Family of Real-Life Tiana Will be First to Ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Shannen Ace

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Stella Chase Reese wearing Imagineer hard hat

Family of Real-Life Tiana Will be First to Ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

The family of Leah Chase, the inspiration for Princess Tiana, will be the first to ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom when the ride opens this summer.

Leah Chase’s Family to Be First to Ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Tiana's Bayou Adventure poster presented to Stella Chase Reese
Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

Charita Carter, the Imagineer leading the development of the reimagined attraction, was among the Disney executives who visited Dooky Chase, Leah Chase’s New Orleans restaurant. They surprised the family with the invitation to the ride and presented Leah Chase’s daughter, Stella Chase Reese, with a Tiana’s Bayou Adventure poster.

Chef Leah Chase in kitchen

Leah Chase, known as the Queen of Creole Cuisine, passed away in 2019 at 96 years old.

Legendary chef Leah Chase, former owner and operator of Dooky Chase’s, had a vision to give back to her community in ways that she knew best, good cooking and making an inclusive space for all. Through her creativity and determination, she transformed what once was a sandwich shop in Tremé into one of the first African American fine dining establishments in the country in Dooky Chase’s. It was this story that served as one of the inspirations for the character of Princess Tiana in Walt Disney Animation Studios’ “The Princess and the Frog,” and later in the development of the upcoming attraction by Walt Disney Imagineering – Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Senior Vice President of Creative Development Carmen Smith, Disney Parks Blog
Stella Chase Reese wearing an Imagineering hardhat for Tiana's Bayou Adventure.
Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

Stella Chase Reese has been involved in the development of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure so Disney named her an honorary Imagineer and gave her a personalized hard hat. Stella spoke on FaceTime with Carmen Smith, Disney Parks’ Senior Vice President of Creative Development, who could not attend the event.

Disney also invited Stella to Imagineering headquarters to see a Tiana Audio-Animatronic and to Disneyland Park to see Tiana’s Palace and Eudora’s Chic Boutique.

My mom would be ecstatic…to see Disney take her talents and her values and use them in Tiana.

Stella Chase Reese
Leah Chase Jr. singing

A cover of Louis Armstrong’s “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?” by Leah Chase’s other daughter, Leah Chase Jr., will play in the queue of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Other Chase family members wearing Mickey Mouse ear hats.
Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

Other family members at the Dookey Chase event received Mickey Mouse ear hats and Mickey himself was in attendance.

Chase family with Mickey Mouse

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will open at Magic Kingdom this summer and at Disneyland later in the year.

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1 thought on “Family of Real-Life Tiana Will be First to Ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure”

  1. Absolutely love this celebration 🥳 of a fabulous New Orleans legend!
    Leah and Disney the perfect pair!


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