess and the Frog as the theme for the replacement attraction. This ride, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, works similarly to other recent updates like Frozen Ever After and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway.

Imagineers took the existing ride structure and modified it to fit a new theme. The new attraction also employs some state-of-the-art effects, ones involving digital wall displays, to increase the immersion. Here’s Disney’s ride video of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

I have a criticism of Disney’s clip, as I feel it does a disservice to the ride. The camera work misses some of the vital elements, making Tiana’s Bayou Adventure appear barren at times, something critics have noted. Here’s what I consider a better ride video.

Basically, Disney has stripped Splash Mountain to the screws and added the genteel humor of The Princess and the Frog. It’s a less raucous experience now, but it’s charming and well-intended. 

Let’s Talk about the Line Queue 

New Orleans in the 1920s provides the setting for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The attraction occurs roughly a year after the events of The Princess and the Frog. 

Due to her hard work, Disney Princess Tiana has quickly risen to the top of Louisiana’s culinary world. The line queue repeatedly reinforces this premise, starting with the water tower landmark. As the sign proclaims, it’s a part of Tiana’s Foods, a successful brand with a logo you’ll notice throughout the queue.

Disney has liaised with New Orleans locals, hiring some to create the atmosphere for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. As such, while standing in line, you’ll feel like you’ve traveled to New Orleans, an oddity since you’re technically in Frontierland. This part will make more sense at Disneyland Park, home to New Orleans Square.

Still, the walking path proves vibrant and colorful. You’ll notice many crates and the like, playing into the idea that Tiana cycles through plenty of ingredients while feeding the residents of The Big Easy.

One of my favorite elements of the ride queue is that you get a look at Tiana’s work space, including an era-appropriate typewriter. There are also chalkboards filled with potential recipes and menus. 

Disney has put a great deal of thought into each show element, something you’ll realize while staring at the corkboards. One shows that Tiana provides free cooking classes to all interested parties. The other indicates that Louis the Alligator (!) teaches jazz classes. In a horror movie, that’s a trap, but it makes perfect sense in Disney storytelling. 

Finally, don’t miss the punch cards for Tiana’s loyal staff. They’re running a business, and you have to punch in to get paid! These antiquated business practices add to the retro vibe of the line queue. 

Let’s Talk about the New Ride 

My first point of emphasis is that the splashdown remains. That’s what matters the most about this ride building. We want that view of Magic Kingdom just before we gleefully accept our drenching.

Also, the Audio-Animatronics here are exceptional. Tiana appears in her new outfit throughout the attraction, and she’s fully believable each time. Disney has taken some of the tricks from the Shaman of Song at Na’vi River Journey and elevated them.

Louis is a particular standout, and Imagineers know it. The character receives a spotlight as you first approach him. Disney has also retrofitted some of the previous characters to fit Tiana’s story as well. 

As a reminder, the concept involves Tiana’s desire to throw a party for all her New Orleans neighbors. To serve the perfect dish, Tiana must venture to the bayou to find a secret ingredient. 

The final song, the de facto replacement for Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah, is named Special Spice for this reason. Here’s Anika Nona Rose singing Special Spice at a recent Disney event.

So, the song remains the same in terms of ride structure. You’ll explore the bayou, just as you had previously worked your way through the Laughing Place. Eventually, you’ll gleefully splash down after a brief chat with Mama Odie. 

Once that part of the ride has finished, you’ll earn your happy ending. It’s a gleeful celebration, a New Orleans party thrown by Tiana herself. The Audio-Animatronics here are topnotch, and the song itself will please a new generation of Disney fans, just as Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah had for the past 30 years.

Imagineers have maintained the spirit of this ride concept. They’ve merely modernized it with Tiana’s hero’s journey. 

Here’s Some Other Tiana Intel 

First, you should know that the attraction will use a virtual queue, at least initially. In fact, Disney added this virtual queue to My Disney Experience on June 11th. So, it’s already up and running.

Notably, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will be part of Disney Genie+. I’m surprised as I fully expected it to be an individual Lightning Lane option, at least at first. Instead, you can buy Disney Genie+ and feel good about your odds of snagging a Tiana reservation.

The catch is that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure won’t employ a standby queue when it opens. Your only two options to ride it are the virtual queue and a Disney Genie+ reservation. Please keep that in mind during your park visit!

Disney also confirmed unique ride photos, including a commemorative opening day package. You can read the details on the official Parks Blog. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will also offer a new Magic Shot, a “prop photo,” and a Disney PhotoPass Lens. 

The other big news is that Critter Co-Op has replaced Briar Patch. The new store sells Tiana’s Bayou Adventure merchandise. Here’s a video with a Cast Member describing the new gear.

Disney has also posted its own video of upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure merch. 

So, commerce is alive and well in 1920s New Orleans! The “firefly magic” sounds like something kids will adore. Meanwhile, I’ll knock everyone out of the way to get to the Mama Odie merch. I’m sure my wife will be getting that Louis plush for Christmas this year, too. 

Many fans will feel drawn to the Loungefly, which lights up at night. Also, I can confirm that the Tiana Mouse Ears are already a hot commodity. Overall, Disney has aced the merchandising part of the Tiana experience. 

Access all available Disney Vacation Club resale listings, or learn more about buying and selling with DVC Resale Market.


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