Disney World Confirms Start Date for Live-Action ‘Little Mermaid’ Character Experience

Halley Bailey Ariel Meet and Greet Feature Image

Disney’s latest live-action adaptation of one of its classic animated films is set to debut next week when The Little Mermaid (2023) releases in theaters on May 26, 2023. The film, starring Halle Bailey as the title character, has inspired an upcoming character meet and greet experience at Disney Parks, and we’ve got all the details for how you can meet Ariel during your next trip to Walt Disney World.

The Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

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Disney fans had been anticipating a live-action Little Mermaid meet and greet at the theme parks since the company posted character performer auditions for the role last year. This spring, the Disney Parks Blog confirmed that Halle Bailey’s version of the beloved Disney Princess would be coming to multiple Disney Parks, including Disneyland Paris, Disneyland Park in Anaheim, CA, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios near Orlando, FL.

For Guests visiting Walt Disney World, the Disney Parks Blog announcement stated:

When Ariel’s adventures on land take her to Walt Disney World Resort, guests will be able to meet her by visiting Walt Disney Presents at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Ariel invites guests to be “part of her world” and for a limited time, see a special sneak peek and props from the film available at Walt Disney Presents Theater. Come be immersed in the live-action “The Little Mermaid” story at Walt Disney World!

Live Action Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

RELATED: Everything You Need to Know About Disney World Character Meet and Greets

And today, May 18, 2023, Disney has confirmed that the meet and greets at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World will begin the same day as the film’s release on May 26, 2023. Greeting times will be listed in the My Disney Experience app beginning May 26 so you can plan when to see the new character in the Parks during your next trip.

Given the wording of Disney’s initial announcement on the live-action Ariel meet and greet, Ariel will be featured in her human form (perhaps even as she appears in the photo above where this is the image that Disney used in its release.)

Halle Bailey as The Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

RELATED: Official Trailer Released for Disney’s ‘The Little Mermaid’ (2023)

Ariel at Walt Disney World

The new Little Mermaid character meet and greet (and film sneak peek) at Disney’s Hollywood Studios will not interfere with the Resort’s current Ariel meet and greet at the Magic Kingdom.

While Walt Disney Presents will be home to all things live-action Little Mermaid, Guests will still be able to meet Ariel in her mermaid form as she is depicted in the 1989 film in the Magic Kingdom at her grotto adjacent to the Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction.

The Little Mermaid debuts in theaters across the country on May 26, 2023, and in addition to Halle Bailey as Ariel stars Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Jonah Hauer‑King as Prince Eric, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Javier Bardem as King Triton, and Awkwafina as Scuttle.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."