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Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Tiana’s Palace Restaurant at Disneyland

Tiana’s Palace Restaurant is coming to New Orleans Sq. in Disneyland as a part of Princess and the Frog additions to the park. This put up shares dates, particulars, idea artwork and commentary for the upcoming addition, plus ideas on whether or not one thing related may–or ought to–come to Walt Disney World. (Up to date July 31, 2023.)

Let’s begin with the underlying motivation for the addition of Tiana’s Palace, which is the closure and reimagining of Splash Mountain into Tiana’s Bayou Journey, a brand new experience primarily based on The Princess and the Frog. Already, development partitions are up round Chick-A-Pin Hill and Imagineers have been noticed on and across the attraction starting work on the overhaul.

The transformation timeline is an aggressive one, and we’re skeptical that Tiana’s Bayou Journey will really open in 2024. Extra seemingly, it’ll be delayed till 2025. Nonetheless, different additions to Disneyland impressed by The Princess and the Frog have already debuted, with extra coming later this yr and in 2024.

Tiana’s Palace Restaurant would be the second location in New Orleans Sq. to be given an overhaul impressed by the Princess and the Frog. Final fall, Eudora’s Stylish Boutique That includes Tiana’s Connoisseur Secrets and techniques arrange store within the former Le Bat en Rouge store. In case you’re unfamiliar with it, that is nestled into the present New Orleans Squares alleyways, close to Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s separated from Splash Mountain by quite a few areas, together with Haunted Mansion.

Actually, Eudora’s Stylish Boutique isn’t actually a lot. Should you weren’t actively in search of the main points impressed by the Princess and the Frog, you may miss them solely. There’s a nook of the situation showcasing a interval present scene with a stitching machine, stitching model, and aprons. There are additionally tune lyrics and different nods to the film I’m in all probability forgetting. It’s very refined and simple to overlook.

Eudora’s Stylish Boutique That includes Tiana’s Connoisseur Secrets and techniques was first revealed on the D23 Expo. Throughout that very same occasion, a mannequin of Tiana’s Bayou Journey (Disneyland model) was additionally shared in “Fantastic World of Goals” Disney Parks sales space. That exposed new particulars concerning the reimagined experience, and a few of what to anticipate along with the attraction at Disneyland.

At Disneyland, Tiana’s Bayou Journey will develop into a part of an expanded New Orleans Sq., annexing space from the prevailing Critter Nation. In line with Disney, this permits for the chance to inform much more of Tiana’s tales. That sales space and the Imagineers in it additionally shared that Tiana’s Palace Restaurant can be coming to Disneyland. Now, we now extra about what form it’ll take and the place it’ll be situated…

Tiana’s Palace Restaurant can be situated on Orleans Avenue in Disneyland, changing French Market Restaurant. Disney has additionally shared that Tiana’s Palace Restaurant shouldn’t be a personality eating expertise.

Inside the peach-colored partitions and fancy inexperienced wrought-iron balconies of Tiana’s Palace Restaurant, you’ll discover elegant fixtures and appointments paying homage to Tiana’s life and friendships. The brand new Tiana’s Palace could have a lot of the identical pinch of pizzazz and aptitude because the restaurant from the movie, providing genuine New Orleans flavors impressed by Tiana’s buddies and adventures on this quick-service type restaurant.

As of the tip of July 2023, scrim across the facade of the previous French Market is beginning to come down, revealing the Tiana’s Palace marquee, a wheelhouse, and two smokestacks topped with crown-shaped ornamentation on the rooftop of Tiana’s Palace.

Building partitions are nonetheless up across the seating space, however work seems to be progressing. It’s unattainable to say how shut the challenge is to completion, however our guess is that the facade was/is the most important facet of the challenge, as there’s solely a lot that might be executed with the inside.

Disney nonetheless hasn’t shared a gap timeline for Tiana’s Palace past “later this yr,” however our expectation is that it opens fairly near the beginning of Halloween Time at Disneyland. This may give the park a pleasant draw earlier than attendance picks up in late September and October, and would offer wanted restaurant capability.

Along with this, Disney has additionally teased that extra leisure coming quickly to New Orleans Sq. and the Rivers of America, along with Queenie and the Jambalaya Jazz Band, as a alternative for Fantasmic. Our robust suspicion is that this can be one thing themed to The Princess and the Frog, launching alongside Tiana’s Palace.

In line with Disney, the menu at Tiana’s Palace will broaden on lots of the present favorites served within the location, discover seasonal flavors and provide New Orleans classics. In all probability, this implies Tiana’s Palace Restaurant will proceed to be a buffeteria-style counter service restaurant.

Tiana’s Palace is bound to be a gathering place for family and friends to get pleasure from nice meals and have a good time collectively, similar to Tiana and her father James dreamed. Disney Imagineers are partnering with Disney Animation artists from the unique movie to deliver this story to life at Disneyland. In reality, the movie designers took inspiration from the outside of the unique French Market Restaurant in New Orleans Sq. when designing Tiana’s Palace for the film, so this can be a long-dreamt homecoming.

Our Commentary

It was a foregone conclusion that Tiana’s Palace Restaurant can be coming to Disneyland even earlier than Imagineers prematurely spilled the beans on the D23 Expo. Actually, this in all probability ought to’ve occurred a few decade in the past when the film first got here out. It has all the time been such a logical match with New Orleans Sq..

There undoubtedly would’ve been backlash from Disneyland followers then, simply as I’m positive would be the case now. That’s as a result of New Orleans Sq. is the head of themed design and probably the greatest theme park lands on the planet. It’s also one which has been largely unspoilt since its authentic development, which means that characters and Disney mental property for essentially the most half haven’t encroached the land. (Each Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean have develop into IP exterior the parks, although!)

Again final fall when Imagineers revealed that Tiana’s Palace Restaurant can be a reimagining of an current eating location at Disneyland, it wasn’t clear whether or not the restaurant would annex extra of Critter Nation, or change a location in New Orleans Sq..

Our guess was that it’d both be Cafe Orleans, a desk service restaurant, or Hungry Bear Restaurant, one other quick-service choice. Though we’d’ve been unhappy to see the final remnants of the Nation Bears disappear from Disneyland, changing Hungry Bear Restaurant was been the best choice. That’s the extra bold transfer and fewer controversial route, too.

Our hope was that Disney would go massive, making all of Critter Nation a part of New Orleans Sq.—or a brand new bayou enlargement to it. That will’ve left New Orleans Sq. thematically intact, whereas additionally tying up unfastened ends, so to talk, and making this a bigger scale enlargement. Disney may’ve even marketed Tiana’s Bayou Journey as a part of a brand new themed bayou space at Disneyland.

Issues may come full circle, with Audio Animatronics from Splash Mountain transferring over to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. That would develop into a musical revue—New Orleans Sings! or Bayou Critter Jamboree each sound nice to me.

Sadly, that isn’t what’s going to occur. Not solely that, however Disneyland isn’t even changing the desk service Cafe Orleans. As a substitute, they’re utilizing the buffeteria-style French Market as the premise for the reimagined Tiana’s Palace Restaurant. That is positively the trail of least resistance, and the best choice–which is why a turnaround time of lower than one yr is possible for this challenge.

No matter your expectations are for Tiana’s Palace Restaurant, dial them down. It’s doable that Disney will intestine French Market to make the inside much less cramped, however I wouldn’t rely on that. Extra seemingly, this can be akin to the Eudora’s Stylish Boutique reimagining–in all probability a bit extra bold than that.

Count on to see new props inside which can be nods to the Princess and the Frog, a brand new marquee, and a facade that evokes the look of Tiana’s Palace from the film. Apart from that, I wouldn’t count on to see main substantive modifications to French Market. My guess is that it’ll proceed to be buffeteria service with the identical inside from a substantive perspective.

Personally, I’m not likely averse to the transfer–however I’m additionally not excited for it. Whereas I feel French Market is a beautiful location, the identical must be true for Tiana’s Palace Restaurant. I can’t think about them being materially completely different from each other. Greater than anything, I’m disenchanted that Disney isn’t going larger. Closing Hungry Bear Restaurant for an 18-month overhaul that creates a brand new desk service restaurant would’ve been nice. That spot is nothing particular, however might be.

Against this, the change from French Market to Tiana’s Palace Restaurant is more likely to be a lateral transfer. There’s merely far much less potential upside and room for enchancment. On that notice, I’ll reiterate what I’ve written earlier than, which is that Disney actually must swing for the fences with Tiana’s Bayou Journey, as this addition goes to be below a microscope. Opting to clean up French Market with a superficial replace as an alternative of changing Hungry Bear outright shouldn’t be proof that the experience reimagining can be unambitious, nevertheless it’s definitely not a optimistic sign, both.

Whereas Tiana’s Palace Restaurant shouldn’t be at the moment a part of the plans for Magic Kingdom, we’re nonetheless holding out hope that it’ll be introduced as an addition exterior the park. You may recall {that a} restaurant primarily based on The Princess and the Frog was introduced for Walt Disney World a couple of years in the past.

Should you don’t bear in mind, that’s in all probability as a result of it was very forgettable. It was going to be a mixed-use waterfront restaurant situated on the shore of Bay Lake at Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge. (It was seemingly going to be a personality breakfast that includes Tiana, Prince Naveen, Louie the Alligator, and Dr. Facilier and a Signature Restaurant for dinner–very similar to Topolino’s Terrace.)

Actually, it’s in all probability for one of the best that restaurant isn’t coming to fruition. Disney by no means launched idea artwork on-line, however what was flashed on-stage on the D23 Expo took actually no visible cues from the film. This leaves the door open for a well-done Tiana’s Place Restaurant at Walt Disney World.

Tiana’s Place Restaurant on Disney Cruise Line is superior, and the idea looks like a slam dunk for Walt Disney World. Even when it doesn’t make sense in Frontierland, hopefully it involves fruition in Florida. Maybe it might be constructed within the unused eating house that already exists at Port Orleans French Quarter, the place it will really make sense?

Regardless of what’s introduced (or not) for Walt Disney World, it’s not shocking that Disney is doing extra than simply the experience at Disneyland. For the final year-plus, Imagineers have been discussing their analysis journeys to New Orleans.

Final summer season, Imagineers gathered at Dooky Chase’s Restaurant in New Orleans – founder Leah Chase was one of many inspirations for Princess Tiana – to speak about Tiana’s affect over the previous decade and the inventive course of behind the upcoming attraction, together with the expertise Imagineers are utilizing to deliver it to life.

Within the ~30 minute roundtable video above, the proprietor of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant is joined by varied Imagineers and ABC Information correspondents.

Generations of the Chase household welcomed Imagineers whereas Chef Dook cooked up a few of their well-known gumbo. The group sat down with Leah’s daughter, Stella Chase Reese who shared that “the 2 coming collectively, music and meals, brings pleasure and happiness to all.”

In line with Disney, Imagineers are researching New Orleans to inform a narrative that’s as genuine to the area as it’s to the characters’ tales. From the meals, music, artwork and structure to the range of its individuals and their traditions, there’s a lot from which to attract inspiration. The crew has executed digital analysis journeys by Zoom and this was their first of many in-person analysis journeys to get the story proper.

As Charita Carter shared that “in some ways, Tiana’s Bayou Journey is a love letter to New Orleans.” Carter continued, “just like the musical metropolis that impressed this attraction, Tiana’s second act is a few neighborhood working in concord to realize one thing extraordinary. She reminds us of an immutable reality we are able to all relate to: ‘for those who do your finest each day, good issues are positive to return your manner.’ And that’s a melody we are able to all sing alongside to!”

Finally, we’re trying ahead to seeing the ways in which New Orleans Sq. expands and evolves at Disneyland to accommodate Tiana’s Bayou Journey and extra from The Princess and the Frog. There’s lots that Imagineering is ready to do in California that merely isn’t doable at Walt Disney World by advantage of the reimagined experience being adjoining to New Orleans Sq. as an alternative of Frontierland.

Personally, I hope that Critter Nation goes extinct, changing into a bayou-based addition to New Orleans Sq.. It could be attention-grabbing to see if Imagineering can pull off a bifurcated land, a lot in the identical manner that Port Orleans Riverside Resort has each the white-column mansions of Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou’s quaint backwoods cottages.

Planning a Southern California trip? For park admission offers, learn Ideas for Saving Cash on Disneyland Tickets. Find out about on-site and off-site lodges in our Anaheim Resort Opinions & Rankings. For the place to eat, try our Disneyland Restaurant Opinions. For distinctive concepts of issues that’ll enhance your journey, try What to Pack for Disney. For complete recommendation, seek the advice of our Disneyland Trip Planning Information. Lastly, for guides past Disney, try our Southern California Itineraries for day journeys to Los Angeles, Laguna Seashore, and tons of different locations!


Ideas on Tiana’s Palace Restaurant changing French Market in New Orleans Sq.? Do you want a complete bayou miniland had been coming to Disneyland together with Tiana’s Bayou Journey? Do you agree or disagree with our take that Critter Nation must be taken over by Princess and the Frog, and develop into the bayou-based subland? Any questions? Listening to your suggestions—even if you disagree with us—is each attention-grabbing to us and useful to different readers, so please share your ideas beneath within the feedback!

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