Menu

Who Is the Oldest Disney Princess?

For many Disney and Walt Disney World Resort fans, fandom began with a Walt Disney picture. The Walt Disney Company has blessed us with many Disney movies that have provided an escape, entertainment, and an outlet to dream for generations. From soaring with Peter Pan over the streets of London to claiming a New World with Pocahontas and John Smith to exploring an undersea world with Princess Ariel, there is no denying that a Disney movie can transport you in an instant.

The Princess and the Frog

Credit: Disney

I am a fan of many Disney movies, but I have a special place in my heart for Disney Princess films. The Disney Princess franchise is a huge deal. From the movies and merchandise in “real world” stores like Target, Walmart and Amazon. To experiences like Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique at Walt Disney World Resort, this Disney film sect is big business. This is to say nothing of the famous Princess character meets and character dining at Disney Parks around the globe.

Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique

Credit: Disney

If Disney Princess films are your favorite, there is no shortage of content, rides, movies, merchandise, and experiences to enjoy. If you have a Princess lover in your family, you have likely noticed the abundance of Princess merchandise on vacation. But a few decades ago, during the thriving Disney Renaissance, Princess-loving-kids in the Parks could not engage with the Disney Princess franchise as they do now.

In fact, the Disney+ Imagineering documentary told stories about Imagineering history and Disney Parks that highlighted this gap. In the late 1980s, Cast Members and Imagineers welcomed hundreds of homemade Princess-dress-clad children into the Disney Parks daily. There was virtually no Princess merchandise in the Parks to purchase.

Snow White Forest Scene Animated Movie

Credit: Disney D23

Related: How Many Princesses Are at Disney?

Of course, Disney quickly remedied this with new merchandise lines, and now kids and adults alike can Disney bound as their favorite leading lady during a Disney World Park day.

Over the years, there have been plenty of awesome Disney movies that are not Princess-centric. However, the Princess story is central to the Disney franchise, having released many iconic Princesses over decades. The Walt Disney Company, as we know and love it today, started with a full-length feature film starring Disney’s oldest Princess, Snow White. In 1937 Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered. So if you have ever wondered, who is the oldest Disney princess? The answer to this fun fact is Snow White.

Snow White with apple

Credit: Disney

After Snow White was released in 1937, the 1950 hit Cinderella followed. In 1959, amid the beautiful hand-drawn animation, fans fawned over the lovely Princess Aurora in Sleeping Beauty. The 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s saw a drought in Disney Princesses.

Aurora Forest Scene Animated Movie

Credit: Disney D23

We did not get our next Disney Princess until 1989, when Princess Ariel was introduced as King Triton’s daughter in the film The Little Mermaid. The 1990s saw the upswing of what Disney fans call the Disney Renaissance—this decade introduced us to many leading ladies in quick succession. In 1991 we met a bookish and beautiful French maiden, Belle, in the movie Beauty and the Beast. Soon after, in 1992, we traveled to the land of Aggrabah, where we met Princess Jasmine in the film Aladdin.

Beauty and the Beast Animated Film Ballroom

Credit: Disney D23

As a 90s kid, the next Princess will always be my favorite. Beautiful, fierce, and brave Pocahontas came to the screen in 1995. We traveled to the land of ancient China in 1998 in the movie Mulan and got our first live-action Disney princess in the beautiful and fun film Enchanted in 2007, where we met Giselle.

In 2009 we got a new animated Disney Princess from right here in America when The Princess and the Frog came to screens with Princess Tiana. This New Orleans native had dreams of owning her restaurant. The following year we met Rapunzel in the 2010 movie Tangled. The Scottish highlands showed off their fierce and brave Princess Merida in the 2012 Disney Pixar movie Brave. 

The Little Mermaid Animated Picture

Credit: Disney D23

In 2013 we met sisters from the frozen north in the popular, Frozen franchise. The crowds love Princess Anna and Queen Elsa. Things got tropical in 2016 when we met Polynesian Princess Moana. 2021 saw the introduction of Princess Raya into this iconic group from the movie Raya and the Last Dragon.

They may not be official Disney Princesses, but more recent films have given us heroines and protagonists like Mirabel in the 2021 movie Encanto. Fun, Vanellope von Schweetz was an endearing character in the 2012 movie Wreck-It Ralph. After Disney acquired the STAR WARS franchise, rebellious and brave Princess Leia officially became a Disney Princess in 2019.

Mulan Animated Film

Credit: Disney D23

Though unofficial in Disney terms, there is also an ongoing online debate about the age of each of these iconic Disney princesses. Another sign of the times they were animated in, the abounding theory, is that the 1937 original princess, Snow White was only 14 years old. Cinderella is said to be 19 years old at the time of her story. Princess Ariel, Princess Aurora, and Mulan are said to be 16 years.

@disneymommagic

👸 #disneyparks #disneyworld #wdw #disneyprincess #disneyprincesses #disneycreator #disneytips #disneycontent #disneyfyp #disneytiktok #distok #disney

♬ Classic – MKTO

Belle is 17 years old, and headstrong Arabian Princess Jasmine is only 15, making her the youngest Disney Princess. Princess Pocahontas is said to have been 18 years old, Tiana 19 years old, and Rapunzel 18 years old. Sharpshooter Princess Merida was 16 years old, and Scandinavian royalty Princess Anna was 18, while Snow Queen Elsa was 21 when their story was told.

Frozen Anna and Olaf Animated Film

Credit Disney D23

This Disney Princess list is, of course, unofficial where ages are concerned. Still, it’s interesting to think of how young these ladies were when meeting the likes of Prince Florian (Snow White), Prince Charming (Cinderella), Prince Adam (Belle), Prince Eric (Ariel), Prince Naveen (Tiana), John Smith (Pocahontas), Li Shang, (Mulan) and Prince Phillip (Aurora).

Disney Princes Feature Image

So much has changed over the years of Disney Princess movie-making and fandom. Like anything, culture has changed how movies, music, and film dialogue have changed. The sweet, innocent, and vulnerable demeanor of Snow White in 1937 is historically juxtaposed with the can-do attitude, grit, and strength of more recent Disney Princesses like Moana, Mulan, and Pocahontas.

Moana Animated Film

Credit: Disney D23

Princesses like Raya, Merida, Moana, Mulan, and Pocahontas taught us to be brave, follow our path, stand up for others, and protect the family at all costs. Watching the changing times through the eyes of Disney Princess culture is a fun hobby the Disney Princess and Walt Disney World diehards enjoy. Disney Princess movies will forever be a staple for many of us, and it all started with the oldest Disney Princess, Snow White!

About Katie Chapman

Hey There! I am a Georgia native with a passion for writing, traveling, cooking, decorating, pugs and of course all things Disney. Growing up in South Georgia just a few hours from Walt Disney World made for a magical childhood. Some of my best memories were made on Main Street U.S.A. with my sister watching SpectroMagic nighttime parade or beside my grandparents, parents and extended family at Chef Mickey’s celebrating on a family vacation. Epcot was my favorite park from a young age and I credit it with my interest in and love for international travel. As a kid I loved meeting characters and watching films around World Showcase and could spend hours exploring each of the countries in Epcot. These days, my husband and I get away to explore a new country whenever we can and even incorporate trips to The Disney Store and Disney Parks around the world in our travels. One of our travel goals is to visit every Disney Park in the world. I love writing about Disney restaurants, park tips, Disney outfit inspiration and Disney history. Pocahontas is my favorite Disney Princess (90s kid here!) but Mr. Toad is my spirit animal. When I’m not at Disney I’m reading about park history, watching Disney documentaries and shopping vintage Disney merch for park outfits. I never pass up a reservation to Ohana, an empty seat on Living with the Land or a Violet Sake.