While visiting Magic Kingdom recently, we noticed that some new faux Bold Cypress trees had been installed in front of the iconic drop for the rebranded water flume ride. That said, we checked in on other parts of the project that were more progress updates rather than a newly installed set piece, so we decided to break up the articles and focus on those progress updates in this post.
In this update, we’ll trek up to the top of the Frontierland train station, which affords a good view into the outdoor portions of the queue. First, here’s a look at the entrance to the attraction, which hasn’t changed much from this vantage point, but we’ll see some notable progress once we make it to the top of the train station.
Peeking down into the construction site, we can see two notable projects taking place. Before we peek down into the site, this view doesn’t require the effort that a photo that looks past a construction wall might. Instead, the area is open to look into and not hidden from view at all.
What I had originally hoped might be a fountain looks like it might turn out to be a walking path. There’s still a lot of unanswered questions about what this portion of the queue will look like when the project is finished. At the 2022 D23 Expo, Disney presented a model of the attraction, which included a look at the queue, but the model represented the Disneyland version of the attraction. While the attractions will be quite similar, the queues are different and we haven’t seen any artwork for the Walt Disney World version of the Splash Mountain retheming.
Another notable project in this area is the complete rebuilding of the train station exit stairway. Frontierland station has been operating with just one exit for some time now as crews install some fresh wood and recreate the exit stairway that used to be here. I’m sure it’ll all be aged properly when it is finished.
Turning our attention to the other side of the station, we can see the vibrant entrance barn where guests move from the outdoor section of the queue to a more highly-themed indoor portion. We don’t typically show the wide shot of the area, but here are a few establishing shots to show you what the barn looks like in the content of the Frontierland train station.
About 7 minutes later, the Lilly Belle arrived, and hopping on the train gave us a much better look into this section of the queue.
As you may have already noticed, the scaffolding has been removed from the mural on this side of the barn, indicating that work is likely complete. Here’s a closer look at the mural that features Louis, the trumpet-playing alligator from the Princess and the Frog movie.
Here’s a head-on view of just the mural. There is another, different mural on the other side of the barn, but we didn’t get a good photo of it on this visit. Maybe next time. Anyway, this mural was created by Malaika Favorite, a Louisiana native who has become a decorated artist. Malaika’s art currently graces the halls of the Baton Rouge Gallery with a striking collection that explores the cultural heritage of African Americans.
Continuing the storyline from “The Princess and the Frog,” Malaika’s mural for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure features a collage of scenes displayed on two of the building’s exterior walls as you enter the indoor queue. These scenes highlight Tiana’s professional journey and the creation of Tiana’s Foods. When Tiana was young, her father made her promise to “never, ever lose sight of what is really important,” and the mural will reflect those elements: family, friends, food, music, art, and bringing folks together. The mural takes inspiration from the numerous murals and other works of art that decorate building exteriors throughout New Orleans, Princess Tiana’s desire to adorn the location with art is in keeping with the spirit that artwork is to be enjoyed and accessed by everyone.
Besides the mural, we can also see the start of a brick pathway taking shape below the station.
Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Backstory
Princess Tiana is the proud daughter of Eudora and James. Eudora influenced Tiana’s entrepreneurial spirit, while James instilled a deep passion for cooking. With its mouthwatering menu, exceptional entertainment, and warmhearted hospitality, Tiana’s Palace quickly became a treasured meeting place in New Orleans. Princess Tiana used her newfound success to support surrounding neighborhoods, which led to her role as a community leader.
From the success of her restaurant, Tiana expanded her business into an empire thanks to the entrepreneurial drive she got from her mother. Tiana opened Tiana’s Foods – an employee-owned cooperative. The endeavor began when Tiana purchased the salt mine and the area surrounding the large salt dome it operated from. With the help of her mother Eudora, Naveen, Louis and fellow owners of the cooperative, Tiana revived the old salt mine and the surrounding land, growing a wide array of vegetables, herbs and spices for her recipes.
This multi-faceted enterprise has turned the aging salt mine into a space that has come alive. Complete with a boutique farm and both a working and teaching kitchen, Tiana’s Foods is where Tiana and her colleagues create all sorts of new products that they are bringing to the world, including a line of original hot sauces.
With Tiana’s Foods established, the story of the attraction will take place after the final kiss as Naveen and Louis join Tiana on her latest adventure, hosting a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration where everyone is welcome.
Tiana wants to give a big thanks to her family and friends and the entire community for all the support they’ve given her by throwing an amazing party during Mardi Gras season. When it turns out there’s been a bit of a mix-up with the party preparations, Tiana invites us to meet her at Tiana’s Foods to help with the missing ingredient for the party.
When we arrive, we may see that Tiana spruced up the company’s facilities with vibrant art from local artists. Food for the party is being prepared and beignets are being loaded into crates for the celebration. All kinds of preparations are underway for the journey into the bayou with Tiana, along with new and familiar friends from the animated film.
For a full look at everything we know about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, check out our article below!
As always, keep checking back with us here at BlogMickey.com as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks!