It’s World Princess Week! To celebrate, Disney shares more developments from its newest attraction inspired by the fan-favorite film The Princess and the Frog coming to both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort.
Last year, Disney announced that the Imagineers, the creative engine that designs and builds all Disney theme parks, resorts, attractions, and cruise ships worldwide, are developing a brand new attraction featuring Disney’s first Black princess, Princess Tiana.
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Fans of the animated film remember Tiana as an ambitious and resilient woman, who realizes that true success comes from her connection to family and community. She also recognizes the significance of nurturing her community by giving back through scrumptious Southern comfort food, while inspiring her community to achieve their greatest potential.
The latest rendering of the attraction takes place after the final kiss as Naveen and Louis join Tiana on her latest adventure, hosting a one-of-a-kind Mardi Gras celebration. The attraction will also feature original music inspired by songs throughout the film to bring guests deeper into the story.
Disney’s team gathered at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans with founder Leah Chase, who was one of the inspirations for Princess Tiana’s character. They talk about Tiana’s impact over the past decade and the creative process developing the upcoming attraction, which will feature next-level technology that Imagineers are working to bring to life. Generations of the Chase family gathered with the Disney team over Chef Dook’s famous gumbo.
The Imagineers team are committed to making each design as comprehensive as possible by collecting in-depth research to help inspire their work. For the latest attraction, the team dug deep into the culture of New Orleans to tell a story that is as authentic to the region as it is to the character’s stories. They get inspiration from the food, music, art, and architecture.
National Correspondent for ABC News, Kenneth Moton, is joined by Stella Chase Reese, Owner of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant, and daughter of Leah Chase; Carmen Smith, Creative Executive, Vice President, Inclusive Strategies for Walt Disney Imagineering; Charita Carter, Senior Producer for Walt Disney Imagineering; and Marlon West, VFX Supervisor for Walt Disney Animation Studios in this video below:
Another early source of inspiration for the development stems from visual artist, art educator, and alumna of the renowned YAYA (Young Aspirations Young Artists) Arts Center located in New Orleans, Sharika Mahdi, who was commissioned to create a series of four original paintings to help motivate Imagineers. One of the paintings was revealed yesterday (August 23).
Disney also announced a $50,000 donation to benefit the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), which helps train students in intensive instruction in the arts.
Disney is excited to bring Tiana’s story to life beyond the resort, including the Disney Wish setting sail next year featuring an all-new inspired lounge entitled The Bayou, and through the upcoming Walt Disney Animation Studios original series Tiana coming to Disney+. Stay tuned for more updates on Disney’s newest attraction.