As construction begins to wind down on the expansion of Disney Springs, more and more construction walls are being removed, revealing the results of the years of work Disney’s Imagineers have put into revamping the waterfront complex. Perhaps the biggest milestone so far has been this summer’s opening of the Town Center, the fourth neighborhood of the former Downtown Disney. Filled with new shops and restaurants, the area celebrates the history and architecture of small town Old Florida.
Until recently, one of the only ways to get a taste of what Town Center would be like has been to admire the artwork on Disney Spring’s many construction walls. However, Disney fans that may have stopped to investigate these images might have also noticed some familiar characters hidden in some of these pieces if they dig a little deeper. For example, a stylized depiction of Prince Naveen from “The Princess and the Frog” could be seen among the figures populating Town Center.
Clad in the 1920’s-era outfit he donned upon arriving at New Orleans near the beginning of the film, the Prince of Maldonia was depicted offering a flower to a nearby woman. Given that Naveen once admitted that he had dated “thousands of women” prior to meeting Tiana, it’s no surprise to see him turning up the charm while apparently stopped in Florida on his way to the Big Easy. A second piece of Town Center concept art featuring a hidden young Tiana with her parents as part of the design was also displayed on certain Disney Springs construction walls.
With the opening of Town Center, these subtle nods to “The Princess and the Frog” are disappearing from Disney Springs as construction walls continue to come down. Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen, however, have moved on to bigger and better things at Walt Disney World. The pair now have a prominent role in the Magic Kingdom’s new musical castle show, “Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire,” while Tiana has recently joined Rapunzel to meet guests at nearby “Princess Fairytale Hall.”