Apr 5, 2024 - Culture

Models for new New Orleans-themed Disney ride revealed

Disney CEO Bob Iger and executives with Leah Chase's daughter Stella and granddaughter Myla

L-R: Myla Reese Poree, Disney CEO Bob Iger and Stella Chase Reese with Disney executives. Photo: Paul Morse/Disney

The family of iconic New Orleans chef Leah Chase, along with members of the media, got a first look at Disney's new audio-animatronic models for "Tiana's Bayou Adventure" earlier this week.

Why it matters: Chase was largely the inspiration for Disney's first, and so far only, Black princess, Tiana.

  • Chase's daughter, Stella Chase Reese, and granddaughter, Myla Reese Poree, were in attendance for the presentation.

Behind the scenes: Based on 2009's "The Princess and the Frog," the completed figures included different iterations of Princess Tiana and other characters, including Prince Naveen, Charlotte, Eudora, Louis and Mama Odie.

What they're saying: "[Leah Chase was] a woman who had the sense of community, family and making a difference in the world. This is a story about a woman who changed New Orleans," said Carmen Smith, a Senior VP at Disney.

The Chase family has been actively involved in the creative process with Disney.

What's next: The ride formerly known as "Splash Mountain" will open this summer at Walt Disney World, and later this year at Disneyland Resort.

Here's a few photos from the reveal:

Stella chase admiring the Princess Tiana animatronic figure
Stella Chase sees the Princess Tiana animatronic for the first time. Her mom, Leah Chase, was the inspiration for Tiana. Photo: Paul Morse/Disney
Louis animatronic
Louis from "The Princess and The Frog." Photo: Disneyland Resort
Disney Imagineers working on Mama Odie animatronic
Disney Imagineers working on Mama Odie animatronic. Notice the plate of beignets on the right. Photo: Disneyland Resort
Stella Chase Reese and Carmen from Disney Imagineering look at the Princess Tiana animatronic that will be part of Tiana's Bayou Adventure.
Stella Reese Chase look at the Princess Tiana animatronic with Carmen Smith, a Disney creative executive who is leading the development of Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Photo: Disneyland Resort
Stella Chase Reese looks at the Princess Tiana animatronic that was inspired by her mom, Leah Chase.
Stella Chase sees the Princess Tiana animatronic for the first time. Her mom, Leah Chase, was the inspiration for Tiana. Photo: Paul Morse/Disney
Stella Chase Reese looks at the Dooky Chase Cookbook at Disneyland.
Stella Reese Chase looks at "The Dooky Chase Cookbook," which is sold at Eudora's Chic Boutique in Disneyland. Photo: Disneyland Resort
Stella Chase Reese and her daughter have dinner at Disneyland with Princess Tiana.
Stella Chase Reese, middle, and daughter Myla Reese Poree had lunch at Tiana's Palace this week at Disneyland. Photo: Disneyland Resort
Stella Chase Reese and her daughter pose with Disney cast members, including Princess Tiana.
Stella Chase Reese, middle, and daughter Myla Reese Poree, far left, had lunch at Tiana's Palace this week at Disneyland. Photo: Disneyland Resort
Stella Chase Reese and her daughter pose at Disneyland with Carmen, one of the imagineers who is leading the project for Tiana's Bayou Adventure.
Stella Chase Reese, left, and daughter Myla Reese Poree, second from right, toured Disneyland this week as part of the Chase family involvement with the development of Tiana's Bayou Adventure, the ride replacing Splash Mountain at Disney World and Disneyland. Photo: Disneyland Resort
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