This winter, The Walt Disney Company is going back to their animation roots with the debut of “The Princess and the Frog”, opening at the Ziegfield Theater in New York and the Walt Disney Studios in Los Angeles on November 25 and in theaters nationwide on December 11. Those familiar with Frontierland at Walt Disney World and Disneyland will see something familiar in the film… something looking vaguely familiar… the riverboat.
This holiday season at the Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Park, on the Liberty Belle beginning October 26 and on the Mark Twain beginning November 6 respectively, guests will be treated to a special experience, Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee.
Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee will be a Mardi Gras-style musical cavalcade featuring Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen, Dr. Facilier, Louie the Alligator, and other characters from the upcoming film.
Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee is a show experience that is broken up into two parts: a “parade” and an intimate experience on the Liberty Belle riverboat. In addition to Princess Tiana, Prince Naveen, and other characters from the film, the jazz-infused “riverboat extravaganza” will feature a procession of approximately 24 jazzy musicians and performers parading their way through Frontierland (New Orleans Square at Disneyland) encouraging guests to join them in the parade down to the waterfront.
Continuing the festivities – just as at traditional Mardi Gras parades, guests can try to catch beads that will be tossed from the Liberty Belle as it docks. When the procession reaches the Rivers of America dock, a group of 50 theme park visitors will board the waiting riverboat where Princess Tiana and other “The Princess and the Frog” characters will greet them. The selected guests will be given tambourines and flags and asked to bang the tambourines and wave the flags as the Liberty Belle departs the river dock. The Princess and friends will also be out waiving to those on the dock.
After departing, the riverboat will stop along the riverfront for a 15-minute show featuring select songs and skits by Princess Tiana and friends (and foes). As with many Disney shows, audience participation and dancing will also be a big part of the experience.
The Liberty Belle will make various stops along the river as the Princess and her friends sing and entertain. They will sing songs from the film including: “Gonna Take You There” as the boat moves towards Splash Mountain, “Almost There” sung by Princess Tiana, “When I’m Human” by Louie the Alligator, and others. The film’s villain, Dr. Facilier, will also be on board trying to cause any type of disruption that he can, but of course he won’t succeed. At the show’s finale, Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen celebrate “happily ever after” with “Dig a Little Deeper.”
Once the show is over, as the Liberty Belle heads back to the Liberty Square dock, the Princess, Prince, and friends will pose for photos in an on-board meet-and-greet with guests.
The show, currently planned to run 4 to 5 times a day, can be seen from various viewing areas along the Liberty Square/Frontierland waterfronts.
For those who are not selected to participate on the on-board festivities, there will be a regularly scheduled meet-and-greet with Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen in Liberty Square. All guests will have the chance to meet the Princess and Prince, take photos and get their autographs. As with all character meet-and-greets it’s best to check the times guide as you enter the park.
Editor’s Note: On Monday, WDW News Today will feature coverage of the media event being held at The Magic Kingdom on October 26th, featuring the debut performance of Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee.