Disney Parks Reveals Animatronics Coming In Tiana's Bayou Adventure

 Tiana Bayou Adventure concept art.
Tiana Bayou Adventure concept art.

Years after it was announced to be in the works, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is “almost there.” Splash Mountain's replacement is set to open in Walt Disney World this summer, with Disneyland's iteration of the ride opening later this year, and we’ve been keeping up with all of the announced details on the Princess and the Frog attraction. Progress is currently being made, and Disney has begun sharing peeks at the mechanized characters that'll be featured on the ride. In February, the Princess Tiana animatronic was revealed, and fans were thrilled to see her non-projection-mapped face. Now, we have a look at a few more characters set to be included, and I'm excited!

The latest reveals come from Disney Parks Blog, which showed off some of the new critters joining the Princess and the Frog family. As soon as riders enter the interior portion of the attraction while helping Tiana and Louie search for last-minute ingredients for her party, they'll be met with a group of animal musicians. Fans of the 2009 movie’s soundtrack will be ecstatic to know that the band will be playing “Gonna Take You There” on their handmade instruments. Not only are the characters talented, but they’re also adorable! Take a look at the concept art shared on Instagram:

Of course, Disney didn’t just share concept art, but also some information about the band members. Byhalia the Beaver kicks things off as the engineer of the band, via her impressive instrument-building skills. Gritty the Rabbit lends her musical talents by using a car license plate as a washboard, while Beau the Opossum uses her hands and tail to play her upright gourd bass.

Apollo the Racoon wields a handmade Squeezebox and loves playing music beside Rufus the sarcastic Turtle, who plays the harmonica. Rounding out the band is the eldest member, Timoléon the Otter, who operates the fiddle and loves to tell stories about his time on the Bayou. Needless to say, this sounds like a sweet assortment of creatures, who should add a lot of personality to the ride.

Fans interested in learning how the Critter Band came to be can also check out a video of Laura West, Concept Design Lead of Walt Disney Imagineering, explaining the development process as she works. Check it out:

In 2020, a petition circulated asking Disney Parks to re-theme Splash Mountain, which many found to be outdated and problematic. And, ultimately, the theme park was revealed to be doing just that. However, a recent Blog Mickey interview with a Walt Disney Imagineer set the record straight on how the refresh came to be. They said that it was in the works long before the public started asking for it. In fact, they’ve been working on the designs for the re-theme since 2018.

No matter how or why Tiana's Bayou Adventure came to be, I'm just glad it's happening at all, and that it'll feature sweet animatronics of old and new characters. More recently, park cast members in Florida have been spotted testing the logs, seemingly confirming that the ride will open sooner than we thought. Those eager to check out the attraction will still have to wait a little bit but, based on everything Disney Parks has shared thus far, I think it'll be well worth it.

To make sure you’re ready for this brand-new adventure, consider streaming The Princess and the Frog with a Disney+ subscription.