I've Been on Tiana's Bayou Adventure...Trust Me, You'll Love It

With great music and stunning scenery, Tiana's Bayou Adventure is a must-ride attraction.
Tiana's Bayou Adventure at Disney World - credit: Keith Langston
Tiana's Bayou Adventure at Disney World - credit: Keith Langston /

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens on June 28 at Walt Disney World in Florida. So far, fans have been divided about whether the ride will be a hit or a dud, with some being excited about the new ride, while others insist that nothing could ever compare to Splash Mountain. 

I was lucky enough to get a chance to ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure before it opens and I can promise you that even the most rigid Splash Mountain devotee will love it. And I say this as someone who loves Splash Mountain myself. The ride was classic, iconic, and as it got older, the bad animatronics developed a kitschy, campy charm that you can’t help but love.

Sign for Tiana's Bayou Adventure
Sign for Tiana's Bayou Adventure - credit: Keith Langston / t

But, even though I love the old ride, I have to say that Tiana’s totally won me over. First off, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is undeniably gorgeous…so much so that it’s impossible to not enjoy the ride. The old briar patch has been turned into a lush, green, vibrant Louisiana bayou. Where there was once rock and wood there’s now moss, ivy, lilies, and cypress. The scenery is easily my favorite part of the new ride. I never would have used the word “beautiful” to describe Splash Mountain, but Tiana’s is absolutely gorgeous. I kind of wish they’d open up a little coffee shop next to the ride so I could sit there and enjoy how beautiful it all is (with a freshly-sugared beignet perhaps?)

The music is also fantastic. Fans of Princess and the Frog will recognize songs on the ride like ‘Gonna Take You There’, ‘Almost There’, and ‘Dig a Little Deeper’ – all of which have you tapping your toes the entire journey. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure even has its own original song, ‘Special Spice’. Performed by Anika Noni Rose (who plays Tiana in the film), the new song is performed during the finale scene of the ride and is all about celebrating with friends. The new music-filled journey is another change for the better, giving Tiana’s Bayou Adventure a lively, party-like spirit throughout the entire ride.

Tiana animatronic in Tiana's Bayou Adventure
Tiana animatronic in Tiana's Bayou Adventure - credit: Keith Langston /

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure also has massively updated animatronics compared to the decades-old Splash Mountain ones. Designed to look just like The Princess and the Frog’s animation style, the ride feels like a vibrant cartoon brought to life, and the animatronics’ motions are smooth and fluid. I’d argue they’re almost as good as the Na’vi shaman from the Na’vi River Journey ride at Animal Kingdom.

A boat goes down the drop at Tiana's Bayou Adventure
A boat goes down the drop at Tiana's Bayou Adventure - credit: Keith Langston /

I loved riding Tiana’s Bayou Adventure because of its great music, excellent theming, and lively atmosphere. Is it sad to lose the nostalgia of Splash Mountain? Sure. But trust me, Tiana’s is way more immersive, way more colorful, and way more beautiful. Plus, it still has the same 50-foot drop so the original thrill is still there. I can promise every Splash Mountain lover out there that this is a ride worth going on, and you’re going to love it.