It’s been more than two years since Disney Parks confirmed a major thematic redesign of Splash Mountain, and while we now know the new attraction, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, is still two years away, this weekend’s D23 Expo has given us a sneak peek of what’s in store for us. It's also revealed that Disneyland is set to get even more new Tiana goodness, in the form of a new New Orleans Square retail shop, Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets.
Eudora is Tiana’s mother from The Princess and the Frog, who we know from the film is an accomplished seamstress, and so clothing will apparently be the focus of half the new shop, while Tiana’s side of the shop will be dedicated to “accessories to create and serve masterful Orleans-style cuisine.” So if you’re in the market for new Tiana themed kitchenware, this appears to be the place.
One of the reasons that Splash Mountain being transformed into The Princess and the Frog made so much sense was because the attraction sat on the edge of New Orleans Square, though it was technically part of the neighboring land of Critter Country. With a new Tiana store being added in New Orleans Square proper, it makes one wonder if Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will officially become part of that land. If so, there won’t be much left of Critter Country.
We’ll likely learn a lot more about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure on Sunday when the Disney Parks take center stage at the D23 Expo, but before then we’ve gotten a look at a model of what the new attraction’s exterior will look like. Splash Mountain purists can calm down at least a little, as it appears that not much has changed with the ride from the outside. A new water tower, adorned with a tiara, advertising Tiana’s Foods, the new company Tiana has started, has been added, but that’s about it. Beyond that it looks like the ride we already know.
Concept art showed Mama Odie’s treehouse home at the top of the mountain, but it appears that has not made it past the concept phase, perhaps due to a change in story or just a cosmetic decision. The model does include some new information that explains how the ride itself will fit into this new story. Tiana’s Foods is located in what used to be a salt mine, so that’s what guests will be navigating through inside the ride.
Not everybody is happy to see Splash Mountain go but perhaps seeing the ride is ultimately still intact, simply with a different story, will help ease that pain. Those excited for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure are likely looking forward to the panel this weekend where even more is likely to be revealed. Top among the news will likely be a closure date for the existing ride, as Splash Mountain looks ready to say goodbye.
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