Fans Think Disney “Dropped the Ball” on the Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Re-theme in Magic Kingdom — Here’s Why

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is less than a month away from opening in Disney World, and we can’t wait!

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Cast Members, Disney Vacation Club members, and Annual Passholders are getting early previews of the new ride throughout this month before the ride’s official opening on June 28th. However, Disney has already released a full ride-through video of the new attraction, and lots of Disney fans are not happy.

Disney “Dropped The Ball”

We’ve seen countless comments from AllEars readers and viewers who have seen the ride-through video who feel very strongly that Disney has “dropped the ball” with the attraction. 


While this is in regards to multiple aspects of the ride, the comment we’ve seen the most is that fans are frustrated that there’s no Dr. Facilier in the ride, and therefore no “Are you ready?” portion of the “Friends On The Other Side” song from the animated film. In the words of Instagram user Blake, “Without the shadow man this ride really drops the ball.”

Many guests feel right before the big drop would have been the perfect place for this song, and we can see where they’re coming from! It’s a fantastic song, and that specific portion would be great way to build up to the drop.


However, for months, Disney has been letting guests know that the ride takes place a year AFTER the events of The Princess and The Frog film, which means (spoiler alert) Dr. Facilier has already been dragged to the other side. It would be difficult to bring him back without having that storyline take over the entire ride.

There’s NO Conflict

However, that leads us to our next point, which is that many fans have been pointing out the lack of story in the ride. Now, it’s very possible the queue of the ride adds a lot to the story, and the actual ride just finishes it out, and very few people have experienced that yet.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

A few people have pointed out that they feel a lot of the ride is bayou settings with very little actually happening, or it’s just animatronics dancing. And a big part of the reason they feel the storyline is lacking is because there’s no villain or conflict! AllEars Sage often talks about the importance of conflict in storytelling, because often without it, there is no story to tell. And he’s right — most good stories have some form of conflict. Instagram user Rob commented, “…even the scenes with the cool new animatronics are basically just scenes of animals playing instruments. There is no villain, no hero, no tension.


We can admit that without Dr. Facilier, a big part of the conflict has been removed, and it seems that the only conflict Disney added back in is that Tiana needs help getting the final ingredient for her Mardi Gras party, but those aren’t nearly as high of stakes as being turned into a frog or being dragged to the other side.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will open June 28th

However, again, it’s important not to judge the ride fully until we’ve gotten to experience the WHOLE thing, and that includes the queue!

A Lot of Misunderstanding What This “New” Ride Really Is

And the final main point we’ve seen a lot of people angry about is that it’s the same ride system as Splash Mountain instead of being an entirely new ride.


However, similar to the storyline of the ride, Disney has been clear since the beginning of construction that the ride system for Splash Mountain wasn’t going away, and the Tiana’s Bayou Adventure was a RE-THEME, not a demolition and rebuild. Instagram user Heath said, “Oh wow look, it’s the exact same drop as splash mountain.”

Yes, that’s why it has the same shape as the old ride!

It’s okay to be disappointed that this wasn’t an entirely new ride, but it wasn’t a secret Disney was keeping. They’ve been very forthcoming about it since the beginning.


Again, we’re reserving our judgement until we get to experience the ride for ourselves for the first time, which will be soon!

Be sure to stay tuned to AllEars for all the latest news!

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8 Replies to “Fans Think Disney “Dropped the Ball” on the Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Re-theme in Magic Kingdom — Here’s Why”

  1. I’ve seen suggestions that bringing Dr. Facilier back wouldn’t work because he was banished, yet I’m pretty sure I spotted Ray the firefly in that ride through. Not to mention, Disney Magic can do it if they wish to. I think he might have been a great option rather than Mama Odie just before the drop. The mushroom room just hit me as strange. I’m still mourning Splash, I’ll admit that. But I know it’s not up to me so I really did want to love this retread with Tiana, despite being bored by pretty much every teaser about it since the beginning. Hoping it’s better in person because while the animatronics are a relief (was worried they’d cheap out with just projections) over all my reaction was just meh.

  2. From the start, I think the Tiana makeover was cheap and poorly executed. Too many flowers and green hills. I was hoping the Princess and the Frog movie would be everywhere in this attraction. Familiar music too. What do we get? Boring overlay . I don’t care about dr Facilier being absent. Turning humans into frogs is dramatic enough. I can only guess that Disney is making a Tiana 2- the adventure continues movie. I see fantastic things being added to Disney parks in Hong Kong and Paris and all over the world. Not in Florida. We don’t have Carsland or Zootopia world or Frozen world. Yet the crowds come. Disney doesn’t have to work that hard here. Maybe in another 5-10 years new attractions will open open. That’s a long wait. People are craving new things

  3. I think everyone was clear that this was not a new ride. Disney just seems to be afraid of making things dark and scary, which is really what this ride needed. If the adventure threatened to bring people to the other side, the new theming would have been a hit. Totally missed opportunity and it looks like a boring ride….Disney is getting to be very old and boring. (FYI on me, I am an annual pass holder and life-long Disney fan…that is leaning towards not renewing my pass this year.)

  4. Frankly, to gets some goodwill with would-be visitors, one thing Disney should do off the bat is: Add the spectacular-looking tree on top that was in the concept art! As Forbes has noted, failing to have that means removing the weenie from the attraction.

    Just a thought.

  5. The animatronics of Tiana make her weird and unrelatable. Mama Odie gets more pizaz than Tiana. Where are other flamboyant characters? Also New Orleans Square could be a jumping Hot Spot if Cafe Orleans would stay open until park closing time and if they did, Disney should sell night time tickets for 7pm to 2am to make it a real fun night. Just saying.

  6. This story should have gotten a new attraction not a recycled attraction. People liked splash mountain and it should have stayed and Tiana should have gotten the attention she deserves with a new ride. It fits perfectly in New Orleans square in Disneyland but I don’t see how mountains fit into the bayou but without seeing it in person I can only speculate. Disney wanted to honor the culture of Tiana which is nice since it’s a very big part of America but with a recycled ride it seems like an insult and cancelling song of the south because it’s uncomfortable is cowardly to say the least.

    1. I would have rather they re-themed Tom Sawyer island into Tiana’s Bayou. There is already a quick service structure on the island they could have converted. Plus, they could have converted the fort into a little new Orleans block with a stage show and meet and greet. The caves could be something themed to Dr. Facilier, or a frog hunt adventure for the kids.