Disney World’s Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens June 28

tiana bayou adventure
"It's exciting to have a place for Tiana.”

Mark your calendar if you’re a Disney World fan.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which replaces the Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain, will debut on June 28, Disney announced Sunday.

Tiana’s has been in the works for years. Disney World announced the ride in 2020 and then closed Splash Mountain for construction in January 2023.

The Tiana ride’s theme takes visitors deep into a New Orleans Mardi Gras celebration full of music and new Audio-Animatronics figures.

“In many ways, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a love letter to New Orleans,” Walt Disney Imagineer Charita Carter has said.

The ride features Disney’s first Black princess and replaces an iconic but troubled attraction that had a problematic racial history. Splash Mountain was based on characters, like Brer Rabbit, from the controversial 1946 Disney film “Song of the South.”

“It’s exciting to have a place for Tiana,” said Broadway performer Syndee Winters, who regularly performs  “Almost There” from The Princess and the Frog 2009 animated film that inspired the ride.

Florida Politics spoke to Winters last month when she was in Orlando to perform at the Disney Princess: The Concert at the Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts.

“It definitely time to share her story. (Tiana) is so loved by a generation of young people who have come up after me,” said Winters who has been candid about the importance of having Disney princesses of diverse backgrounds to connect with little girls of color. Winters’ heritage is Chinese-Jamaican.

For Orlando theme park fans, it’s a time of excitement and expansion.

Disney’s competitor, Universal, is building a new theme park from the ground up and is regularly releasing new details about its land.

SeaWorld Orlando is also on a roll of adding new thrill rides. The latest will be a penguin-themed, family-friendly roller coaster coming later this spring, although SeaWorld has not announced an opening date yet.

Gabrielle Russon

Gabrielle Russon is an award-winning journalist based in Orlando. She covered the business of theme parks for the Orlando Sentinel. Her previous newspaper stops include the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, Toledo Blade, Kalamazoo Gazette and Elkhart Truth as well as an internship covering the nation’s capital for the Chicago Tribune. For fun, she runs marathons. She gets her training from chasing a toddler around. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @GabrielleRusson .

One comment

  • Dont Say FLA

    May 13, 2024 at 12:11 pm

    Are Rhonda’s widdle Proud Boys outside the front gate protesting yet with their cutesy signs that must have taken them all night to make?

Comments are closed.


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