Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Will Likely Preserve Splash Mountain Animatronics

Did the Walt Disney Company just confirm that Imagineers plan to keep classic Splash Mountain audio-animatronic figures in the all-new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction? New concept art released today of the upcoming 2024 ride would suggest so.

The refurbishment of both the Splash Mountain attractions at Disneyland Park and Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom has been a source of contention for Disney fans since Walt Disney Imagineering first announced its plans back in 2020. While many feel excited for new ride technology, a unique storyline for a princess IP that doesn’t just retell the film, and the inclusion of a new narrative for one of Disney’s only woman of color protagonists, others responded with less enthusiasm.

Tiana's bayou adventure announcement

Credit: Disney

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Indeed, a whole movement of persistent fans to #SaveSplashMountain was born, though their efforts did nothing to stall the attraction’s revamp in the end, as Disney has confirmed that Frontierland’s Splash Mountain at the Walt Disney World Resort will close on January 23, with Disneyland’s in Critter Country soon to follow.

However, it seems there may not be as many changes to the original ride as you might think. In fact, Disney Parks describes the new ride’s storyline as follows:

In Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, you’ll join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis during Mardi Gras season as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans. This new scene is the thrilling moment you first drop into the bayou and encounter some friends both new and familiar.  

Splash Mountain WDW

Credit: Disney

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Plus, fireflies will beckon Guests “deeper into the bayou,” just like in the catchy tune from Tiana’s 2009 movie, the Princess and the Frog. And it looks like they might lead you right into a nostalgic nod to the show building’s history in a unique way!

As the Twitter account @DisneyRemnants pointed out following the release, the animal band joining Louis after the drop bears a striking resemblance to Splash Mountain’s existing audio-animatronic figures. Of course, Disney was already reusing these critters themselves, whom they transplanted into the attraction to preserve them after the closure of America Sings.

Many who pushed to halt the closure of Splash Mountain were concerned about artifacts such as these becoming lost to time. Hopefully, as this art seems to suggest, the good parts of the former ride will remain for future generations to enjoy after all.

In this scene, zydeco music plays in welcoming all Guests “to join in the celebration.” All in all, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure hopes to unite “people of different backgrounds together through timeless Disney stories.” So, maybe this historic inclusion will even unite Splash Mountain and Bayou Adventure fans alike.

Credit: Disney

Guests can experience the new attraction for themselves at the Disneyland and Walt Disney World Resort beginning in 2024.

About Spencer Beck

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the halls of the Walt Disney Family Museum, and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @pinknpurble everywhere.