Family of Real Life Tiana to Be Among the First to Ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

by | Apr 18, 2024 | Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog

The family of Leah Chase, who was the real-life inspiration behind Princess Tiana, will be among the first riders on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure when it opens at Disney World this summer.

We’re almost there! We are getting closer and closer to the opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Walt Disney World, which will be opening this summer. While we don’t have a precise opening date yet, we have been getting plenty of sneak previews of what to expect on this exciting log flume story ride. As we wait for an opening date, Disney has revealed who will be among the first to experience the attraction.

Family of Princess Tiana Real Life Inspiration to Ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure

The family of the real-life Princess Tiana will be among the first people to ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure when it opens this summer! Legendary chef Leah Chase was the former owner and operator of Dooky Chase’s, and her story served as one of the inspirations for Princess Tiana in The Princess and the Frog. Additionally, her story continued to inspire the Walt Disney Company as they brought Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to life.

The Story of Leah Chase

Dooky Chase’s Restaurant first opened in 1941 as a family-run po’boy stand. It was founded by Emily and Dooky Chase Sr., and was intended to provide good food for the New Orleans community. In 1945, Leah Chase married Dooky Chase Jr., and slowly began infusing her family’s Creole recipes into the menu of the restaurant as she started out as a cook. She helped to grow the former po’boy stand into a famous sit-down restaurant, bringing in celebrities and politicians such as Beyoncé, former President George W. Bush, and former President Barack Obama.

While Chef Leah Chase passed away in 2019, her legacy has continued on, with inspiration in the development of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. In fact, one of Leah’s daughters, Leah Chase Jr., can be heard in the attraction queue covering the Louis Armstrong song, “Do You Know What It Means to Miss New Orleans?”.

Disney has also shared Stella Chase Reese, Leah’s other daughter, as a key contact for Walt Disney Imagineering during their research. During the development, she was presented with a hard hat and became an honorary Imagineer, taking home the Walt Disney World Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction poster. Leah Chase Jr. was also given a framed photo from her recording session for the attraction’s music.

The family of Princess Tiana’s real life inspiration has been invited to be among the first to ride Tiana’s Bayou Adventure when it opens this summer.

Posts by Morgan Flaherty

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Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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Authored by
Morgan Flaherty

Morgan is the Staff Editor for WDW Magazine. A lifelong Disney fan, her dream day involves just about anything to do with Animal Kingdom. Along with several years of experience writing about Disney, Morgan has also written as a contributing writer for Well + Good, Scary Mommy, Brit + Co, and Baby Chick.
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