Disney Parks Seeking to Replace Classic Ariel Meet and Greets With Live-Action Version

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Movies, Walt Disney World

Ariel thinking in her Grotto at Magic Kingdom in Disney World with Mickey Mouse nervously saying goodbye

Credit: Disney (both images)

Disney could be seeking a drastic change, as the Parks might be replacing the classic Disney Princess Ariel with Halle Bailey’s version from the upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid. 

When visiting Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World Resort, or any of the Disney Parks worldwide, Guests can meet and interact with some of their favorite Disney characters, from Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse to Princess Tiana, Princess Jasmine, Snow White, Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, and so many more! Character interactions are so popular that some Guests are willing to pay additional charges to meet their favorite Disney characters, which is no wonder considering that new characters are constantly debuting at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.

Princess Merida running after a mother and her daughter during Princess Nite at Disneyland Resort
Credit: Disney

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New characters often debut at Disney Parks with the latest movies and series premiere, like Black Panther, Shang Chi, Boba Fett, Fennec Shand, The Mandalorian, and Grogu. And with the upcoming live-action adaptation of the beloved Disney classic The Little Mermaid, it would appear that Disney is seeking to make a significant change to meet and greets with Ariel.

Inside the Magic recently reported that Walt Disney World Resort was actively casting young actresses to portray Halle Bailey’s version of Ariel at the Disney Parks. Well, it seems that this casting is extending beyond Orlando, as Disneyland Resort recently posted a similar casting, seeking young actresses to play the role of Halle Bailey’s Ariel at the Southern California theme park.

Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid 2023
Credit: Disney

Related: Fans Use Disturbing AI to Turn Halle Bailey White In ‘The Little Mermaid’ Remake

The official Disney Auditions website states:

Disney Live Entertainment is seeking Disney Character Look-alikes for the role of ARIEL as depicted in the upcoming live-action adaption of The Little Mermaid.

ARIEL: An inquisitive and daring mermaid princess, Ariel is fascinated by the world of humans. Whether she’s on land or under the sea, she’s eager to connect her two worlds, knowing they aren’t so different after all. Ariel appears as depicted in the upcoming live-action adaption of The Little Mermaid.

Halle Bailey as Ariel in Disney's live-action THE LITTLE MERMAID. Photo courtesy of Disney. © 2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Credit: Disney

Related: Rachel Zegler, Disney’s New Snow White, Defends Halle Bailey From Racist ‘The Little Mermaid’ Criticism

The ideal profile for the role, per Disney, includes 5’2”-5’6” candidates with warm, engaging, and outgoing personalities. The tasks for this demanding role include playing Ariel before thousands of guests each day in character greetings, sightings, and other experiences across the Disneyland Resort while signing autographs, posing for pictures, and helping create magical moments with Guests of all ages.

Disney Parks officials have not shared any statements regarding a permanent change to character interactions with Ariel, addressing if the classic character would be permanently replaced with HalleBailey’ss live-action version, if both versions of Ariel would alternate character interactions at the Parks, or if the live-action version of Ariel will appear temporarily at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort after the premiere of The Little Mermaid later this year, with the classic version of Ariel returning after.

A girl meeting Ariel from The Little Mermaid at Ariel's Grotto in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom, enchanting Disney experiences
Credit: Disney

The upcoming live-action adaptation of The Little Mermaid starring Halle Bailey has sparked polemic since it was first announced. While millions of young girls are delighted by the significant step forward in representation the live-action adaptation will mean, countless comments of racism have surfaced, with actress Halle Bailey speaking out on the backlash her casting caused.

Directed by Rob Marshall, The Little Mermaid (2023) features original music by Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken. Bailey is Ariel, Melissa McCarthy is Ursula the Sea Witch, Jonah Hauer-King is Prince Eric, Javier Bardem is King Triton, Daveed Diggs is Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay is Flounder, and Awkwafina is Scuttle the seagull. Catch it in theaters on May 26, 2023!

Do you agree with Disney possibly replacing Ariel in meet and greets? What do you think of this potential change? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

in Disney, Disneyland Resort, Movies, Walt Disney World

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