How to Visit New Orleans Like Tiana
New Orleans isn’t just a destination for party seekers and food connoisseurs these days. It also makes for a fun and interesting family trip.
Fans of The Princess and the Frog in particular should add this city to their travel list, as Disney drew from real places for almost every aspect of the beloved film. If you love Tiana and Louis as much as we do, you must visit New Orleans to experience the colorful city that Disney brought to life on film.
Beignets at Morning Call
Start your day off with coffee and beignets at Morning Call, the 24-hour café overlooking City Park. This establishment is one of several, including the famous Café Du Monde, that served as inspiration for the restaurant where Tiana works in the film.
TRAVEL TIP: Bring cash, as they don’t accept credit cards.
THE DESTINATION’S IN THE DETAILS: The original Morning Call café opened in the French Quarter in 1870 and has been a New Orleans tradition ever since. The new, City Park location opened in 2012. 4
Alternatively, finish off your day with beignets for dessert. 24-hour dessert opportunities are dangerous for night owls like myself!
Jackson Square and the French Quarter
This one is obvious—The Princess and the Frog is studded with architectural gems from the French Quarter. Visit Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral, which feature in several scenes, most notably Tiana’s wedding parade.
TRAVEL TIP: Two Louisiana State Museum buildings flank St. Louis Cathedral. On one side is The Presbytère, which features a set of rotating exhibits that may be worth exploring based on your interests. On the other side is the Cabildo, whose exhibits tend to cater to history buffs.
The French Quarter’s distinctive architecture figures prominently in the film. The decorative ironwork, Spanish balconies and narrow, gaslit corridors form the backdrop for many scenes and can be found all throughout the French Quarter.
TRAVEL TIP: To see where the Quarter’s Pirates of the Caribbean-esqe gas lamps are made, pay a visit to Bevolo Gas & Electric Lights, located on a narrow alley at 521 Conti Street. The showroom has a good exhibit outlining the history of power in New Orleans and a workshop where you can talk with a craftsman.
For more on New Orleans architecture, check out my post on [Disneyland’s New Orleans Square].
The St. Charles Streetcar
Wherever you’re staying, make use of the city’s iconic streetcar to get around. In the film, Tiana uses the green St. Charles line to get to her job at the restaurant.
TRAVEL TO: This line runs between the Central Business District and Carrollton, with stops in the beautiful areas of the Garden District and Uptown along the way. Since we were staying in the French Quarter, we used the trolley to get to our architecture tour in the Garden District. If you’re going this direction, you’ll want to catch the trolley at the corner of Common Street and St. Charles Avenue.
THE DESTINATION’S IN THE DETAILS: This is both the oldest line in the city and the oldest continuously operating streetcar in the world. 1 As such, a ride in one of these vehicles offers a veritable trip into the past. The cars have no air conditioning, but windows open wide for a nice breeze. (You’ll want to sit by one anyway for the best photos of the historic mansions along St. Charles Avenue). The seats, made of sleek, polished wood with brass fittings, can actually be reversed for the return trip.2 No guarantees that the driver will allow you to ride leaning out the door, but otherwise, hop on board and start your day like Tiana!
The Garden District
Hop off the streetcar at St. Charles and 1st Street and admire the homes reminiscent of the one that Tiana’s childhood friend Charlotte resides in with her father, Eli “Big Daddy” La Bouff. We took a fantastic architecture tour of the neighborhood with Katrina, owner of New Orleans Architecture Tours. Kat showed us many lovely homes, but we were particularly delighted to learn that John Goodman himself owns a home in the Garden District! Just like Big Daddy himself, Goodman owns an exquisite home in this historic, tree-lined neighborhood, on the corner of Coliseum and 2nd Streets.
While you’re in the neighborhood, make sure you stop by the famous Lafayette Cemetery No. 1. Kat’s architecture tour includes a stop in this cemetery. New Orleans is known for its unique collection of walled, above-ground cemeteries like this one. You may recall that in the film, the last stand-off between Dr. Facilier and Tiana’s cohort takes place in a cemetery inspired by the one at Lafayette.
TRAVEL TIPS: The cemetery is free and open to the public, but add this to your itinerary early in the day. It closes at 2:30 PM Monday – Friday and at Noon on Saturday.
THE DESTINATION’S IN THE DETAILS: The cemetery was established in 1833 and continues to see active burials. Families are responsible for maintaining their own tombs, and where tombs have been abandoned, the non-profit organization Save Our Cemeteries has stepped in to lead preservation efforts. Look out for one of the most striking memorials—that commemorating the Jefferson Fire Company #22. The tomb is decorated with an old-fashioned pumper built for the firemen’s society in 1852. 3
Dooky Chase Restaurant
The Princess and the Frog is one of the few Disney films to have been inspired by a real person. In fact, Tiana was based entirely on famed New Orleans chef Leah Chase, who together with her husband Edgar “Dooky” Chase, Jr. owns Dooky Chase Restaurant in the Treme neighborhood. At 95 years old, the “Queen of Creole Cuisine” still holds the role as Head Chef.
TRAVEL TIPS: Stop by for the lunch buffet (11 AM – 3 PM, Tuesday – Friday). Dooky’s only serves dinner on Fridays, from 5 PM – 9 PM.
THE DESTINATION’S IN THE DETAILS: Although she had several jobs while growing up in New Orleans, Leah Chase’s favorite job was waiting tables in the French Quarter. As late as 1940, it was unheard of for a young black girl to work in the French Quarter. Leah’s love of food and for feeding others persevered, and in 1944 she met her husband Dooky, whose parents owned a sandwich shop. Leah and Dooky took over the business and transformed it into a sit-down restaurant. Over time, Dooky’s became both a favorite local gathering place (not unlike the final manifestation of Tiana’s Place) and a setting of national significance. The Chases have served multiple presidents, dignitaries and celebrities over the years, and the restaurant was the setting for countless meetings of civil rights groups. 5
Leah admits that she was puzzled when Disney approached her about the project but was very pleased with the final outcome. “’I talked to them for hours and didn’t know what I was talking to them for,” she says. “I was talking about my life. … But that’s another great thing about corporations like Disney: They know what it takes to bring people together, and that’s what life is all about. They had a Cinderella, they had a Snow White, they had all types of little white princesses, so I guess the makers thought that it’s about time we show a black princess. And that is the cutest thing, and they have done it in sucS
Nothing says Princess and the Frog like a trip on the Steamboat Natchez. For inspiration for Louis’ beloved riverboat, Disney looked no further than the steamboat still actively plodding the waters of the Mississippi, the Natchez. The Steamboat Natchez departs daily from its dock where Toulouse Street meets the river. Check the schedule for daily sailing times.
For a true Princess and the Frog experience, make sure you pick a sailing featuring the boat’s signature music ensemble, the Dukes of Dixieland. The Dukes have been “the official” New Orleans jazz band since the 1970s, and hold performances on the Natchez—these are the “Big Boys” that Louis wants to join on deck.
[Could link to another post on the Magic Kingdom – Rivers of America Liberty Belle, including Tiana’s Showboat Jubilee].
Speaking of Mardi Gras, old school Disney fans may remember when Sebastian held his own “Party Gras” parade at Walt Disney World Resort in 1992. Disney filmed the opening scenes of this sing-along video on-property at Port Orleans Resort – Riverside. For more on Port Orleans Resort, check out my post [here].
As you plan your trip, check out these sites:
- DK Eyewitness Travel: New Orleans, p. 106-107.
Viewpoints expressed reflect the personal opinions and views of the author. They do not reflect the views of any other entity and should not be read to endorse or otherwise promote any person, business, or service.
Located in New Orleans Square, Tiana's Palace will be a short stroll from "Tiana's Bayou Adventure," an attraction set to open in 2024. The Jan.Is there anything in New Orleans for Princess and the Frog? ›
Jackson Square and the French Quarter
This one is obvious—The Princess and the Frog is studded with architectural gems from the French Quarter. Visit Jackson Square and St. Louis Cathedral, which feature in several scenes, most notably Tiana's wedding parade.
New Orleans, as the most African city in the United States referring to spirit (G. Hall, 59), characterizes Tiana's blackness and the multiculturalism depicted in the film.Is there a Tiana's place in Disney? ›
The new Tiana's Palace will have much of the same pinch of pizzazz and flair as the restaurant from the film, offering authentic New Orleans flavors inspired by Tiana's friends and adventures in this quick-service style restaurant.Is Tiana's Palace coming to Disney? ›
Tiana's Palace Coming to Disneyland Park in 2023—Plus More in News Briefs - D23.What does Nola mean on Tiana's shirt? ›
Tiana's shirt says "NOLA," which is an acronym for New Orleans, Louisiana. Snow White's shirt says "Poison" with a picture of the poisoned apple.What Disney movie is based in New Orleans? ›
Starting in late 2023, the attraction, an artist's rendition of which can be seen on the screen behind them, will be rethemed after Disney's New Orleans-set animated film 'The Princess and the Frog. 'Which Disney princess is in New Orleans? ›
Princess Tiana introduced families all over the world to the wonder and culture that is the Crescent City. Just like Disney movies, a visit to New Orleans always has a magical journey and a happy ending. Map out your magical experience with this Princess and the Frog-inspired guide to NOLA.Which Disney princess films takes place in New Orleans Louisiana? ›
Set in New Orleans during the 1920s, the film tells the story of a hardworking waitress named Tiana who dreams of opening her own restaurant. After kissing a prince who has been turned into a frog by an evil witch doctor, Tiana becomes a frog herself and must find a way to turn back into a human before it is too late.What lesson does Princess and the Frog teach? ›
The globally popular story of the 'Princess and the Frog' is a fairy tale that carries a wonderful moral. The moral is to accept everyone regardless of their looks! This bedtime story is about a prince who is cursed by a witch and turned into a frog.
Dedicated on July 24, 1966, just months before his death that December, the French Quarter-themed portion of the park drew heavily on his love of the Crescent City and its food culture. (Rumor has it that Disney even considered New Orleans for his second park before deciding on Florida instead.)What is New Orleans known for? ›
New Orleans is world-renowned for its distinctive music, Creole cuisine, unique dialects, and its annual celebrations and festivals, most notably Mardi Gras. The historic heart of the city is the French Quarter, known for its French and Spanish Creole architecture and vibrant nightlife along Bourbon Street.How do you meet Tiana at Disney World? ›
Tiana can be found greeting guests inside Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland. This is going to be your best spot to find her if she is a must meet character on your list. Other Princesses at Fairytale Hall are Cinderella, Elena, and Rapunzel.Which Disney park has Princess Tiana? ›
Magic Kingdom - Tiana often appears in the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show at park opening. Arrive at least 20 minutes prior to park opening (typically at 9:00AM) to see this cute show.Can you meet Tiana at Disneyland? ›
The area of the Wishing Well (to the right of the castle) is a popular meeting spot for princesses and their friends. You might spot Aurora, Ariel or Jasmine and Aladdin. Different characters may appear there, as well. Princess Tiana greets guests in front of the water or near the Petrified Tree by Rivers of America.What is Tiana's Bayou Adventure replacing? ›
— Disney has shared more details about the story for Tiana's Bayou Adventure, the attraction replacing Splash Mountain at Disney World and Disneyland.Is Splash Mountain closing? › What is Tiana's last name Disney? ›
Most Disney princesses do not have last names. Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora all take their prince's last name when they marry. Mulan, Pocahontas, and Tiana keep their own last names. Belle, Jasmine, Rapunzel, Merida, Anna, and Elsa all currently do not have last names.What does Nola girl mean? ›
Nola Origin and Meaning
The name Nola is girl's name of Gaelic, Latin origin meaning "white shoulder".
Charlotte affectionately calls Tiana "Tia" while Tiana calls her "Lottie". Her figure is based on that of pop icon Marilyn Monroe.
During a war in another realm, Tiana's father serves as a cook. However, when the time comes, he finds himself having to fight. For his bravery, Tiana's father is awarded a firefly ruby medal.Was Disney World almost built in Louisiana? ›
Disney had also eyed the Big Easy as a possible theme park location, and even began purchasing property in New Orleans, but ultimately chose Orlando after politicians in Louisiana demanded too much. Another city where Disney could have created his World was St. Louis.Why is New Orleans called the Big Easy? ›
In the early 1900s there was a dance hall in New Orleans called “The Big Easy.” But the nickname did not become famous until the early 1970s. That was when a Louisiana newspaper writer began calling New Orleans by this name. She compared the easy-going way of life there to the hurried pace of life in New York City.Is Lady and the Tramp set in New Orleans? ›
Where was Lady and the Tramp filmed? Despite being set in New Orleans, the Disney Plus Lady and the Tramp remake actually filmed in Savannah, Georgia. The city is no stranger to Hollywood productions, having recently been the backdrop for Gemini Man and Le Mans '66.Is Tiana the only black Disney Princess? ›
Tiana is notable for being Disney's first black princess. The studio's decision to create a black heroine was met with mixed reception.Does Disney have a black princess? ›
In Disney's nearly 100-year history, there has been only one Black Disney princess — Princess Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog,” a 2009 animated feature starring Anika Noni Rose. The singer Brandy starred in a 1997 made-for-TV film version of “Cinderella,” a remake of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.Who was Disney's first black princess? ›
After making history as the first Black Disney princess in an animated movie, Tiana will be honored with a new “The Princess and the Frog” inspired-attraction that's coming to Disney World and Disneyland Resort.What Disney movie is based in Louisiana? ›
New Orleans (aka "Nawlins" as the locals call it, or "the Big Easy") is the most populated city in Louisiana, and was one of Walt Disney's favorite cities in the United States, having featured in several Disney productions. It appears in several films including The Princess and the Frog and Treasure of Matecumbe.What is the central message of frog and toad? ›
Frog and Toad tackle some pretty big ideas. Perhaps most importantly, they teach children to understand and appreciate their individuality. One story reassures kids that they don't always have to be brave. In “Alone,” we learn that it's okay to want to be have some time by yourself once in a while.What is the moral of the frogs? ›
The moral of the story is: A willful man will have his way to his own hurt. The Two Frogs is one of the famous Aesop's Fables. A “fable” is a short story, typically with animals as characters, telling a moral or lesson.
The key theme, as in the original fairy tale, is the importance of keeping promises. When Tiana fulfills her promise to the frog, she ends up with the prince of her dreams.Was Disney supposed to be in New Orleans? ›
Back in the Sixties, one of the plans for what is now Bayou Sauvage was to build a theme park, and New Orleans folklore has long had it that this was the first choice for the site of Disney World.Why did Disney cancel the Magic Bus? ›
Disney first announced its Magical Express service was ending last year. At the time, a park spokesperson said the service was no longer necessary as "consumer needs and preferences change," and pointed to on-demand transportation options like rideshares.Why did Disney Close Its a small world? ›
“it's a small world” To Close For Refurbishment In October at Disneyland.What is the number one attraction in New Orleans? ›
1. French Quarter. The French Quarter of New Orleans is what most tourists come to see when they visit the city. Set along a bend on the Mississippi River, the main attraction here is the architecture, but it is also a great area for dining and entertainment.What is the number one thing in New Orleans? ›
1. French Quarter. While Bourbon Street can be avoided (unless it's your first visit to New Orleans - you have to experience it), the French Quarter is always a must-do, any time of year.What is the most famous food in New Orleans? ›
New Orleans is famous for a lot of foods, and chief among them is the traditional rice dish known as jambalaya.How do you unlock Tiana? ›
Players needed to have completed all the milestones of 2 chapters to unlock the Bonus Shop and therefore Tiana.Where to buy Tiana merchandise at Disney World? ›
Shop handsome home goods, stylish apparel, accessories and more at this beautiful bayou boutique.Which Disney World park has the most princesses? ›
If you want to see as many princesses as you can in one park, head to Magic Kingdom. Many of the princesses appear in either the Festival of Fantasy parade or the Disney Adventure Friends Cavalcade.
See Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall | Walt Disney World Resort.What will replace Splash Mountain? ›
Disney reveals storyline for Tiana's Bayou Adventure, the ride that's replacing Splash Mountain. (NEXSTAR) – Unlike the flume rides at other amusement parks, the Imagineers at Disney insist on creating an intricate storyline to explain why guests are lining up to plunge into some pond water.Is Splash Mountain changing to Tiana? ›
Splash Mountain at Disney World closed in Jan. 2023. A closing date for Splash Mountain in Disneyland has yet to be announced. Both of the attractions are scheduled to re-debut as Tiana's Bayou Adventure in late 2024.Does Tiana have a restaurant at Disney? ›
Disney said Tiana's Palace will serve "authentic New Orleans flavors inspired by Tiana's friends and adventures." The menu will "expand on many of the current favorites served in the location, explore seasonal flavors and, of course, offer some New Orleans classics."Does Disney World have a Tiana's place? ›
DISCOUNT THEME PARK TICKETS
Free Shipping & Tax Included. Tiana's Palace will be the newest restaurant on Orleans Street. Within its peach-colored walls and fancy green wrought-iron balconies, you'll find elegant fixtures and appointments reminiscent of Tiana's life and friendships.
Where to find Tinkerbell at Disney World. If you are hoping to meet Tinkerbell, she runs a meet-and-greet at the Town Square Theater in Main Street USA, in the Magic Kingdom park, where you can get photographs and an autograph from her.Where in New Orleans does Princess and the Frog take place? ›
The Bayou of New Orleans is one of the central locations in the 2009 Disney animated feature film The Princess and the Frog.Which Disney Princess takes place in New Orleans? ›
Princess Tiana introduced families all over the world to the wonder and culture that is the Crescent City. Just like Disney movies, a visit to New Orleans always has a magical journey and a happy ending. Map out your magical experience with this Princess and the Frog-inspired guide to NOLA.Where is Princess Tiana located? ›
See Princess Tiana and a Visiting Princess at Princess Fairytale Hall | Walt Disney World Resort.What city did Tiana's story take place? ›
Tiana was inspired in part by famed restaurateur Leah Chase, whom Clements and Musker met on their research trip to New Orleans.
Disney Cruise Line passengers and luggage should be dropped off at 1100 Port of New Orleans Way (Erato Street Cruise Terminal). Parking is available at 1451 Tchoupitoulas Street.
To be called Tiana's Bayou Adventure, it will be based on the 2009 film 'The Princess and the Frog,' which was in turn inspired by the life of Chase's mother, Leah chase. Tiana gets an up-close look at New Orleans' Mardi Gras in 'The Princess and the Frog. 'Is Tiana the only black Disney princess? ›
Tiana is notable for being Disney's first black princess. The studio's decision to create a black heroine was met with mixed reception.Is there a black Disney princess? ›
In Disney's nearly 100-year history, there has been only one Black Disney princess — Princess Tiana in “The Princess and the Frog,” a 2009 animated feature starring Anika Noni Rose. The singer Brandy starred in a 1997 made-for-TV film version of “Cinderella,” a remake of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.Where can I meet Tiana at Disney World? ›
Meet Princess Tiana at Princess Fairytale Hall | Walt Disney World Resort.Where can I meet Tiana? ›
Tiana can be found greeting guests inside Princess Fairytale Hall in Fantasyland. This is going to be your best spot to find her if she is a must meet character on your list. Other Princesses at Fairytale Hall are Cinderella, Elena, and Rapunzel.Is Tiana's Palace a real restaurant? ›
Tiana is the star of "The Princess and the Frog," which is set in south Louisiana. Tiana was inspired by Chef Leah Chase of Dooky Chase's Restaurant in New Orleans. On Thursday, Disneyland announced that a new restaurant called Tiana's Palace will open in New Orleans Square.What is Tiana's last name? ›
Most Disney princesses do not have last names. Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora all take their prince's last name when they marry. Mulan, Pocahontas, and Tiana keep their own last names.What is the moral lesson in The Princess and the Frog? ›
The globally popular story of the 'Princess and the Frog' is a fairy tale that carries a wonderful moral. The moral is to accept everyone regardless of their looks! This bedtime story is about a prince who is cursed by a witch and turned into a frog.Who is Tiana based off of? ›
Leah Chase At the Smithsonian: The New Orleans Chef Who Inspired Princess Tiana. You may already know that Disney's The Princess and the Frog drew inspiration from the true story of Leah Chase, the legendary New Orleans chef.