Princess and the Frog Splash Mountain Replacement Opening in 2024 According to Princess Tiana Voice Actress Anika Noni Rose


There is some potentially breaking news in relation to the unnamed Princess and the Frog ride replacing Splash Mountain at both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. It appears that voice actress Anika Noni Rose, who played Tiana in the original Princess and the Frog film and is set to play Tiana in the ride has accidentally leaked the opening time frame for the ride.

According to her, Disney is intending for this ride to open at both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom in 2024. If you have followed previous predictions here at Theme Parks and Entertainment, this is the exact time frame that was previously rumored.

It is worth noting that in response to these comments Disney said that they do not have an official time frame for the ride and that more information is going to be released in roughly a month on the ride and its time frame. This means more will be known officially on when the ride is going to open at the end of the month, and assumably when the current version of Splash Mountain is going to close down as well.

It is also worth mentioning that Disney has accidentally announced things in the past as well, most recently with a communications official accidentally revealing the opening date for Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, and Disney walking that information back, before it opened exactly as initially revealed. This is just to stipulate that a statement from Disney saying the information is not true does not necessarily mean the information is not in fact true.

Now, would Anika Noni Rose know this information? She has stated multiple times since the ride was announced that she is working on the ride, although not speaking specifically on how. Assumably she is recording new dialogue for this attraction. This ride is not set to be a mere recreation of the film it is set to tell an original story and therefore she would need to record some new dialogue for the attraction. Even if it wasn't an original story, most rides require new recordings because rides will have different versions of songs, different scenes, or even just need new recordings for the ride safety spiel. She would be a part of the process of the development of this attraction in some form, although probably not having all the details, or potentially having outdated details.

But there is another aspect of the development of this attraction that is worth mentioning when we consider if she would know the time frame of the ride's opening. Disney is not only developing the Princess and the Frog version of Splash Mountain, but also a Princess and the Frog TV series that is set to come out in roughly the same time frame as the ride, with both being planned to promote the other. With that in consideration as well, it is more likely that she would know the time frame of this ride because she is involved in two separate projects that are both set to come out at roughly the same time.

The statement made by Anika Noni Rose and what Disney's response to her initial statement do showcase though is that this attraction is very much still alive, and Disney is planning a more substantial announcement relating to this ride later this month during the New Orleans Essence Festival of Culture.

Now, what does a 2024 opening for the new version of Splash Mountain look like in terms of the closing of the current ride? What this would likely mean is that the current version of Splash Mountain would close down this winter at both Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. Splash Mountain typically closes in roughly January or February for a yearly refurbishment and it assuming this timeline is true, the ride will likely close down this winter when it typically would for its refurbishment to be transformed into the new version of the ride.

It is unknown how long the Princess and the Frog Splash Mountain redo will take, but by closing it down in early 2023 Disney could have potentially just under two years to still meet the 2024 time frame. Disney has done shorter turnarounds on ride rethemes before, most significantly and recently with Incredicoaster and Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout. However this is going to be more extensive than either of those two redos as Splash Mountain is an incredibly detailed attraction that will take a lot to retheme.

But then again it is unknown how much is being reused for the Princess and the Frog version of Splash Mountain. There is a significant amount of theming and infrastructure that could easily be reused for the new version of the ride, potentially limiting the downtime. Even many of the animatronics could still fit in the new version, or merely be reskinned into new Princess and the Frog characters.

More information on the Princess and the Frog Splash Mountain retheme is coming soon.

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