Apr 18, 2024 - Culture

Princess Tiana's real-life family will be first to go on her ride at Disney World

Photo shows Mickey Mouse dancing with Stella Chase Reese and Disney Imagineering exec Charita Carter.
Yes, that's Mickey Mouse dancing in the dining room at Dooky Chase on Wednesday with Stella Chase Reese and Disney Imagineering executive Charita Carter. Reese has a hard hat because Disney made her an honorary imagineer. Image: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

The Chase family will be the first to ride Tiana's Bayou Adventure when it opens this summer at Walt Disney World in Florida.

Why it matters: New Orleans chef Leah Chase was the inspiration for Princess Tiana.

The big picture: Disney executives surprised the family at Dooky Chase Wednesday with the invitation.

  • Stella Chase Reese and her family have been so involved with the ride's development that Disney gave made her an honorary imagineer Wednesday.

Catch up fast: Tiana's Bayou Adventure is replacing Splash Mountain at Disney World and Disneyland.

  • The attraction is meant to be a love letter to New Orleans and has been in the works for more than 10 years, Disney Parks vice president Jason Recher tells Axios New Orleans.
  • It's still a log flume ride, and imagineers have been testing it the past few weeks.

Here are some photos from Wednesday's event with the Chase family.

Photo shows Stella Chase Reese in the dining room of Dooky Chase.
Disney gave Stella Chase Reese, who is Leah Chase's daughter, a hard hat and made her an honorary imagineer. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows a cartoon of Princess Tiana and Leah Chase in the entrance of Dooky Chase.
This cartoon of Princess Tiana and Leah Chase is in the lobby of Dooky Chase. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Disney imagineers present Stella Chase Reese with a poster from Tiana's Bayou Adventure.
Disney execs presented Stella Chase Reese with the attraction poster for Tiana's Bayou Adventure. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows Mickey Mouse walking into Dooky Chase.
Mickey Mouse surprised everyone during dinner. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows Stella Chase Reese being very excited.
We're going to Disney World! Ahhhhh! Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows Chase family members in Mickey hats.
Disney had Mickey Mouse hats for all the Chase family members. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows Chase family members in Mickey hats.
Disney had Mickey Mouse hats for all the Chase family members. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Stella Chase Reese talks to someone on Facetime.
Stella Chase Reese talks on Facetime with Disney executive Carmen Smith, who wasn't able to be at the event. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows rows and rows of the Chase family and Disney execs.
Dooky Chase's dining room was full of family members, Disney executives and cast members. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios
Photo shows the inside of the Dooky Chase dining room with family members at tables.
Dooky Chase's dining room was full of family members, Disney executives and cast members. Photo: Carlie Kollath Wells/Axios

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