A Parent’s Guide to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom – What To Expect

Something new is about to arrive at Magic Kingdom. The most magical place on Earth is about to take you down to the bayou with Tiana and her friends – and we can’t wait to experience it. If you’re a family like ours, you might be curious about the thrill factor and what age is right to experience Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom in Florida opens in Summer 2024, and we know quite a bit about the attraction already. We happened to see a little sneak peek at the Orlando Science Center.

And now as we get closer to the new Tiana ride opening at Magic Kingdom, Disney is sharing details on almost a weekly basis!

So get ready to wish upon the evening star and hold on tight, there’s magic in the air tonight. And aboard Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, anything can happen. Here’s what to expect, and what parents need to know!

Keep reading for a special look at the new “Princess Tiana Ride” (as some folks are calling it), including a quick look at the Louis Alligator Animatronic, ride path, and potential new ride scenes.

Introduction To Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

With Princess Tiana at the helm, this new attraction “digs a little deeper” into her story after the events of the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “The Princess and the Frog.” It is Mardi Gras season at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, and the bayou will light up and be full of music, Mama Odie’s magic, and new friends.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure used much of the same ride path and structure as the former Splash Mountain, but has all-new scenes, an all-new storyline, and brings modern Disney magic to the Magic Kingdom.

Another thing to know about rides at Magic Kingdom, is how Disney’s Rider Swap works – so read up on that with our guide too. You may also want to brush up your knowledge of Walt Disney World Transportation so you can easily get to the Magic Kingdom when it’s time to go on down the bayou!

By the way, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will also arrive to Disneyland Park California, in late 2024.

Meet The Characters: Tiana And Her Friends

Princess Tiana knows a thing or two about cute critters. After all, she met the love of her life while she was a cute critter – a frog in fact.

In the first critter encounter, we’ll discover a group of critter musicians playing a rendition of one of our favorite songs from “The Princess and the Frog,” “Gonna Take You There.” This raucous Zydeco musical recipe of fiddle, accordion, washboard, and other instrument voices will have you singing along as you float down the river under dancing fireflies.

The familiar melody is being played on charming makeshift instruments constructed from natural materials and some human-made found objects. But who’s behind this critter band? Meet some of the adorable musicians and get to know them a little more.  

Meet The Characters Tiana And Her Friends

Byhalia the Beaver – Byhalia doesn’t just build dams; she helps build musical instruments using natural materials from the bayou. As a strong-willed percussionist, it’s safe to say Byhalia is the heartbeat of the band, as well as a natural designer and engineer. 

Gritty the Rabbit – Always willing to dig a little deeper to help others, Gritty plays the washboard (a found automobile license plate) with a high-energy flair. It’s the perfect instrument for someone who’s often overzealous and digs to relieve her nerves.  

Beau the Opossum – Seeing limitless possibilities, no one finds more wonder in the bayou and the sounds of zydeco music than Beau. All she knows is beauty, especially her own. You can find her plucking out the low notes with her upright gourd bass, which of course, involves some musical dexterity with her tail. 

Apollo the Raccoon – Apollo loves transforming abandoned objects into works of musical art – like his squeezebox. He’s full of energy and storytelling, especially about the objects he finds in the bayou. He’s particularly close with Rufus and appreciates Rufus’ calm demeanor.  

Rufus the Turtle – Rufus may be a turtle, but he’s quick to jump into rhythm with his harmonica. He’s also the first to join in on new adventures! He’s genuine and sincere but may come across as a little sarcastic at times with his habitual sighing. Rufus loves going on adventures with Apollo. 

Timoléon the Otter – He’s the eldest of the band, but Timoléon’s fiddle-playing is inspired by all the ‘kids’ he spends his time around while in the bayou. When he’s not sawing out a jig, he’s famous for telling stories of days long ago about his explorations of every corner of the bayou. 

Bernadette the Louisiana Black Bear – Bernadette loves to enjoy life, from splashing in the waters of her bayou home with her cub, Sebastián, to playing the horn with her mate, Claude.

Claude the Louisiana Black Bear – Claude is a salt of the earth kind of bear (or, as they say in the bayou, “salt of the mound”) who plays his horn along with the other members of his family. He’s a tinkerer who loves to create with things found in the forest, and is frequently funny without intending to be.

Sebastián the Louisiana Black Bear – Though he’s definitely a “mama’s cub,” Sebastián charted his own musical course as a drummer, despite his parents being devoted horn players. He’s happy to follow his friend Octavia’s adventurous lead as they explore and play, and is fascinated with the small details in the bayou.

Phina the Gray Fox – Phina’s enthusiasm extends beyond her drumming, as she’s constantly thinking of new ideas with optimism and energy! This imaginative fox is continually starting new projects with excitement, and her friends accept and celebrate her unique thinking.

Incredible Animatronics

While at the Spark Stem Fest at the Orlando Science Center, we saw a few new items coming to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. A small video monitor played a short video with clips of new ride scenes and even the inside of the Louis Alligator Animatronic – it looks so cool!

Head of Louis Alligator Animatronic for new princess tiana ride on screen at Orlando Science Center - image by Dani Meyering
Head of Louis Alligator Animatronic on screen at Orlando Science Center image by Dani Meyering
Head of Louis Alligator Animatronic in Tiana's Bayou Adventure on screen at Orlando Science Center - image by Dani Meyering
Head of Louis Alligator Animatronic on screen at Orlando Science Center image by Dani Meyering

It was here that we also saw a new ride scene on the monitor. Beautiful moss and tall trees were shown in one clip. From the looks of the quick glance, the new Tiana’s Bayou Adventure ride sure looks beautiful.

Imagine floating among cypress trees and Spanish moss of a beautiful Louisiana bayou.

Tiana's Bayou Adventure New Ride Scene on Screen at Orlando Science Center
Tianas Bayou Adventure New Ride Scene image by Dani Meyering

Soon you’ll see some familiar faces as part of the dozens of entirely new Audio-Animatronics figures. Along with Princess Tiana, Louis and Mama Odie, keep an eye out for Eudora, Charlotte, Prince Ralphie, Prince Naveen, and others.

Disney shared a look at some of the animatronics and they are breathtaking! The picture below gives you a little taste of the incredible details.

New Animatronics for Tianas Bayou Adventure image from Disney Parks Blog

These figures build on our legacy with even more sophistication. Looking back at where we’ve been, I am immensely proud of this team who constantly pushes the envelope of creativity to champion us forward beyond imagination.

Brian Orr, Show Systems Studio Executive, Walt Disney Imagineering

See these animatronics in action in this Instagram Reel from Disney Parks.

The Storyline Of The Ride

Early releases about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure indicated that Princess Tiana has her own business called Tiana’s Foods. And to make the Mardi Gras celebration perfect she’s heading to the bayou to find just the right ingredients for a special dish. Naturally, we guests get to join her on the adventure.

New Mural and Water Tower for Tianas Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Park

The queue for the ride will be full of artwork including from Louisiana artist Malaika Favorite. Plus the queue will smell good too! You might have a nose full of the sweet scent of beignets frying – reminiscent of strolling through the French Quarter – as part of the attraction queue.

Once Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens in Summer 2024 it is sure to attract a lot of excited families to Walt Disney World Resort.

Another new experience that recently opened at Walt Disney World is at EPCOT. Our review of Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana covers what to expect, expert tips, and why young kids love it.

Thrilling Twists And Turns

Since Tiana’s Bayou Adventure takes over for Splash Mountain it will be interesting to see how the thrilling dips, hills, and that famous drop are handled. Many families, like mine, will be excited to experience “the Princess and the Frog ride” – but not every family is up for the thrills.

Screenshot of Princess Tiana Audio Animatronic from Disney Parks Instagram Reel

Back when the attraction was Splash Mountain the height requirement was 40 inches. Most likely the height requirement for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will be 40 inches, but once we know for sure we will provide an update.

During our visit to the Spark Stem Fest at the Orlando Science Center we also saw the ride path shown on a video monitor. It showed how the timing of the ride vehicles is monitored.

Splash Mountain Tiana Ride Path on screen at Orlando Science Center
Ride Path on screen at Orlando Science Center image by Dani Meyering

Tips To Fully Enjoy The Experience

The first thing you need to know about the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is that it is going to be very, very, VERY busy!

Secondly, keep in mind the height requirement and check your child’s height before making any plans. The height requirement is for your family’s safety and there is no wiggle room.

Expect to get at least a little wet, if not very wet perhaps. This is a water ride!

A new mural reveals the opening season for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Park
A new mural reveals the opening season for Tianas Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Park

How can you reserve your spot?

With newly anticipated rides you should also anticipate longer than usual wait times. A standby line may not be available during the initial months of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opening. So, guests will most likely have two options – virtual queue or Lightning Lane.

Guests can request to join the virtual queue using the My Disney Experience app. Each guest can request to enter the virtual queue no more than once per day during regular park hours. Boarding groups for the virtual queue are limited and subject to availability and not all groups may be called to return, based on the availability of the experience.

What to know before joining the virtual queue:

  • Download and set up your My Disney Experience app before your trip.
  • Make sure those who are riding with you are listed on your Family & Friends list under “My profile.”
  • Tickets are required before you can enter the virtual queue.
  • The morning booking window is 7am (guests do not need to be in the theme park to join but must have a park reservation for Magic Kingdom).
  • The afternoon booking window is at 1pm (guests must be in the Magic Kingdom to join).

Individual Lightning Lane entry passes are also available for purchase but are limited in availability, subject to change or closure, and are not guaranteed.

Once again, we are not certain if Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will require a boarding group. However, the two most recent new rides at Magic Kingdom: TRON Lightcycle/Run as well as EPCOT’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind utilize it.

This new ride at Magic Kingdom theme park is sure to enchant and inspire everyone who experiences it! “Laissez les bons temps rouler!”

author avatar
Dani Meyering
Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando native. She loves sharing her hometown with others from the theme parks to Florida's natural beauty. With over 15 years of experience, Dani is thrilled to serve as our Managing Editor at Orlando Date Night Guide, Orlando Parenting, as well as Tampa Bay Date Night Guide.