CONCEPT ART: Story Details Revealed for “The Princess and the Frog” Retheming of Splash Mountain

To kick off the celebrations for World Princess Week, Disney has released more details about the upcoming “The Princess and the Frog” retheme of Splash Mountain at both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. Imagineers are working on developing the new concept and divulged some of the behind-the-scenes inspirations.

Artist rendering of “The Princess and the Frog”-themed updates coming to Splash Mountains at Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts

“Tiana is an ambitious and resilient woman, who proves that success comes through a connection to her family and community and has learned to never lose sight of what’s really important – giving back to others through great food and inspiring them to achieve their full potential,” said the Disney Parks Blog.

New concept art, as pictured above, shows Tiana, joined by Naveen and Louis, as she sets off on a journey to host a unique Mardi Gras party. The attraction will bring new music inspired by the film’s soundtrack. It will feature new characters alongside the characters from the animated movie, some of whom can be seen in the concept art above. Based on the characters seen in the shadows, at least some of these characters may be redressed audio-animatronics from Splash Mountain.

Original art by “The Princess and the Frog” director John Musker, courtesy of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant
Original art by “The Princess and the Frog” director John Musker, courtesy of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant

Imagineers visited Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans, whose founder Leah Chase inspired Princess Tiana. Imagineers sat down with Leah’s daughter, Stella Chase Reese, to talk about Tiana’s influence. “Stella Chase Reese, who shared that ‘The two coming together, music and food, brings joy and happiness to all’ and isn’t that the truth?” noted the Parks Blog.

Kenneth Moton, Stella Chase Reese, Carmen Smith, Charita Carter and Marlon West at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans

Kenneth Moton of ABC News joins Stella Chase Reese; Carmen Smith, Creative Executive, Vice President, Inclusive Strategies for Walt Disney Imagineering; Charita Carter, Senior Producer for Walt Disney Imagineering; and Marlon West, VFX Supervisor for Walt Disney Animation Studios, in the video below.

Imagineers discuss the attraction, in which Tiana invites us to go on an adventure in the Bayou. Guests will be “active participants,” who meet new characters and are addressed by Tiana. The adventure ends with the “ultimate Mardi Gras party.”

Art piece by Sharika Mahdi

Pictured above is a painting commissioned from Sharika Mahdi, a New Orleans-based artist. The painting is the first of four to be revealed.

Disney also announced a “$50,000 donation to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), a regional, pre-professional arts training center that offers students intensive instruction in culinary arts, dance, media arts, classical instrumental music, jazz instrumental music, classical vocal music, drama, musical theatre, theatre design, visual arts, and creative writing.”

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