While Disneyland crews have only just begun dismantling the tree atop the original California Splash Mountain to make way for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, the Florida version of the ride is much further along in demolition and construction. Both stateside Splash Mountains are being transformed, while Splash in Tokyo Disneyland is remaining the same. The Magic Kingdom version closed in January, while the Disneyland version only closed at the end of May.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Construction
At Magic Kingdom, we saw several crew members on-site during our most recent visit. Some were working amid the scaffolding at the base of the mountain, not far from the Tiana’s Foods water tower.
Although we can’t see the flume past the construction walls, we can guess that the thicket of briars has been removed from the area.
Scaffolding surrounds the rockwork and some tarps are up to help shade crew members while working.
While we can see most construction work outside, the interior is completely shielded from view. Walt Disney Imagineering recently filed a permit for set installation. It contracts Adirondack Studios, a long-time partner of Walt Disney World that also worked on Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
The tree on top was completely removed in April. Now there are metal platforms and large pieces of steel where the tree used to be.
On the ground on the other side of the Frontierland bridge, some real trees were removed as this small peninsula of land is redone.
There’s new sod and fresh dirt on the patch of land. New plants may be added here later.
Near the attraction entrance are more construction walls and scrim. A crane looms over the backstage area behind the ride and train station.
We noticed some prop barrels and their shelves have been removed from the train station. The station was repainted back in 2021.
On the side of the mountain, scaffolding and black scrim runs right up to the station.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure picks up after the events of “The Princess and the Frog.” In 1927, Tiana founded the Tiana’s Foods co-ops, which is located in a salt mine (Splash Mountain), where cultivators grow crops along the waters. During Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, Tiana and alligator Louis venture into the bayou to find animal friends. They’re preparing a special Mardi Gras celebration for the people of New Orleans.
The scene depicted in the above concept art is “the thrilling moment you first drop into the bayou and encounter some friends both new and familiar.” Louis and a band of animals will be playing zydeco music, a blend of rhythm and blues that was created in Louisiana. The band of animal friends includes an otter, a rabbit, a raccoon, a beaver, and a turtle playing instruments made from natural bayou elements.
The ride will feature 17 new characters, including Prince Naveen’s younger brother, Ralphie. The Splash Mountain track will remain, but the attraction will get new set dressing and audio-animatronics. There will be multiple Tiana audio-animatronics, and she has a new adventuring outfit.
Award-winning artists PJ Morton and Terence Blanchard will arrange the queue and attraction music with a mix of songs from “The Princess and the Frog,” New Orleans classics, and original compositions. The scent of beignets will be pumped throughout the queue.
Most of the original cast will be providing their voices to the attraction, including Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Bruno Campos (Naveen), Michael Leon Wooley (Louis), and Jennifer Lewis (Mama Odie). The above concept art shows Mama Odie in the crow’s nest of her home surrounded by glowing bottles.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is scheduled to open in 2024 at both parks.
What are your thoughts on this overhaul and transformation of Splash Mountain? Let us know in the comments.