Anika Noni Rose Shares New Details About the ‘The Princess and the Frog‘ Re-Theming of Splash Mountain. 2009’s The Princess and the Frog was the last hand drawn animated film by Walt Disney Animation Studio and followed the hardworking and ambitious, Tiana (Anika Noni Rose) dreams of one day opening the finest restaurant in New Orleans. Her dream takes a slight detour when she meets Prince Naveen (Bruno Campos), who has been turned into an amphibian by evil Dr. Facilier. Mistaking her for a princess and hoping to break the spell, Naveen plants a kiss on poor Tiana — thereby turning her into a frog as well. The pair hop along on an adventure through the bayous to seek the help of a powerful voodoo priestess.
Earlier this year, Disney announced that a staple and controversially themed attraction at the Disney Parks, Splash Mountain, would be getting “reimagined” with the new theming being based off the story featured in “The Princess and the Frog“. The choice to retheme the attraction has been a major cause of debate during social justice movements in 2020, but many fans are still interested in how Disney plans to make the film come to life in the beloved attraction.
Star of the film, Anika Noni Rose (Tiana) recently shared her excitement and updates she is aware of with People Magazine stating, “It’s thrilling! People are amped and ready. I think it’s awesome, particularly now, to be reinvigorating her story.”
According to a press release from Disney, The Princess and the Frog theme is “a project Imagineers have been working on since last year.” The ride’s storyline will pick up “after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and [the film’s trumpet-playing alligator] Louis on a musical adventure — featuring some of the powerful music from the film — as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance. The retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today. The new concept is inclusive — one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.”
“I know that the ride is going to continue into a Mardi Gras party,” Anika Noni Rose added. “Anytime you talk about Mardi Gras, the music has to be fantastic. I’m hoping Louis will get to play and make us laugh. It should be a little thrilling, but it also should be just a whole lot of fun.”
As for the potential of other changes we may see soon in the Disney Parks, Rose shared she is frequently asked if she can get Disney to build a “Tiana’s Place Restaurant” in the parks. She quipped,”People keep asking me like I’m in charge of making the restaurant [at Disney],” Anika shared with a laugh. “I’m like, ‘One thing at a time!’ But people are excited. That makes me feel good because it’s been 11 years since the movie came out. For people to still have a great, excited, motivated love for Princess Tiana and for the movie is really wonderful.”
An official closure date has not been shared at the time of writing, but the attraction will likely close for refurbishment sometime in late 2020 when the attraction is usually closed due to low temperatures. Be sure to check back here at Chip and Co. for updates and all things Disney Parks!
Featured Photo Credit: Disney/Dia Dipasupal/Getty Images
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