Disney has revealed details about a new shopping and snacks spot coming to New Orleans Square at Disneyland ahead of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. This post shares details and a teaser for Tiana’s Palace Restaurant.
At Disneyland, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will become part of an expanded New Orleans Square, annexing area from the existing Critter Country. According to Disney, this allows for the opportunity to tell even more of Tiana’s stories.
To that end, an all-new retail store will be opening in New Orleans Square at Disneyland on September 20, 2022.
This location will be called Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets.
Tiana is collaborating with her talented dressmaker mother, Eudora, to open this fantastic little shop, with accessories to create and serve masterful Orleans-style cuisine and more.
Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets will be in the former Le Bat en Rouge shop, which was updated earlier this year. In case you’re unfamiliar with it, this is nestled into the current New Orleans Squares alleyways, near Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s separated from Splash Mountain by numerous locations, including Haunted Mansion.
The Tiana-themed boutique is named for the seamstress mother of the animated Disney princess.
Concept art for Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets reveals that a corner of the location will showcase a period show scene with a sewing machine, sewing mannequin, and aprons.
Signs in the window of the shuttered Le Bat en Rouge retail shop have hinted that “Something New is Cooking” for several months. That has led many to speculate that a Tiana-themed eatery is coming to the New Orleans Square location.
Turns out the fan speculation was accurate, and Disneylanders will be able to enjoy Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets in only a couple weeks!
But wait, there’s more!
The D23 Expo 2022 “Wonderful World of Dreams” Disney Parks booth also reveals that another restaurant is coming to New Orleans Square at Disneyland.
Per teasers around the Tiana’s Bayou Adventure model, Tiana’s Palace Restaurant is coming to New Orleans Square in Disneyland!
This is such an obvious addition, but it’s the first time Disney has indicated more would be coming to New Orleans Square in addition to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. We are very happy to see that Tiana’s iconic restaurant is coming to life inside Disneyland.
According to Imagineers, Tiana’s Palace Restaurant will be a reimagining of an existing dining location at Disneyland. What’s not clear is whether it’ll annex more of Critter Country, or replace Cafe Orleans in New Orleans Square.
Although we’d be sad to see the last remnants of the Country Bears disappear from Disneyland, replacing Hungry Bear Restaurant would be the ideal option—and the more ambitious one.
While they’re at it, Imagineers might as well make all of Critter Country part of New Orleans Square—or a new bayou expansion to it.
Things could come full circle, with Audio Animatronics from Splash Mountain moving over to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. That could become a musical revue—New Orleans Sings! or Bayou Critter Jamboree both sound great to me.
While Tiana’s Palace Restaurant is not currently part of the plans for Magic Kingdom, we’re still holding out hope that it’ll be announced as an addition outside the park. Although it feels like an eternity ago, you might recall that a restaurant based on The Princess and the Frog was announced for Walt Disney World at the last D23 Expo.
If you don’t remember, that’s probably because it was very forgettable. It was going to be a mixed-use waterfront restaurant located on the shore of Bay Lake at Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge. (It was likely going to be a character breakfast featuring Tiana, Prince Naveen, Louie the Alligator, and Dr. Facilier and a Signature Restaurant for dinner–much like Topolino’s Terrace.)
Reflections – A Disney Lakeside Lodge was “paused indefinitely” only a few months after that announcement, and the resort is unlikely to be resurrected while Walt Disney World is building and/or selling DVC additions at the Polynesian, Grand Floridian, and Riviera. Perhaps in a few years when those properties have all sold out.
Honestly, it’s probably for the best that restaurant isn’t coming to fruition, as the concept art took literally no visual cues from the movie. This leaves the door open for a well-done Tiana’s Place Restaurant at Walt Disney World. Perhaps it could be built in the unused dining space that already exists at Port Orleans French Quarter, where it would actually make sense?
Regardless of what is announced (or not) for Walt Disney World, it’s not surprising that Disney is doing more than just the ride at Disneyland. For the last year-plus, Imagineers have been discussing their research trips to New Orleans.
In the ~30 minute roundtable video above, Kenneth Moton, National Correspondent for ABC News joins Stella Chase Reese, Owner of Dooky Chase’s Restaurant and daughter of Leah Chase; Carmen Smith, Creative Executive, Vice President, Inclusive Strategies for Walt Disney Imagineering; Charita Carter, Senior Producer for Walt Disney Imagineering; and Marlon West, VFX Supervisor.
Generations of the Chase family welcomed Imagineers while Chef Dook cooked up some of their famous gumbo. The group sat down with Leah’s daughter, Stella Chase Reese who shared that “the two coming together, music and food, brings joy and happiness to all.”
According to Disney, Imagineers are researching New Orleans to tell a story that’s as authentic to the region as it is to the characters’ stories. From the food, music, art and architecture to the diversity of its people and their traditions, there is much from which to draw inspiration. The team has done virtual research trips through Zoom and this was their first of many in-person research trips to get the story right.
As Charita Carter shared that “in many ways, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a love letter to New Orleans.” Carter continued, “like the musical city that inspired this attraction, Tiana’s second act is about a community working in harmony to achieve something extraordinary. She reminds us of an immutable truth we can all relate to: ‘if you do your best each and every day, good things are sure to come your way.’ And that’s a melody we can all sing along to!”
Ultimately, we’re looking forward to seeing the ways that New Orleans Square expands and evolves at Disneyland to accommodate Tiana’s Bayou Adventure and more from The Princess and the Frog. There’s a lot that Imagineering is able to do in California that simply isn’t possible at Walt Disney World by virtue of the reimagined ride being adjacent to New Orleans Square instead of Frontierland.
Personally, I hope that Critter Country goes extinct, becoming a bayou-based addition to New Orleans Square. It would be interesting to see if Imagineering can pull off a bifurcated land, much in the same way that Port Orleans Riverside Resort has both the white-column mansions of Magnolia Bend and Alligator Bayou’s quaint backwoods cottages.
Thoughts on the new retail and restaurants coming to New Orleans Square along with Tiana’s Bayou Adventure? Expecting the second location to takeover an existing eatery in New Orleans Square or Critter Country? Do you agree or disagree with our take that Critter Country should be taken over by New Orleans Square, and become the bayou-based subland? Keep the comments civil, as this is not the place for politically-charged arguing, culture wars, antagonism, personal attacks, or cheap shots. We will be heavy-handed in deleting any comments that cross the line, irrespective of viewpoint. You are not going to change anyone’s mind via the comments section on this blog, nor are you going to change Disney’s priorities. If you wish to shout your outrage into the internet abyss, that’s why Facebook was invented.