"The Princess and the Frog" character takes center stage in Disney World's first look at the Tiana animatronic heading to the Splash Mountain revamp.
The star of Princess and the Frog is almost ready to set sail on Tiana's Bayou Adventure at Disney World.
On Tuesday, Disney revealed a stunning first look at the Princess Tiana animatronic figure that's set to replace the theme park's controversial "Song of the South" theming inside the former Splash Mountain attraction.
In the video above, Disney revealed the figure — voiced by returning actress Anika Noni Rose inside the ride — and its fluid movements, which will greet guests inside the revamped log flume attraction when it opens in summer 2024.
The Tiana animatronic wears the character's adventure outfit, which she sports as she welcomes riders through the attraction's story that picks up immediately following the events of the 2009 animated film upon which the new ride is based.
Disney also elaborated on the Tiana's Bayou Adventure storyline, which "will be all about Tiana after she made her own dreams come true and how we all have the potential to make our dreams a reality," according to the Disney Parks blog. "In Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, she’s throwing a festive party during Mardi Gras season to thank her family, friends and the entire community for all the support they’ve given her as a successful business owner," the post continued.
The company first announced in 2020 that both Splash Mountain attractions at Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Disneyland in California would be revamped to fit the Princess and the Frog theme, following criticism over the original ride's depiction of elements from the controversial 1946 film Song of the South — widely seen as perpetuating racist caricatures.
Disney World's version of Splash Mountain — which first opened in 1992 — closed in January 2023, and reportedly saw lines climb above the four-hour mark on its final day of operation. The Disneyland iteration closed on May 31, while there are currently no known plans to close Tokyo Disneyland's Splash Mountain, though it still operates with the Song of the South-inspired aesthetic.
In addition to Rose, Jenifer Lewis will voice Mama Odie, Bruno Campos will also return to voice Prince Naveen, and Michael Leon Wooley will reprise the role of Louis inside the new ride. Other characters set to appear in the ride include Eudora, Charlotte, Big Daddy, the King and Queen of Maldonia, and Prince Ralphie.
Tiana's Bayou Adventure is set to open at Disney World's Magic Kingdom park in summer 2024. Watch a video of the Tiana animatronic above.
Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.