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USA: New Attraction Featuring Tiana, Disney's First Black Princess, to Open
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A new attraction featuring Tiana, Disney’s first Black princess, is set to welcome visitors soon. The theme park ride updates Tiana’s storyline from the 2009 animated film “The Princess and the Frog” and is opening in the space formerly occupied by Splash Mountain.

Splash Mountain was previously themed around “Song of the South,” a 1946 Disney movie criticized for its racist stereotypes about African Americans. In contrast, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure retains the log-flume ride structure of Splash Mountain but is now infused with music, scenery, and animatronic characters inspired by the film set in 1920s New Orleans.

Disney announced the transformation of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in June 2020, following the protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd while in police custody.

“The Princess and the Frog” is a retelling of the classic story “The Frog Prince,” where the lives of the arrogant Prince Naveen and the hardworking waitress Tiana cross paths.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opens on June 28 at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

Disney has faced criticism for racial stereotypes in its earlier films. Characters such as the crows from the 1941 film “Dumbo,” King Louie from the 1967’s “The Jungle Book,” Native Americans in the 1953 movie “Peter Pan,” and the Siamese cats from the 1955 film “Lady and the Tramp” have all been viewed as caricatures of African American, Native American, and Asian stereotypes, respectively.

While Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a step towards inclusivity, not everyone believes it fully addresses Disney’s past racial depictions.

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Piers Potter

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