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Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Discussion Thread

P. 147: Splash Mountain closing on January 23rd, 2023!

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Hey everyone!

I wanted to give the event a few nights to run and for people to get out and experience it before I ask so here I go.  How has MNSSHP been this year?  I  have plans to go this coming friday and wanted to kinda put together a plan of action.  I plan on getting there at the 4PM time to try to get some rides in so I have some questions. . .

Is there a plan of attack I should consider?

Should I bring a backpack to hold the bags of candy (bringing two kids) or will they be able to still ride and store the candy?

As far as the parade, I have noticed that it's best to wait for the second run as the first run is full of people who have smaller kids who go to sleep early.  Is that true?

Should I wait till later in the night to get candy?

I know some rare appearances by characters are happening but how would I know what characters are rare?  I don't want to waste time on characters they may be out on a regular day.

Food, is it some hack or something I should not miss?

That's all the questions i have for now.  I think I kinda know how I need to handle the night but more input would be better.

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I think changing the theme to the Princess and the Frog is a perfect fit for the ride. My issue is with the time period picked. I think the actual story from the movie instead of some time post the movie would fit better. Just think about the music going up the lift hill to "..... are you ready... are you ready" with the Shadow Man singing.  I assume the character Rey, the Shadow Man, Mama Odie cannot be in this version? 

 

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57 minutes ago, jarmor said:

Should I bring a backpack to hold the bags of candy (bringing two kids) or will they be able to still ride and store the candy?

Should I wait till later in the night to get candy?

I've only been once and it was awhile ago so can't help with most of the questions but they had given us a bag to collect the candy and we just used that and just took it on the rides with us. The lines never seemed long for candy so we just did them as we walked by them. 

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I would bring a backpack, it's easier to dump the candy in there than carry it in the bags provided. Second parade is less busy like you said. Get candy whenever there is no line, don't even try the first hour it's always busy then and by the end of the night you can just walk around and around and get a ton with no wait.  We waited less than 5min for Halloween Mickey at town square, the lines for the other more 'rare' characters were longer than I was willing to wait. Elvis Stitch, Pooh, etc.  You'll see alice and mad hatter a lot but I think they're the same as during the day.  I didn't see any amazing stand out food items, but people seem to be talking about the weird corn thing.  Don't forget to do some of the fun PhotoPass offerings. The lantern near Haunted Mansion is my favorite. 

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Jack & Sally is a rare sighting but a long wait. Theyre only at the Halloween and Christmas parties as far as I know. We learned the hard way our first time and waited 3 hours during the party. This experience helped the next trip though when we wanted to see him as Sandy Claws. My wife waited as soon as they started letting people line up (before the party even started) and was 3rd in line, while I took the kids on a few rides and met up with her closer to the start of the greets.

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I found some cheap flights to Orlando (November onwards) so wanted to pick your brains as to when you think would be a good time to visit. The last time I came (I think 2018) I visited immediately after Thanksgiving and for me it was a good time because the weather was great, most parks were quiet and Christmas mode was well and truly activated.

Although Universal was quiet, Disney was not. To be honest, I found the planning and strategy required at Disney exhausting and not particularly enjoyable and I get the feeling since covid things are actually worse rather than better. 

So if anyone has any advice on when the parks will be at their quietest that would be great. And now the dust has settled, any thoughts on Genie+ are much appreciated too. I sort of begrudge paying for 7/14 days for Disney, but I guess there's no cheaper way of doing it. 

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On 8/25/2022 at 1:35 PM, Haymaker said:

 My wife waited as soon as they started letting people line up (before the party even started) and was 3rd in line, while I took the kids on a few rides and met up with her closer to the start of the greets.

Is this allowed at Disney? I can't see my son doing a 3 hour line for a meet and greet, but I also don't want to end up getting attacked by some very angry people if I ever lined up on his behalf.

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On 8/26/2022 at 9:49 AM, KarlaKoaster said:

I found some cheap flights to Orlando (November onwards) so wanted to pick your brains as to when you think would be a good time to visit. The last time I came (I think 2018) I visited immediately after Thanksgiving and for me it was a good time because the weather was great, most parks were quiet and Christmas mode was well and truly activated.

Although Universal was quiet, Disney was not. To be honest, I found the planning and strategy required at Disney exhausting and not particularly enjoyable and I get the feeling since covid things are actually worse rather than better. 

So if anyone has any advice on when the parks will be at their quietest that would be great. And now the dust has settled, any thoughts on Genie+ are much appreciated too. I sort of begrudge paying for 7/14 days for Disney, but I guess there's no cheaper way of doing it. 

Traditionally like you said that's a great time to go for the reasons mentioned.  Genie Plus works best at MK and Studios, ok at Epcot, and seems un-needed at AK.  At Epcot and AK you can get away with just buying the individual lightning lanes there on many days.  Like you also mentioned, Disney has just ALWAYS been busy now but that time of year is manageable. 

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On 8/28/2022 at 11:41 AM, Garet said:

Is this allowed at Disney? I can't see my son doing a 3 hour line for a meet and greet, but I also don't want to end up getting attacked by some very angry people if I ever lined up on his behalf.

Didnt seem to be an issue, we returned about 30 mins before the greets started and other groups were doing the same thing. 

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I want to say thanks to everyone for the help and feedback!  Simply stated, we had a blast!  I have never been able to do so much at the magic kingdom on any visit. When I got there at 4 it did rain a little but after that, it was little to no rain throughout the night, just a drizzle now and then.  We got to meet mickey with no wait!  That is unheard of but hey, I'll take it. We even met 4 princesses in the matter of 10 minutes. Splash mountain was a walk on, as well as the haunted mansion.

 

We decided to have a late lunch, early dinner at liberty tree tavern. Of course we had no reservations but they were able to seat us. The price point was really good for family style and the food wasn't that bad at all. To sum it up, by the end of the night we were exhausted and skipped some rides out of sheer tiredness.  Needless to say I will be returning next year.

 

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I was a bit nervous waiting outside the gate with what seemed like a million people but when we got in, the crowds dispersed and we were on our way.  I am already planning for next year lol and the only thing I would do different is stay an extra night.  We flew in, went that night and flew back home saturday.  I needed a day to relax before dealing with the airport.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 3 weeks later...

A few more quick and disjointed thoughts from my family's recent trip during the week of September 20th;

  • We were primarily down in Florida to do the stuff out at Universal Orlando Resort, but my wife didn't want to miss out on a chance at Disney. We decided upon doing the Friday night Not-So-Scary Halloween Party, as we didn't want to get locked into anything more than that (ie Genie+, multi-day tickets, Park Hoppers, Magic Bands, etc). The bonus of short lines for most of the rides was pretty enticing. My wife also wanted a chance at getting her revenge on Space Mountain, the coaster that gave her a panic attack when she was 18 and never ended up getting to ride it.
     
  • We were also excited to ride Haunted Mansion with the Nightmare Before Christmas overlay! Of course, it wasn't until about three days before we left for Florida that we learned that, uh, I guess y'all don't really DO that down there. My fault for assuming that it was just a standard thing that happened at all the Disney parks, instead of being a Disneyland exclusive. When I told my wife, she asked "Is it too late to cancel our trip and rebook it for California instead?" Next year, hon, next year.
     
  • Friday morning, we really slept in for the first chance we had all trip, then got some breakfast before heading out to a nearby arcade called Arcade Monsters that was filled to the brim with a ton of Japanese rhythm games. We've got a few places like this up north, but none of them have a full-size Taiko No Tatsujin machine like this spot did! Honestly, I kinda wish we had more time to spend here because this place was amazing. Can we franchise a location for New Jersey please?
     
  • We got to Magic Kingdom a little bit before 4 PM, took the monorail over to the main gates and got let into the park three hours before the event started. We spent a little bit of time getting some photos and picking up our trick-or-treat bags before heading to the first stop of the night, which was dining at Be Our Guest. My wife's favorite Disney movie is Beauty and the Beast, and dining inside the Beast's castle was too much of an opportunity to pass up. Definitely wasn't cheap, but the food was super yummy and definitely worth it. This ended up taking up a lot of the extra time we had before the event started, as we didn't get out of there until about 6:15.
     
  • I probably missed something, but it seems like a lot of the Halloween stuff just wasn't listed on the app. If it had been, and there had been posted wait times for the character meet-and-greets, we probably wouldn't have made our first mistake of the night, which was waiting to get photos with Donald, Daisy, and Minnie in the Dumbo tent. We were walking past and saw a short line outside, and thought "hey, how long could it be?". Keep in mind that neither of us had been here in at least 20 years, so we didn't know that the line actually snaked back and forth inside the Dumbo tent. It ended up being about a 75 minute wait. The photos came out terrific, and the kids were happy, but if I had seen a posted wait time anywhere I would have probably just skipped it.
     
  • We had a similar issue later in the night, as a helpful Disney cast member recommended that we check out Jack & Sally at Town Square around 10:30 PM. We had peeked in right as we were walking into the park and saw a ridiculously long line, and decided to skip it at that point. Upon coming back at 10:30, we were greeted with a mostly empty room and what appeared to be about 5 families in line. Again, though, that snaking queue behind the wall! You got us twice! This wait ended up being another hour, but getting the photos with Jack & Sally was non-negotiable. At least we had lots of candy to tide us through the wait.
     
  • While the fireworks and projections were about to happen, we found ourselves in the back of the castle. We decided, eh, we're probably not going to find a great spot if we try to walk all the way around, so let's just hang out back here near the carousel. We took a seat on some of the benches nearby, and as soon as the show started... we were nearly blasted out of our spots by the fireworks quite literally going off over our heads. What a heck of a vantage point. I can't say I've ever been that close to the action for any fireworks show and it was terrifying and thrilling. Not-So-Scary, my ass!
     
  • Oh yeah, so what did we get done, ride-wise? Only three coasters altogether; Barnstormer, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and the left side of Space Mountain. Seven Dwarfs was pretty cool for a family coaster, and while my wife was super happy to finally get that Space Mountain monkey off her back, she wasn't expecting it to be 100% pitch black inside, apparently something special they do for the Halloween event. (Which was ironic considering the last time I was there, I ended up getting a full lights-on ride!) Other than that, we did a few of the dark rides like Ariel and Winnie The Pooh, we took a spin on the Mad Tea Cups which had some extra spooky music and lights going, and we did a last minute run all the way from Space Mountain to Pirates of the Caribbean for our final ride of the night. Man, that ride really is just the Jack Sparrow show these days, huh?
     
  • What did we not do? We didn't get a chance to see the parade, we never made it over to Frontierland or Liberty Square, and we didn't get any pictures with Mickey. All in all though, it was okay; we went in knowing we weren't going to have a whole lot of time to do probably everything we wanted to do, and that got exacerbated by the inflated waits for the photo ops. As far as a teaser for a future Disney visit, it was just enough to whet the appetite. We'll be back sometime within the next few years. (But they better bring Nightmare Before Christmas to the Haunted Mansion by the next time we're there!)
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I did, and it didn't. For example, there was the Mickey meet and greet as well as the Jack & Sally meet and greet both at Town Square. The app only showed the wait time for Mickey, nothing for Jack & Sally. It seemed like it wasn't showing wait times for any of the exclusive MNSSHP stuff. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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Disney has announced all of the 2022 Holiday offerings for the Walt Disney World resort! We'll keep the update contained here within the Magic Kingdom thread. It's a lot of info, here we go!

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https://wdwnews.com/releases/walt-disney-world-resort-offers-magical-holiday-experiences-for-the-entire-family/?fbclid=IwAR26lo6HFhb0OQSQcWiDy_tGAHDYO9J0kNgDf3SfAr2Mc8ap0NMnN3-GXGY

It’s (almost) the most wonderful time of the year, and holiday cheer is already in the air at Walt Disney World Resort. This yuletide season, guests can celebrate in the merriest way with festive sights and experiences, and jolly new flavors, plus the return of fan-favorite events. 

Here is an overview of all that is merry and bright this holiday season across Walt Disney World: 

Holiday Festivities Come Ringing in with Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party  

Holiday cheer will fill Magic Kingdom Park as Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party returns on 24 select nights Nov. 8-Dec. 22, 2022. The separately ticketed event will invite guests to an evening of unforgettable merriment.  

  • Mickey Mouse and his pals appear on Cinderella Castle stage for a Christmas extravaganza – “Mickey’s Most Merriest Celebration.” The show features singers, dancers and surprises all choreographed to nostalgic and modern medleys of holiday music.   
  • Minnie Mouse orchestrates a sparkling nighttime spectacular with dazzling fireworks, castle projections and seasonal songs in “Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime Fireworks.”  
  • Santa Claus joins Mickey Mouse and friends in the must-see “Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.” 
  • Partygoers can indulge in complimentary cookies and hot cocoa at locations throughout Magic Kingdom.   
  • Select Magic Kingdom attractions get a jolly holiday overlay with Jungle Cruise transforming into Jingle Cruise, and special holiday makeovers of Space Mountain, Tomorrowland Speedway, Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor and Mad Tea Party.  
  • Guests can join Buzz Lightyear, Mike Wazowski, and Stitch for the out-of-this-world holiday stage show, “A Totally Tomorrowland Christmas,” on the Rockettower Plaza Stage. 
  • New to this year’s party, attendees have three jolly new Disney PhotoPass opportunities and they will receive a special 50th Anniversary commemorative keepsake themed to the holidays.   
  • New sweet treats this year include Texas-sized Sweet Potato Pie with Marshmallow Meringue and Candied Pecans found at Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Café to go along with returning favorites like the Mickey-shaped Cinnamon Roll with White Icing and Holiday Sprinkles at Main Street Bakery.  

Tickets for Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party are limited and can be purchased on the Walt Disney World website with prices ranging from $149 – $199 per person. Event dates are:

  • November: 8, 10, 11, 14, 15, 17, 18, 20, 22, 27, 29  
  • December: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 15, 16, 18, 20, 22

Joyous Holiday Traditions Return to EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays Presented by AdventHealth 

Wondrous sights, sounds and flavors of the holiday season are in store when the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays presented by AdventHealth returns Nov. 25 through Dec. 30, 2022. 

To the delight of guests, EPCOT will welcome back “Candlelight Processional,” a Disney Parks tradition. This heartwarming production takes place nightly at America Gardens Theatre and features celebrity narrators retelling the Christmas story accompanied by the Voices of Liberty a cappella ensemble, a 50-piece live orchestra with herald trumpets, and glorious massed choirs comprised of Disney cast members and Central Florida community groups. 

This year’s lineup of award-winning actors, singers and TV personalities features several new celebrity narrators making their debut, including Gloria Estefan, Josh Gad, Simu Liu, Daymond John, Mariska Hargitay and Raúl Esparza, to name a few. They will join returning fan-favorite celebrity narrators, such as Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Marie Osmond, Angela Bassett and Edward James Olmos.  

Other exciting festival offerings: 

  • “JOYFUL! A Celebration of the Season,” a stirring and uplifting performance of music in celebration of Christmas and Kwanzaa, returns with multiple performances daily. 
  • Storytellers, musical acts and other performers will bring holiday traditions of the world to life around World Showcase. 
  • Holiday Kitchens will cook up treasured recipes and festive drinks from around the globe, as well as an eye-popping selection of treats to satisfy nearly any sweet tooth. 
  • New savory offerings include an Impossible™ Chorizo Tamale, a Plant-based Cotija Cheese and Spicy Red Chile Sauce found at Nochebuena Cocina Holiday Kitchen.  
  • Returning guest-favorites include the Maple Bûche de Noël found at Holiday Hearth Holiday Kitchen. This sweet treat features Maple Mousse and Cranberry rolled in Gingerbread Chiffon Cake. 
  • The Holiday Cookie Stroll offers guests the opportunity to embark on a sweet scavenger hunt and visit different booths and purchase an array of cookies. Those who complete the scavenger hunt are rewarded with a completer cookie.  

Delightful Holiday Decor Abounds  

Almost everywhere guests look they will be immersed in festive holiday decor at “The Most Magical Place on Earth.” Theme parks, resorts and the Disney Springs dining, entertainment and retail district are transformed into all that is merry and bright.  

Decor highlights include:  

  • Jolly trimmings and theming throughout Main Street, U.S.A. in Magic Kingdom Park.
  • Holiday glamour on Hollywood and Sunset Boulevards in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and festive touches in Toy Story Land.
  • Animal-inspired décor, luminaries on Discovery Island and holiday cheer that expats from Earth have brought to Pandora – The World of Avatar at Disney’s Animal Kingdom.  
  • Dazzling international decor around World Showcase at EPCOT.  
  • Nightly snow flurries and Disney-themed Christmas trees at Disney Springs.
  • Iconic Gingerbread displays and embellishments at Disney Resort Hotels.
  • And Christmas trees seemingly everywhere – more than 1300 at last count, some towering 65 feet. 

Experience Enchanting Entertainment This Holiday Season 

As the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary celebration continues, select theme park icons will continue to transform into Beacons of Magic in between showings of glittering holiday-themed displays. Disney elves have gone above and beyond to bring guests a variety of yuletide entertainment experiences this holiday season.  

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • A Merry Menagerie of life-sized, artisan-sculpted puppets of winter animals bring Discovery Island to life as they interact with guests alongside serenading musicians. 
  • After dark, watch the Tree of Life awaken as a series of wintry tales emerge from within, complemented by holiday-inspired music. 

EPCOT 

  • From Nov. 25 through Dec. 30, 2022, guests will find holiday magic throughout the entire park. 
  • Santa will be greeting with guests inside the Odyssey Pavilion as he gets ready for the big day. 
  • Heartwarming performances around World Showcase include Canadian Holiday Voyageurs, Las Posadas with Mariachi Cobre, the Chinese Lion Dance and holiday storytellers.  

Disney’s Hollywood Studios  

  • Sunset Seasons Greetings brings holiday magic each evening as the iconic Hollywood Tower Hotel transforms into myriad scenes including a “Toy Story” toy hotel, a snowy corner of Arendelle and more.  
  • The Santa Claus Merry Motorcade features jolly St. Nick himself cruising down Hollywood Blvd. in his candy-apple red convertible stuffed full of presents. 
  • Olaf stars in a festive finale to “For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration” that delights guests with performances of celebratory songs of the holiday season.  

Magic Kingdom Park 

  • On nights when Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party is not held, Cinderella Castle transforms to take on a magical holiday look complete with special projection effects, festive colors and a rotating series of designs including a whimsical Christmas sweater, a jeweled castle look and more.  

Holiday Magic Awaits Guests at Disney Springs 

  • Guests can discover glad tidings at Disney Springs through specialty food & beverage options, decorations and entertainment to ring in the holiday season. 
  • A collection of elaborately decorated Disney trees is on display as part of the Disney Springs Christmas Tree Stroll presented by AdventHealth. Located throughout Disney Springs, these festively decorated trees are sure to spruce up the holiday atmosphere. Guests can even go on a scavenger hunt to find all the trees. Once completed, they can bring it to a redemption location for a special surprise.  
  • Guests can walk in a winter wonderland, strolling through Town Center and the West Side as angelic flurries of snow add a touch of magic to holiday shopping.  
  • Jock Lindsey’s Hangar Bar transforms into a Holiday Bar complete with jolly decorations to ring in the merry season. Guests can indulge in limited-time holiday-themed sips and snacks to get into the spirit of the season.  
  • Guests will find Santa at Once Upon a Toy where they can take photos and share holiday wishes with him.  
  • Enjoy new and returning festive food items throughout Disney Springs like the Olaf Hot Cocoa Surprise from The Ganachery. 

Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly-day Merchandise 

Shopping for gifts doesn’t get any better than at Walt Disney World Resort. Anticipate arctic attire and festive keepsakes for the home, all of which are perfect for gifting to loved ones (or for yourself!) this holiday season. The cheerful Mickey’s Vintage Christmas collection features hues of red and green, snowfall and peppermint to celebrate the holiday season. Guests can also sport the cozy, plaid Homestead collection and a specially themed line to celebrate Hanukkah.

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  • 1 month later...

A couple questions about my visit in a couple weeks on Thursday, 12/8. I have a day ticket to the park and a ticket for Very Merry that night.

I'm staying off Disney property. I will be meeting someone during the party for when it's time to leave, I can get back to my hotel. But getting to the park is another question. Right now, my plan is to Uber to a Disney hotel and then hop on the next bus from there to the park. Is that a valid option?

I know that Jungle Cruise has a holiday overlay. Is there a difference between the daytime and party cruises?

Any idea how early I can get my wristband for the party? The earlier I can grab that, the better.

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The Uber drop off location at Magic Kingdom is the TTC, so unless you just really want to go through a hotel and use a bus, you could just go straight there and use the monorail or ferry.  At one time, you could use the hack of getting dropped off at the Contemporary, but I believe they've tightened that up and won't let you in without a dining or hotel reservation.  You could run into that same issue at any hotel.  We went to the Grand Floridian in our rent car on a 2021 trip to meet up with friends and head to MK and they asked for their room number or last name at the gate.  The only time I've used Uber at WDW was to go to a hotel with a dining reservation or return back to our hotel, so someone else might have some better feedback.

It's been a few years since I've been to an after hours party, but my best recollection is that you can start getting wristbands at 4:00 when party guests are allowed to enter.  You could always stop by City Hall on your way in to see if they'll give it to you early.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Today it was announced that Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom Park in Walt Disney World will be closed starting on January 23rd, 2023 to make way for Tiana's Bayou Adventure. This new attraction is set to open in 2024.

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https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2022/12/a-new-scene-and-new-critters-are-introduced-for-tianas-bayou-adventure/

We’re getting closer to going down the bayou with Tiana and friends as progress continues on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Since the attraction was announced in 2020, Imagineers have been hard at work designing an immersive experience inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios film “The Princess and the Frog” and the heart and culture of New Orleans. We’ve shared additional details and some sneak peeks since then at events such as ESSENCE Fest and D23 Expo 2022, demonstrating how our research brought us to New Orleans in an effort to remain authentic to the story’s setting. 

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Today, I’m excited to give you a first look at a new scene and some of the brand-new characters we’re creating specifically for this attraction. In Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, you’ll join Princess Tiana and jazz-loving alligator Louis during Mardi Gras season as they prepare to host a one-of-a-kind celebration for the people of New Orleans. This new scene is the thrilling moment you first drop into the bayou and encounter some friends both new and familiar.  

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As you can see here, fireflies will light up the night and invite you deeper into the bayou … almost like they’re waving you forward. What you can’t tell from this rendering – so you’ll just have to trust me on this one – is that beautiful zydeco music will fill the air. Zydeco is a special blend of rhythm and blues that was born in Louisiana, and when you hear it, you’ll feel like you’ve truly stepped into Tiana’s world.

Here you’ll find Louis, who explains where this amazing music is coming from. Tiana made some new friends out here – a band full of adorable critters, including an otter, a rabbit, a racoon, a beaver, a turtle and others. The band members sing and play instruments made of natural materials they found in the bayou. It feels like they may have a bigger role to play in this story … but we’ll just have to wait and see on that one. 

Like so many musical genres, zydeco brings together the sounds and styles of many cultures. We wanted that spirit reflected in this scene (and throughout the attraction) so that all our guests feel welcome to join in the celebration. It’s emblematic of what we’re always striving for with our attractions – bringing people of different backgrounds together through timeless Disney stories. This new musical adventure provides us with a song sheet to write that concept into reality. 

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Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will take you on a journey inspired by the story and characters from the hit film, picking up where that story left off. In preparation for this new experience and the many exciting updates ahead, Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort will be closed starting Jan. 23, 2023, so we can begin the next phase of this attraction’s development. Additional information about Splash Mountain at Disneyland Resort will be shared at a later date.

Continue following along with the Disney Parks Blog for all updates relating to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure as it makes its way to Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort in 2024.

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