Disney Invites NOLA Family Who Inspired Princess Tiana for First Look Ahead of New Attraction Debut


April 5, 2024

The family of the real-life inspiration behind Princess Tiana recently had a sneak peek at the magic coming soon!

Stella Chase Reese, owner of the legendary New Orleans restaurant Dooky Chase’s, recently visited Walt Disney Imagineering and Disneyland Resort for a behind-the-scenes look at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, Disney Experiences shared with Because of Them We Can. This groundbreaking new attraction, set to debut at Walt Disney World this summer and Disneyland Resort later this year, promises to bring the world of The Princess and the Frog to life in a way that’s sure to resonate with fans of all ages.

Courtesy of Disney Experiences

Stella’s mother, Leah Chase, served as a source of inspiration for Princess Tiana. Leah’s dedication to her craft, her commitment to community, and her passion for New Orleans cuisine all found their way into the character of Tiana, a young woman determined to achieve her dream of opening her own restaurant.


Now, Walt Disney Imagineering is giving fans a sneak peek at the new attraction through their exciting YouTube series, We Call It Imagineering. This series offers a behind-the-scenes look at the magic Imagineers create, and the first episode focuses on the incredible advancements in Audio-Animatronics technology that will bring the world of The Princess and the Frog to life.

Get ready to see Tiana in her adventure wear, alongside fan favorites like Mama Odie, Louis the Alligator, and even Prince Naveen’s little brother, Ralphie! These incredibly lifelike figures promise to take guests on an unforgettable musical journey through the bayou, filled with laughter, love, and a dash of New Orleans charm.

We Call It Imagineering isn’t just about showcasing the latest technology in the parks; it’s about the passion that fuels Disney Imagineering. As Bruce Vaughn, Chief Creative Officer, explained on Disney Parks Blog, “Our end product isn’t gears or circuits… It’s emotion in its truest form.”


Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set to open at Walt Disney World this summer and Disneyland Resort later this year. In the meantime, be sure to check out We Call It Imagineering (above) for a glimpse of the magic to come!

Cover photo: Walt Disney Imagineering Series Gives Stella Chase Reese a First Look at ‘Princess and the Frog’ Attraction / Credit: Disneyland Resort/Christian Thompson

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