I Got an Exclusive Ride on Tiana's Bayou Adventure — And It's Way More Magical Than You Can Imagine

I Got an Exclusive Ride on Tiana's Bayou Adventure — And It's Way More Magical Than You Can Imagine

Disney fans, hold on to your mouse ears! There’s a new attraction opening June 28 in Magic Kingdom. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure combines music, animatronics, a princess, a frog, and lots and lots of water that is the biggest reveal of the year. We got a special sneak peek, and if you’re a fan of Disney’s classic storytelling and immersive rides, this one is worth planning a special trip to see.

What is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure?

A log flume ride, but so much more, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure turns Disney’s Princess and the Frog animated film into a fully realized immersive world. The ride imagines Tiana and her namesake New Orleans restaurant a year after the movie ends. We arrive to find Tiana’s Palace restaurant and jazz club is in full swing and is getting ready to celebrate Mardi Gras.

The ride’s storyline revolves around Tiana, seen several times throughout the ride as a truly life-like animatronic, and the jazz-loving alligator Louis, finding musicians for the night’s big party.

To get started, you’ll step into a floating “log” and take off on a series of twists and turns, through gorgeously recreated bayou greenery with Cypress trees and dripping moss, gardens with okra and tomatoes (you can even watch it grow before your eyes!), loads of flowers, and woodland creatures, too. You’ll encounter Mama Odie (the 197-year-old voodoo priestess, voiced by Jennifer Lewis) who “shrinks” you down to frog size to meet the animatronic creatures — there are 19 new creatures that were created for the ride, including an armadillo, otter, and rabbit – that live in the bayou and are auditioning for the band.

To that end, you’ll hear a rollicking New Orleans soundtrack as you ride with songs from the 2009 movie (including “Dig a Little Deeper” and “Almost There”) and a fabulously fun new track (“Special Spice,” sung by Anika Noni Jones, the original voice of Tiana), too.

While most of the ride feels like a gentle lazy river, there are two short drops, one of which is in the dark; a few spots where water shoots over your head and around you;, and, one big adrenaline rush moment … a 50-foot drop that creates a big bayou splash.

But you don’t end on that note. Instead, the last scene is a full out musical Mardi Gras party, hosted by a bespangled Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen.

What did Tiana’s Bayou Adventure replace?

Disney fans will recognize this ride as the site of Splash Mountain, which originally opened in Walt Disney World in 1982. That ride’s basic structure — a long, slow log flume river ride that ends in a 50-foot splashing drop — is the heart of the new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ride. If you enjoyed the action of that classic, as well as the views of Cinderella Castle from the precipice, you’ll feel right at home here.

What’s been reimagined is the old theming, which was a throwback to a 1946 vintage Disney film that the company no longer distributes or makes available because of its racist themes, Song of the South.

How much of Princess and the Frog is featured in the attraction?

If you’re a fan of Princess and the Frog, you are going to love this attraction. First, there’s a slew of fabulous Tiana memorabilia. In the queue, you’ll see news clippings about Tiana’s Palace’s success, as well as family photos (including many with Tiana and her father), and even Tiana’s test kitchen where she tinkers with recipes for her famed gumbo and beignets.

Once you make your way into the ride’s “logs” to float down the bayou, even more of the movie comes to life through video, animatronics, and clever details. You’ll see Tiana, Louis, and Mama Odie throughout the ride, and Prince Naveen and Tiana’s friend Charlotte La Bouff make appearances, too. There are also lots and lots of fireflies illuminating the darkened bayou skies.

According to Disney’s Imagineers, they worked hard to both bring the movie to life and to keep the authentic feeling of New Orleans, all while appealing to all five senses. So you can smell beignets cooking, feel the mist from the swamp and see true-to-life audio animatronics of Tiana at several points during the ride, along with an even larger-than-life Louis, and there are some truly noteworthy character costumes on the ride, too (don’t miss Tiana’s stunning beaded Mardi Gras dress).

tiana bayou adventure disney world mama odie
Melissa Klurman

How wet do you get on the ride?

Okay, we can’t lie: You will likely get wet on this water ride. From our own observations, we can attest that the first and last rows get the brunt of the splashback. The third row supposedly gets the least splash, but there is water that cascades around the scenery, plus some that shoots over the boats (and may hit you). And of course, the 50-foot plunge creates a big splash. We rode in the second row (each log car has four rows of seats) and got pretty soaked.

In fact, we think Tiana’s is extra, let’s say “splashy,” compared to Splash Mountain, but that may be related to the new ride’s higher water levels, which may start to dissipate as the attraction gets more riders.

disney world tiana bayou adventure log flume

Where is the attraction located?

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is located at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom park in Orlando. After entering the Magic Kingdom, turn left to and follow signs to the Liberty Adventure section of the park. The ride is next to Big Thunder Mountain, an easy to spot roller coaster.

More FAQs

How long is Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

If this sounds like a long ride, it is. Without the queue, it’s around a 9-minute journey.

What ages is it best for?

You must be at least 40 inches to ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, but there is no age restriction for the ride. There is nothing overtly scary on the ride, but be aware that there are some dark spaces and one very large drop.

Can you get beignets?

You can’t have Tiana’s Palace without some traditional New Orleans food! First, in the gift shop, you’ll find special seasoning from Dooky Chase’s, the family restaurant of Leah Chase, whose story was the inspiration for Tiana’s culinary journey. This is the only spot outside New Orleans where you can purchase these, so be sure to grab some gumbo or fried chicken seasonings after you ride.

Currently, Disney is only promising beignets and other treats through August 8, but we’re hoping this will be extended. For now, though, you can find hot honey chicken, shrimp gumbo, and powdered sugar dusted beignets at Golden Oak Outpost. There’s also other specially-themed treats, like chantilly cake, available at other dining spots, too.

disney tiana bayou adventure beignets

How to ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

It will probably not come as a surprise that this ride is expected to be very popular. Disney will be using a virtual queue for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which means you will not be able to simply arrive at the ride and wait in line. There will be two opportunities to join the queue each day — once at 7:00 AM and another at 1:00 PM. You do not need to physically be in Magic Kingdom to join the 7:00 AM queue, but you do need to have a Magic Kingdom reservation. You must be physically in the park to join the 1:00 one. You also need to use the My Disney Experience app to access these queues. The spots fill up quickly, so you'll want to log on to join at those exact times. Once you do, you'll get a callback time to join the physical line.

When does Tiana’s Bayou Adventure open?

The ride opens to the public June 28, 2024, however Walt Disney World annual passholders have earlier access to the ride on June 13, 14, 16, 17, 18 and 20.

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