Disney just dropped the news out of no where today as they shared a big change is coming towards the classic Disney attraction of Splash Mountain and will be re-themed towards “Princess & The Frog” at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The story will continue after the final kiss and will be joined by Tiana and Louis on a magical adventure that will feature the musical score from the film and preparing for their first ever Mardi Gras performance.
Walt Disney Imagineering has been working on this attraction since last year as both Disney Legend, Tony Baxter will serve as a creative advisor on planning and designing the “Princess & The Frog” makeover as reported by the Orange County Register and Portfolio Creative Executive from Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Scott Trowbridge have been working on this project for some now, as confirmed on his Twitter handle.
“The attraction will be one to be proud of,” Baxter said in a statement. “I look forward to being a part of a new adventure in Disney magic and fun.” Tony Baxter served as the one of the creators for Splash Mountain at Disneyland when it first opened up in 1989.
President of Walt Disney Imagineering, Bob Weis was asked a question during a D23 interview of “why retheme an attraction instead of building a new one?” and here’s what he had to say:
“We have a longstanding history of enhancing attractions with “new magic,” like Pirates of the Caribbean, and completely retheming others, like Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! We completely understand that these decisions aren’t always popular, but I think our biggest fans know that we care as much as they do.”
Weis also further elaborated of when can guests expect “goin’ down the bayou” for the timeline other upcoming Disney attractions at the parks and said:
“We have separate project teams working on these efforts, but we are still evaluating project timelines based on the extended closures we’ve experienced due to COVID-19. While several projects, like Avengers Campus—at both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland Paris—are able to surge forward based on where we were in development, there are others that will be picked back up in stages—like Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and TRON—and some that are longer-term that we will need more time to assess. We are working with our operations partners now to determine timing for this project to get under way. For now, we know that both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland parks will re-open with the existing Splash Mountain attraction.”
The folks over at Imagineering whenever they approach an attraction and like to calling it, “plussing” (a term that Walt Disney said during his time) and asks the Imagineers a question: how can we build upon or elevate the experience and tell a fresh, relevant story? The teams at Imagineering are very excited and passionate about this project coming towards the domestic Disney Parks in California and Florida. Splash Mountain will be getting new magic and it’s particular importance today as guests can connect from all walks of life and to be inspired by it, from all aspects of diversity.
Senior Creative Producer, Charita Carter leading the project at Walt Disney Imagineering shared:
“Like Princess Tiana, I believe that courage and love are the key ingredients for wonderful adventures. I am delighted to be a part of bringing this fun-filled experience to our guests.”
Carter was the instrumental in the development of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at open up recent at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and coming to Disneyland Resort in 2022.
Even Carmen Smith, Creative Development and Inclusive Strategies Executive even shared her own thoughts down below as well:
Also the voice actress herself, Anika Noni Rose who played Princess Tiana in the animated film had her own thoughts to share from the following:
“It is really exciting to know that Princess Tiana’s presence in both Disneyland and Magic Kingdom will finally be fully realized,” actress Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Tiana in the film, said in a statement. “As passionate as I am about what we created, I know the fans are going to be over the moon. The Imagineers are giving us the Princess and The Frog Mardi Gras celebration we’ve been waiting for and I’m here for it.”
Even some of the other cast members from the film including Michael-Leon Wooley as the voice of Louis and Jenifer Lewis, voice of Mama Odie had to say:
Online and social media attention for the animated film was being pushed by the Disney fandom for an petition was making headlines earlier this month and now officially announced by Disney.
As part of the creative development process, conceptual design work is well underway and Imagineers will soon be able to conduct preliminary reviews and develop a timeline for when the transformation can start to take shape. It remains unclear and wasn’t announced by Tokyo Disneyland’s Splash Mountain will be getting the same “Princess & The Frog” make over, as their no estimate time of when Disneyland and Walt Disney World will go down for the re-theme of the animated film.
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