“They are making a ride—it’ll be out in 2024,” Anika Noni Rose, who voices Princess Tiana, said during an appearance on Live With Kelly And Ryan on Thursday. “I’ve been involved in the beginning, just talking about how we want it to be, what we want it to do, but, if I were to tell you anything else, I would be sucked into the ground and you’d never see me again.”
According to a spokesperson at Disney, though, “timing has not been determined” for an official opening of the new ride. However, more information is set to be released at this month’s Essence Festival of Culture, set to kick off in New Orleans on June 30.
Disney first announced plans for a “completely” reimagined Splash Mountain in 2020. Plans for the parks revamp came after growing criticism (and a Change.org petition for removal) of themes and scenery taken from Song Of The South, a 1964 Disney film rife with racist caricatures that has never been made available on home video or on Disney+.
“Princess and the Frog is a beloved princess movie but has very little representation in the parks. Tiana could be one of the first princesses with a thrill ride, as well as giving her a much deserved place in the parks,” user Alex O., who started the Change.org petition two years ago, wrote. “This change could kill two birds with one stone, remove the offensive stereotypical theming the ride currently has and bring a much needed diversity to the parks.”
Disney’s new vision of Tiana’s magical bayou landscape will follow the princess as she prepares for a New Orleans-style Mardi Gras celebration alongside familiar faces like Naveen, Louis, and Mama Odie. The ride will also feature original music inspired by the film.