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Making Disney Magic With Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Making Disney Magic With Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024

Yesterday, I was invited to “Drop on in” for a preview of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom Park.  Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is a re-imagination of a fan-favourite Disney attraction, Splash Mountain – a gentle boat ride that ended with a steep drop and a giant splash.

Splash Mountain was inspired by the 1946 film Song of the South.  It opened in 1989 and 1992 at Disneyland Park and Magic Kingdom respectively.  It became an instant personal favourite and it had all the pieces that makes for a fantastic * e-ticket attraction; a lengthy experience, adorable characters, a catchy soundtrack, and a 50ft drop at the end.

Flash forward to the year 2016, after I had lost count of how many times I had experienced Splash Mountain.  It was then that I first noticed how poor the condition of the attraction was.  Even after yearly winter refurbishments, the animatronics look tired, the jumping water never jumped, the log flumes would sink, and many other components stopped working altogether. And for the first time – it hit me – what even WAS Song of the South?  I had never seen the movie, but knew the songs, such as Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah and Everybody Has a Laughing Place – but only from experiencing Splash Mountain so many times over the years.

So, I was ecstatic when it was announced that Disney was going to completely reimagine one of my most beloved attractions.  Not only did the animatronics and several other aspects of it need some serious love – but has anyone today even seen the movie it was based on?  As Walt Disney once said; “We don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”  If we believe in Walt’s vision of the Parks, then it made perfect sense to me that Splash Mountain needed to be reimagined to be enjoyed by an entire new generation and many more generations to come.

The reimagination of Splash Mountain is based on one of Walt Disney Animation’s newer films, The Princess and the Frog.  While admittedly, this isn’t one of my personal favourite Disney movies – without a doubt – I absolutely ADORE the music!  Thanks to my parents, I grew up listening to the soundtrack for the Big Easy on repeat on any given Sunday afternoon – which is more than likely – where my love for the soundtrack for The Princess and the Frog comes from.  If you have never had the pleasure to listen to it; you don’t know what you’re missing.  Dig a Little Deeper and Almost There are just about two of the best songs ever composed for a Disney Animated Feature Film.

I don’t want to alarm anyone, but 1989 was 35 years ago.  And if you know anything about Disney imagineers, it’s that 35 years is 100 lifetimes of innovation!  Which means the original animatronics from Splash Mountain look like VHS tapes compared to the shiny new ones featured on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure follows the storyline of Princess Tiana after the movie, as you join her and the jazz-loving alligator; Louis on a fun and magical adventure through the bayou to help find the essential missing ingredient to a successful Mardi Gras celebration: good New Orleans music!  With the help of Mama Odie’s magic, Guests get to dig a little deeper in the bayou as she shrinks us all down to frog size.

The bayou is full of life and the details are incredible.  From the fireflies twinkling in the foliage to the smell of deep fried beignets.  Along the way, you’ll encounter familiar faces and make some new ones, as you are brought into the next chapter of Tiana’s story.

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is what happens when one of Walt Disney World’s best thrill attractions and a fantastic soundtrack with wonderful characters collide.  We sang the songs, smelled the fresh beignets and thoroughly enjoyed our time in the bayou.  This isn’t just a refurbishment; it is now a completely a brand-new attraction.

– Christine Fiorelli

Want to “Drop on In” and visit the Bayou?

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to begin writing your Fairytale, Today!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
12598 Highway #50 Bolton ON L7E 1T6
www.fairytaledestinations.com

* An E ticket was a type of admission ticket used at the Disneyland and Magic Kingdom theme parks prior to 1982, where it admitted the bearer to the newest, most advanced, or popular rides and attractions.  It is now commonly used to describe a category of top tier and cutting edge theme park attractions. 

 


Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point

Sunday, June 9th, 2024

Disney Cruise Line introduced its very first ship; the Disney Magic back in 1998.  Since then, they added four more vessels; the Disney Wonder in 1999, The Disney Dream in 2011, the Disney Fantasy in 2012 and the Disney Wish in 2022.

Over the years, Disney has sailed to Alaska, Europe and even all the way down under.  Yet, one port of call remains the most popular even after all these years: Disney’s private island in the Bahamas.  A little slice of paradise known as Castaway Cay.

For over 25 years, Castaway Cay has welcomed Guests with its turquoise waters and white sands.  It is to Disney Cruise Line what Cinderella Castle is to Walt Disney World; it’s centerpiece.  Castaway Cay is the ultimate day at the beach that is guaranteed to ruin any future visit to Wasaga Beach for you.  Offering both family and adult only beaches, kid’s clubs, Disney characters, snorkeling, a full-on BBQ (complete with ice cream machines) and much more.

Disney Cruise Line has three more ships on the horizon, set to join their fleet by the end of 2025.  With Castaway Cay being the most popular port of call, Disney needed to grow its private island department to compensate for the additional vessels.  And they did so with Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point.   Lookout Cay is a private peninsula in The Bahamas.  It’s located approximately 193 kilometres south of Castaway Cay in the south-eastern region of Bannerman Town, South Eleuthera.

Earlier this week, I was lucky enough to be invited on the first voyage to port at Lookout Cay.  And how fitting that this first sailing was taken on the original ship, the Disney Magic. Don’t let her age fool you, this girl is just as shiny as any of the ships in the Disney Cruise Line fleet.

The Disney Magic docked at Lookout Cay at roughly 7:45am.  At first glance, this destination is very different from Castaway Cay.  Oppose from the ship being able to pull right up to the port, a long bridge leads to Lookout Cay.  The ship was clear for disembarkation at about 10:30am.  I won’t lie, this was my favourite part about this port of call.  I am not an early riser on vacation, so I don’t love the panic rush to disembark at Castaway Cay to secure the best possible spot on the beach.  Instead, today I was able to sleep in, grab some breakfast and ease into my vacation day without the worry of arriving too late and missing out on the fun.

The bridge over to Lookout is roughly .80 kilometers or a 12 to 15-minute walk.  It offered me a great chance to work off some of those delectable desserts from last night along with being able to enjoy an absolutely stunning view of the Disney Magic behind me.  Not up for the walk in the heat?  You can always request a golf cart ride over the bridge.  It’s worth sharing that the reason the bridge was built, oppose to pulling right up to the port was to disturb the natural marine life as little as possible.

After the bridge walk, you will find restrooms, a spot selling coffee, dole whips and more.  I took a moment here before boarding the tram over to the beach.  This is where Lookout differs greatly from Castaway.  That is, the beach is still nowhere to be seen. You must take the roughly 5-minute tram ride that drops you off in the main area.  Once you exit the tram is when the magic really begins.

Lookout Cay celebrates the vibrant culture of Eleuthera, immersing Guests in a taste or Bahamian culture. It is a Celebration of the Bahamas with a unique rhythmic, tropical island feel.

Disney is second to none when it comes to attention to detail.  There is much to see and explore here and Disney truly illuminates it like no one else can. It focuses on Guests being able to interact with the environment of the Bahamas.  It offers elevated walkways and piers to allow Guests explore the island, minimizing impact on the environment.

The water alone would have been enough to make Lookout Cay a standout destination.  But Disney gives you more. They have turned the southern tip of Eleuthera into a living, breathing beauty.  And we all know that Disney is masterful at storytelling.  They tell stories of fantasy and fiction better than anyone else can.  But now, they have brought a real story to light.  Here, beloved Disney characters and entertainment merge seamlessly with vibrant Bahamian culture.

Local Junkanooes sound a conch shell in Rush! A Junkanoo Celebration at Disney Lookout Cay.  Junkanoo is all about inclusivity, it doesn’t know race, colour or creed.  And its festive sights and sounds bring people together. Over at the Play-Play Pavilion, Guests will have the chance to play games with Disney friends all while listening to Bahamian renditions of Under the Sea and other such popular Disney tunes.

Finally, it was time to step foot on the stretch of coastline and rock structures, where the ocean meets the clear, turquoise waters of the Bahamas.  Once I walked over to the beach, I quickly saw Lookout Cay’s similarity to Castaway Cay.  Those same crystal-clear waters and pristine beaches beckoned me to explore it.  Those artist renderings that you’ve seen circling don’t do this beauty justice.  It is a picture-perfect spot where no filter is needed.  It is laced with pink sand beaches that come from crushed coral and fragments of shells that are mixed in with the island’s soft, white sand.

I’m happy to share that Lookout Cay provides the same fantastic experiences we know and love from Castaway Cay – such as dedicated family and adult-exclusive beaches and spaces, private cabanas, dining, shopping, snorkelling and more!

There are private islands offered by various cruise lines everywhere.  But Disney’s Lookout Cay at Lighthouse Point is SO much more than a beach and waterslides.  It’s an experience. Its storytelling brought to life and that story begins right now.

– Christine Fiorelli

Ready to become a part of the story?

Contact Fairytale Dreams & Destinations to begin writing your Fairytale, Today!

(905) 857.3611 | 1.855.FDMAGIC
12598 Highway #50 Bolton ON L7E 1T6
www.fairytaledestinations.com


Fairytale Dreams & Destinations
Fairytale Dreams & Destinations™ Inc. exclusively sells the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California, Disney Cruise Line, Adventures by Disney, Disney's Hilton Head Island Resort in South Carolina, Disney's Vero Beach Resort in Florida, Aulani, a Disney Resort & Spa in Hawaii and the Universal, Orlando Resort.

Fairytale Dreams and Destinations™ Inc. is an Ontario Travel Industry Council of Ontario (TICO) authorized travel agency. TICO is an organization mandated by the Ontario Government to administer the Travel Industry Act, 2002 and an industry financed travel compensation fund. TICO Registration # 50010111
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