As we reported a few weeks ago, Splash Mountain is being reimagined to Princess and the Frog. While there has been many debates amongst Disney fans on this reimagining, Disney is moving forward though there is no set date on when they will start construction.
The Splash Mountain makeover coming to Disneyland and Disney World will transform the classic log ride with a new Princess Tiana backstory that will take riders down on the bayou.
According to the OC Register, Anika Nono Rose, the actress who voiced Tiana in “Princess and the Frog,” wants Disneyland to build a real-world version of the animated film’s New Orleans restaurant to go alongside the transformation of the Splash Mountain log flume ride.
Anika Rose told People magazine she wants to see Tiana’s Palace from the film realized as a real restaurant at Disneyland and Disney World. The “Princess and the Frog” film starring Rose as the voice of Tiana was celebrated as Disney’s first animated depiction of an African American princess.
“Princess and the Frog” fans excited about the renovated Splash Mountain ride have been sending Rose messages asking, “Now, where’s the restaurant?”
“People keep asking me like I’m in charge of making the restaurant,” Rose told People magazine with a laugh. “I’m like, ‘One thing at a time!’ But people are excited.”
Rose told People she shares the fans’ enthusiasm for creating Tiana’s Palace restaurants at Disney’s U.S. parks — once the ride makeovers are complete.
“I’ve been looking forward to a Tiana’s Palace for years,” Rose told People. “I agree with the fans that it would be great.”
Rose has a few ideas about the menu and entertainment for Tiana’s Palace once Walt Disney Imagineering gets around to working on the restaurant.
“I have dreams of them partnering with Café du Monde on some real deal beignets, having some fantastic shrimp and grits and king cake during Mardi Gras season,” Rose told People. “And the occasional second line (brass band procession) through the joint. Basically all the things I love.”
The Disney Wonder, a Disney Cruise Line ship, currently has a Tiana’s Place Restaurant onboard. The restaurant could draw inspiration as to what we could see at Disneyland in the future. The full description of their restaurant is found on the Disney Parks Blog site:
At Tiana’s Place, our culinary team invites you to enjoy the mouthwatering flavors of Creole and Cajun cuisine with a menu that draws inspiration from the region. While you dine, the characters and stories of the Disney animated feature come to life through rousing storytelling and live jazz entertainment that can only be described as “the bee’s knees!” And in true Disney fashion, you’ll discover magical touches and thoughtfully designed details around every corner of the restaurant. Everything from the water-lily-shaped candleholders to the design of the dinnerware tells the story of Tiana’s journey from waitress to frog princess to proud restaurant owner!
Walt Disney Imagineering announced it had been working for more than a year on a “Princess and the Frog” makeover of the Splash Mountain rides at Disneyland in Anaheim and the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Florida after an online petition signed by tens of thousands of supporters called on Disney to re-theme the log attractions to Princess Tiana.
The clamor began with a social media post by Disneyland cast member Frederick Chambers detailing his armchair Imagineering proposal for a complete overhaul of Splash Mountain. Chambers’ proposal sparked a petition raising issues with the racist undertones inherent in the ride based on the controversial 1940s Disney movie “Song of the South.”
Chambers’ plan envisions reimagining Disneyland’s Hungry Bear counter-service restaurant as Tiana’s Palace, the restaurant remade by the heroine in the movie. Imagineering made no mention of a Tiana’s Palace restaurant when plans for the reimagined Splash Mountain were announced.
For more info about the reimagining of Splash Mountain, click here.