NEWS: Disney SURPRISES Special Family With HUGE Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Gift

One SPECIAL family is “almost there…”

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Here’s a fun fact that many may not be aware of: Princess Tiana — the heroine of Disney’s 2009 animated film The Princess and the Frog — was based on real-life New Orleans Chef and civil rights pioneer Leah Chase. Now, Disney is set to honor the late chef’s family with a very special trip. 

In April 2024, Leah’s family gathered at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans —appropriately enough, this venue has been owned by the Chase family since 1946, and Leah led such a successful career that she became known as the “Queen of Creole Cuisine. ” Here, they received a surprise invitation from Disney. 


Led by several of the Imagineers who led the development of the upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction (opening at Walt Disney World this summer and later this year at Disneyland) and even Mickey Mouse himself, the Disney team informed the Chase family that they were all being brought to Walt Disney World for a vacation. On top of that, during the trip, the family would be some of the first people to ride the hotly anticipated ride based on their matriarch!

Charita Carter, a Disney Imagineer and the executive producer of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure spoke of the company’s gesture, saying, “It is our honor and privilege to witness how the family is committed to Leah’s legacy.”


In addition to the trip, Disney gifted two very special items to Chase’s daughters. Stella Chase was named an “honorary Imagineer” and gifted a framed Bayou Adventure attraction poster, while her sister Leah Chase Jr. — whose voice will be featured on the ride — was gifted a framed photo from the recording session. 

Leah Chase Jr. stated, “We are overjoyed and thankful. This is the greatest blessing that we could have, one of the many. Disney has come into our lives and transformed me… My humble mother would say ‘why are you doing this for me, now I’ll have to live forever and ever and ever to pay you back?’”


Disney’s gift to the Chase family and allowing them the honor of being some of the first to ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure certainly feels appropriate, given how much Leah Chase’s legacy helped shape Tiana and The Princess and the Frog. Stay tuned to AllEars for more updates on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. 

FIRST LOOK and DETAILS for NEW Stores Coming to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in Disney World

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