Is Splash Mountain Still Getting a Retheme? The Latest Plans [2023]

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Goodbye, Splash Mountain. Hello, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure!

After nearly 30 years in the Magic Kingdom, the classic Frontierland attraction will soon be closing down for a major refurbishment.

The Walt Disney Company announced this summer at the D23 Expo that the ride will be rethemed. 

The original Splash Mountain opened in California’s Disneyland in 1989. The Walt Disney World Resort in Florida got its own attraction a few years later in 1992.

The current attraction is a log-flume ride featuring music and theming from the 1946 film “Song of the South”. 

Read Also: What not to do at Disney World, 7 tips from a Disney pro


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Splash Mountain Sign Disney World
Splash Mountain opened in 1992 at Disney World in Orlando, but Walt Disney Imagineering is bringing a new concept to the ride (photo by James Overholt/

Is Disney going to retheme Splash Mountain?

In recent years, the ride has come under scrutiny by Disney fans due to its ties to the film’s racially insensitive content.

The design will be led by executive creative producer Charita Carter. The ride’s original creator, Tony Baxter, will return as a creative advisor on the retheme of Splash Mountain.

What is the new name for Splash Mountain?

The new Princess and the Frog attraction will be called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The ride will feature scenery from a Louisiana Bayou as well as a backdrop of New Orleans.

Disney Imagineers will create new magic for this musical adventure. 

Anika Noni Rose is the voice of Princess Tiana in the film and will return to voice the audio-animatronic character on the new ride. Jenifer Lewis is also expected to voice Mama Odie.

It’s rumored that the ride could repurpose some of the existing audio-animatronics.

Read Also: What is the most popular ride in Magic Kingdom? 11 long ride queues

Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom
Splash Mountain will start the transformation in January (photo by James Overholt/

Is Splash Mountain closing in 2022?

The closure date is set. Splash Mountain will start its transformation on Jan. 23, 2023.

Although Orlando has very mild winters, rides on which guests could get wet are less in demand during this season. 

So what does that mean for the construction timeline? Disney Parks Blog announced that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is expected to open in late 2024 in both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland.

a rendering of the new ride features a log flume ride with princess tiana and alligator
Concept art shows our favorite characters on the bayou. Splash Mountain will reopen as Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in late 2024 (media photo/artist rendering courtesy of Disney)

What about the TikTok rumor? Is the ride still being rethemed?

Last month, a TikTok video claimed that Disney executives changed their minds about retheming Splash Mountain and would be looking at future opportunities instead.

The video went viral, but Snopes has confirmed that the reversal plans were simply satire from a Disney blog.

In short, the plans are still in place and the official Disney website confirms that the ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens in 2024.

The ride will pick up where the film leaves off, taking guests on a ride with Tiana, Naveen and Louis, who are preparing to host a Mardi Gras celebration.

The film behind the retheme

The Walt Disney Company announced this summer that the Splash Mountain retheme will be based on “The Princess and the Frog” filmed in 2009.

“The Princess and the Frog” underperformed at the box office when it was released in 2009, at least by Disney film standards.

This was due in part to the fact that James Cameron’s “Avatar” was released one week after the classically animated film. It’s tough luck opening a week before the highest-grossing film of all time. 

This great story is set in 1926 New Orleans, where a hardworking waitress named Tiana dreams of one day opening her own restaurant.

Princess Fairytale Hall Disney World
Princess Tiana is a frequent headliner at the Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland (photo by James Overholt/

A quick synopsis of ‘The Princess and the Frog’

Tiana has been cooking with her family since she was a little girl. She originally shared the restaurant dream with her father, who taught her that hard work was a key ingredient for success in any dream. 

The film implies that Tiana’s father passed away in World War I. However, despite this loss, Tiana continues working long hours in the restaurant industry.

Meanwhile, Prince Naveen of the fictional Maldonia arrives in the musical city of New Orleans. While exploring the musical city, Naveen encounters Dr. Facilier. The villain offers him a tarot card reading, which reveals that Naveen is completely broke. 

Finally, the purpose of Naveen’s trip is revealed. He is seeking a marriage that will be financially advantageous. He agrees to a deal with Dr. Facilier that will help him achieve this goal. 

Prince Naveen is an honored guest at a Mardi Gras masquerade ball. Tiana is hired to make her famous beignets for the event.

Then things go sideways

However, things go wrong when the price of Naveen’s deal with Dr. Facilier is revealed and he is transformed into a frog. 

Mistaking Tiana for a princess, Naveen convinces her to kiss him in an attempt to turn himself back into his human form.

She agrees when he promises to help finance her restaurant. However, both Naveen and Tiana are shocked when she also transforms into an amphibian. 

The pair must learn to work together as they journey into the Bayou seeking a Voodoo priestess who can undo the spell.

They meet some old friends as well as new characters along the way, including an alligator named Louis.

A talented trumpet player, Louis dreams of becoming a human jazz musician. He agrees to help Tiana and Naveen on their quest. 

The film features original music with hit songs like “Almost There” and “Dig a Little Deeper.” 

A Little Princess and a Frog on a Bridge
“The Princess and the Frog” performed better on streaming services than at the box office, which usually implies that children liked it better than adults (photo by black-pig/

Princess Tiana is a strong leading character for Disney

Despite her film’s disappointing box office performance, Princess Tiana is a strong lead character. She has steadily gained popularity over the last decade.

The movie may not have been a box office hit, but it was very popular on Netflix for many years. It moved to Disney+ in 2021 and has continued to be a popular streaming choice on the platform. 

Disney has created other films that followed a similar pattern over the years. “The Good Dinosaur” was a major box office flop.

However, it was incredibly popular on streaming services and had success with merchandise sales. 

This usually means that children better received the film than adults. Adults typically make choices about which movies to see on the big screen.

However, children are making choices about what they want to watch at home. Both “The Good Dinosaur” and “The Princess and the Frog” have been successful on streaming platforms and with merchandise sales. 

These successes have paid off for Tiana and her fans alike. Princess Tiana has been featured prominently at the Disney parks in recent years.

She’s been a headliner at Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland along with stars like Cinderella, Rapunzel and Elena of Avalor for years.

She appears with Prince Naveen throughout the day in Liberty Square. 

The couple is also featured in several of the park’s shows, including The Magic Kingdom Welcome Show and Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire.

The powerful music from “The Princess and the Frog” has also been featured in several of Disney’s night-time spectacular shows.

These include the Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After and Enchantment and EPCOT’s Harmonious.

What do you think about the new attraction in the Disney theme park? Let us know in the comments!

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Kirby Russell

Kirby Russell is a freelance contributor for LLC – the parent company of and

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