CELEBRATION, Fla. — Walt Disney World is close to being "almost there" with its new revamped "Princess and the Frog"-themed ride that will reimagine and replace Splash Mountain, but they still need to "dig a little deeper."
During the recent D23 Expo, Disney went into more detail about its plans for the ride and when it will be finished. According to D23, Disney's official fan club site, Walt Disney Imagineers discussed new story details for the attraction Tiana's Bayou Adventure.
Imagineers also unveiled new concept art for the attraction during the expo. Additionally, Disney revealed several original cast members of "The Princess and the Frog" would be coming back to lend their voices to the attraction. This includes Anika Noni Rose as Tiana, Bruno Campos as Naveen, Michael-Leon Wooley as Louis and Jenifer Lewis as Mama Odie.
Back in July, Disney said it was aiming to open the ride in "late 2024."
Disney Parks Blog said Imagineers have been "frequent travelers" to Louisiana for research into the ride in order to "ensure Tiana's Bayou Adventure preserves the heart and soul of the city that inspired Princess Tiana's story."
The new attraction was first announced back in 2020, with Disney saying Imagineers had been working on the project since 2019. The announcement also came at a time when fans and petitions called for Disney to ditch the "Song of the South" theme the ride currently has, given the 1946 film is widely deemed to be the company's most racist film.
Disney says Tiana's Bayou Adventure "will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film. Picking up where the film left off, guests will join Princess Tiana, Naveen and jazz-loving alligator Louis on an adventure through the bayou as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome.
"Along the way, guests will encounter familiar faces, make new friends and travel through the bayou to original music inspired by songs from the film as they are brought into the next chapter of Tiana's story."