Walt Disney World to Hold Auditions for Live-Action Ariel Character Performers

A new live-action retelling of The Little Mermaid (1989) is coming to theaters across the country on May 26, 2023, and Disney has already begun its search for performers to portray the title character in the theme parks.

The Little Mermaid (2023) stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, alongside performances by  Jonah Hauer-King, Javier Bardem, and Melissa McCarthy, with voicework by Daveed Diggs, Jacob Tremblay, and Awkwafina. The film’s trailers have already proven to be a hit with Disney fans who appreciate seeing more diversity in a new retelling of a classic story, and it seems that later this year, fans will be able to meet Ariel as she is portrayed in the new film while visiting Disney World.

The Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

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According to the official Disney Auditions website, the company is currently searching for look-alike performers between the heights of 5’2″ and 5’6″ “with warm, engaging, and outgoing personalities” to portray Ariel as depicted by Halle Bailey.

While the posting does not note where this character will be greeting Guests at Walt Disney World, it does point out that performers will need to be versed in all types of interactions, including character meet and greets, autograph signings, and distanced sightings.

The Little Mermaid Halle Bailey

Credit: Disney

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To submit an audition, prospective performers must follow all of the instructions on the Disney Auditions site, which include creating an online profile, learning choreography and animations, and filming themselves performing the routine and a reading to submit as a link. Four current photographs must also be submitted during the online portion of the audition process, and performers must check in on the website by providing a selfie to complete this stage.

Submissions are being accepted through February 5, 2023, and performers who are selected to move on in the process will be contacted for in-person callbacks.

journey of the little mermaid

Credit: Disney

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Currently Ariel (as depicted in the 1989 animated movie) greets Guests in her grotto outside of the Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction in the Magic Kingdom, but it is unclear where the live-action performer will be spotted once she debuts in the theme parks.

For more information, and to submit an online audition, visit

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."