New Ariel Coming to Disney Parks

Cinderella Castle and Sleeping Beauty Castle side by side
Images Credit: Disney

Out of the sea…wishes she could be…part of our world.

The Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

Fans of the old The Little Mermaid (1989) and the new live-action The Little Mermaid (2023) are in for a surprise. Disney Parks has announced that the updated version of the classic princess will be coming to both Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort. Starting in late May to coincide with the upcoming film’s release, Ariel will be venturing out to Disney Parks this summer.

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Walt Disney World

In Orlando, Ariel will be available for meet-and-greets near Walt Disney Presents at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where Monsters Inc. (2001) characters are currently occupying residency. While visiting the Little Mermaid, Guests will be invited to grab a sneak peek of props from the film inside the Walt Disney Presents Theater.

Disneyland Resort

In Anaheim at Disneyland Park, Ariel will greet fans of all ages along the promenade near “it’s a small world.” Just as with similar character meet-and-greets, she will be available for photo ops and autographs.

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Animated Classic vs. Live-Action Remake

Starring singer and actress Halle Bailey (“grown-ish”) as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, and Javier Bardem as Triton, the film will be released exclusively in theaters on May 26, 2023. The Little Mermaid (2023) has not been without its controversies as of late, including casting choices, critiques of its special effects, and announcements of changes to the original film’s song lyrics.

The Little Mermaid Animated Picture

Credit: Disney D23

RELATED: What Kind of New Music Can Disney Fans Expect in ‘The Little Mermaid?’

Of course, it’s always interesting to see Disney’s choices when remaking live versions of their animated classics, but they have not always been received well.

Pinocchio Live-Action

Credit: Disney/IMDb

Hopefully, this film will be judged on its merits instead of the tangled controversies that seem to follow it around.

About Steven Wilk

Steven has a complicated relationship with Disney. As a child, he visited Walt Disney World every few years with his family. But he never understood why kids his age (and older) were so scared of Snow White or Alien Encounter. He is a former participant of the Disney College Program (left early…long story), and he also previously worked in Children’s publishing, where he adapted multiple Disney movies and TV shows. He has many controversial opinions about Disney…like having a positive view of Michael Eisner, believing Return of the Jedi is superior to The Empire Strikes Back, and that Toy Story Land and Galaxy’s Edge should have never been built (at least not at Hollywood Studios). Every year for the past two decades, Steven has visited either Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Aulani or went on a Disney Cruise. He’s happy to share any and all knowledge of the Disney destinations (and he likes using parenthesis a lot…as well as ellipses…)