PHOTOS: Work Continues on Salt Mine Mountaintop, Brick Walls in Queue of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom

Shannen Ace

PHOTOS: Work Continues on Salt Mine Mountaintop, Brick Walls in Queue of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom

We visited Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom several times this week to see how the construction of the new attraction has come along. Crew members have been focused on the top of the mountain, as well as in the queue, where a new mural by Louisiana artist Malaika Favorite decorates the barn.

Frontierland Pavement

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Before reaching the actual attraction, we noticed two sets of stanchions up around fresh squares of pavement. This new square of pavement is outside Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn and Cafe.

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The second square is closer to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

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Mountain Facade

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What was once Splash Mountain is being turned into a salt mine utilized by the Tiana’s Foods co-op, founded by Princess Tiana in 1927 after the events of “The Princess and the Frog.”

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After the Splash Mountain tree was removed, crews have been reconstructing the mountaintop and rounding it off. Several tarps are draped over the top of the mountain, which is surrounded by scaffolding.

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We also spotted some work on the front of the millhouse, which ride vehicles rise through at the beginning of the attraction.

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During our first visit, white sheathing was visible on some of the boards on the front of the millhouse.

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Crews have been covering the mountain with new moss and foliage, turning it into a salt mine in the bayou.

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The rocky facade is now significantly more green than it once was.

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Early during construction, several sections of rockwork were torn apart and redone.

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It seems rockwork across the front of the mountain is mostly completed and crews have moved onto detail work.

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During our first look at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure this week, we heard one crew member giving directions to others, telling them that the top of the mountain needs to look more like multiple rocks than a few big boulders.

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Though tarps blocked the view of the mountaintop from the front, we could clearly see work underway from behind the train station.

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The top of the mountain is gray right now, as it continues to be shaped.

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There is also a new metal railing along the edge of the ride track.

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We didn’t see as much activity during our second visit, but crew members were still working on the mountaintop.

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By our second visit, new paneling had been added to the front of the millhouse over the sheathing.

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Around the side of the mountain, a scaffolding platform is next to the remaining tree, suggesting it may get new detail work soon.

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On the ground, we have seen an uptick in activity around the flume under the Frontierland bridge.

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Crew members were working on a panel hidden in the rockwork beneath the tunnel.

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Scaffolding platforms still fill the flume, making it easier for crew members to walk in this area, and green barriers are around the peninsula of land, likely to contain the soil.

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Queue

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Much of the queue pavement has been ripped up to be redone.

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The exit ramp of the Frontierland train station was also partially destroyed. New wood columns have been installed for the ramp.

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Currently, guests are exiting through the usual entrance.

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Rows of rocks create new queue walls between the piles of dirt.

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A new circular brick structure is coming together right below the train station.

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There are two rows of short brick walls, with new pavement between them.

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Speaking of brick walls, crew members on the other side of the train station have been installing several bricks for new queue walls.

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During each visit, we have seen piles of bricks ready to be installed.

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By Wednesday, a significant portion of the queue was complete with new pavement and brick walls.

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We saw crew members laying more brick.

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Some of the brick walls surround planters, too.

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Blue netting marks future construction areas.

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There is scaffolding and netting further into the queue, which still looks much the same as it did when Splash Mountain closed permanently in January.

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Mural

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The mural on the yellow barn is split into two sections, but considered one piece.

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Louis the alligator plays music on the section most visible from the train station.

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There is scaffolding in front of the mural, but we can still see it pretty clearly.

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The other half of the mural is harder to see, but it features several faces with varying skin tones.

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Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Tiana's Bayou Adventure concept art

Disney announced “The Princess and the Frog”-inspired retheme of Splash Mountain in 2020 and the name Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in 2022.

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, 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.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure concept art featuring Louis, Tiana, and animal band

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.

This 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 a vast range of new audio-animatronics. At Destination D23, Disney shared a look at a Louis animatronic.

There will be multiple Tiana audio-animatronics, and she will sport a new adventuring outfit. In June, Disney shared video of a live performer wearing the outfit, suggesting Tiana will appear in her adventuring gear off the attraction, too.

tiana bayou art

The queue and attraction music is being arranged by award-winning artists PJ Morton and Terence Blanchard, who will mix classic songs from the movie with New Orleans classics and original compositions. The scent of beignets is also set to be pumped throughout the queue.

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Some 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).

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