Get a first look at the new adorable critter band for Tiana's Bayou Adventure!

Tiana's Bayou Adventure will have a brand-new band of adorable animals when it debuts later this year! Get a first look at them here!

A new mural reveals the opening season for Tiana's Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The new attraction opens this summer and will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film “The Princess and the Frog.” Olga Thompson, photographer. © 2024 Disney. All Rights Reserved
A new mural reveals the opening season for Tiana's Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom Park in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. The new attraction opens this summer and will take guests on a musical adventure inspired by the beloved story and characters from the fan-favorite film “The Princess and the Frog.” Olga Thompson, photographer. © 2024 Disney. All Rights Reserved /
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When Tiana's Bayou Adventure opens later this year, it's going to be a great new look for the old Splash Mountain. However, Disney is spicing it up by introducing a pack of new animal characters to the Tiana mythos! See them here!

One of the most anticipated Disney attraction openings in 2024 is Splash Mountain transforming into Tiana's Bayou Adventure. The original log flume ride opened at Disneyland in 1989 and swiftly became one of the most popular Disney rides ever, with versions in Florida, Tokyo and Paris. 

While the ride is loved, it's also been a bit of a sore spot by using characters from The Song of the South, a movie that Disney prefers to imagine they never made. The ride doesn't play on it too much but the rather backward racial attitudes of the film remain a sticking point for some guests. 

After years of rumors, Disney finally confirmed a makeover was coming and surprisingly chose the 2009 animated film The Frog Princess. The ride's new storyline has heroine Tiana trying to come up with a special recipe for her New Orleans restaurant and taking guests on the log flume journey.

The makeover has been working well, with the logs being tested and the new foliage being put up. Now, Disney has revealed that besides Tiana and her friends, a pack of new characters are coming into the ride.

Who are the new Tiana ride characters?

Imagineer Laura West shared the details of the characters on Instagram, notable for how all six are original creations of Imagineering, not Disney Animation.

It appears the critters are animals Tiana and the guests meet on the ride who somehow form a band playing tunes like "Down in New Orleans" from the movie. 

  • Byhalia the Beaver: A percussionist who builds musical instruments from natural materials in the bayou.
  • Gritty the Rabbit Plays a washboard made up of a found license plate.
  • Beau the Opossum: Plays an upright bass made from a gourd, using her tail to work some of the notes.
  • Apollo the Raccoon: Plays a squeezebox made from objects found in the bayou.
  • Rufus the Turtle: Apollo's best friend who plays the harmonica.
  • Timoléon the Otter: This fiddle player is the oldest member of the band and likes to share stories about the past.

The addition of new characters is a surprising touch for the ride. It could be that Disney is getting a jump on things as Disney+ is planning a new animated series based on Tiana for later this year. Perhaps these characters pop into it as supporting players. It's also fun for Disney to be adding some original characters to the ride, proving it's expanding beyond just the movie. 

Obviously, the merchandising opportunities are huge as Disney is already doing preorders for plushies of Beau, Apollo and Rufus. No doubt there will be more such merchandising coming and possibly live meet and greets for the characters. It's also fun how this is a callback to the old America Sings show that helped inspire Splash Mountain in the first place. 

With these fun new characters adding a special spark, it looks like the new version of Splash Mountain is going to be a gem when Tiana's Bayou Adventure opens later in 2024.