Halle Bailey’s Little Mermaid Officially Takes Over at Disney Parks

in Disneyland Paris, Movies & TV

The Little Mermaid at Disney Parks with Halle Bailey's version in the background

Background Image Credit: @dlpmagic_, Twitter

As the new Disney live-action remake splashes into movie theaters across the globe, Halle Bailey’s version of Ariel — the titular Little Mermaid — has taken over at Disney Parks.

Halle Bailey playing Ariel in 'The Little Mermaid' (2023)
Credit: Disney

Disney’s The Little Mermaid (2023) is The Walt Disney Company’s latest live-action reboot effort. Following the likes of Aladdin (2019), The Lion King (2019), Cruella (2020), and most recently, Peter Pan & Wendy (2023), director Rob Marshall’s spin on the classic 1989 movie of the same name is one of the year’s most anticipated.

It hasn’t been without its criticisms, though. Upon the casting of singer and actress Halle Bailey in the role of Ariel, Disney was branded as pushing its diversity and inclusion efforts, walking that thin line of political correctness. Bailey, a Black actress, takes on the role of the singing mermaid made famous by Jodi Benson. Benson voiced and provided the vocals for Ariel in the animated classic, where Ariel was depicted as a white mermaid.

King Triton, Ariel and Flounder (left to right), from The Little Mermaid (1989)
Credit: Disney

Related: Disney Infuriates ‘The Little Mermaid’ Fans, Makes Racist Change

Of course, The Little Mermaid is fiction, and skin color should not matter to the role, but that didn’t stop some vocal “fans” from denouncing Disney and Marshall’s under-the-sea blockbuster. Now, after months and months (if not years) of hype and anticipation, The Little Mermaid will finally swim into cinemas today, May 26, 2023.

To coincide with the release of the big screen event, Disney Parks have officially debuted Bailey’s iteration of the iconic mermaid at one of their worldwide destinations.

Halle Bailey in Disney's 'The Little Mermaid' playing with fish
Credit: Disney

It’s not a surprise that the live-action Ariel has made an appearance, as earlier this year, casting calls for Parks like Disneyland Resort, Disneyland Paris, and Walt Disney World Resort were released.

And she has finally debuted!

Over at Disneyland Paris, which consists of Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park and Disney Village, the new Ariel has been captured dancing and performing at the Parks. A tweet from @dlpmagic_ revealed the new character, who performs alongside other dancers and singers to the film’s upbeat anthem “Under the Sea”.

Another tweet from @DisneyWorldJP (via @DLPReport) captured another angle of the mermaid.

Disneyland Paris' Sleeping Beauty Castle lights up at dusk
Credit: Disney

Related: Guest Defaces Every Part of Disney Park, Flaunts Himself on Social Media

Only time will tell when other locations like Disneyland Resort (Anaheim, Southern California) and Walt Disney World Resort (Orlando, Central Florida) will debut their new version of Ariel for Guests– but the best guesses are it will be over this Memorial Day weekend to coincide with the opening of The Little Mermaid.

Disney’s The Little Mermaid stars Halle Bailey as Ariel, Melissa McCarthy as Ursula, Daveed Diggs as Sebastian, Jacob Tremblay as Flounder, Awkwafina as Scuttle, Javier Bardem as King Triton, and Jonah Hauer-King as Prince Eric. At the time of publishing, it is reported that The Little Mermaid is tracking a huge $10 million+ in early previews, making it the 6th highest preview performance in motion picture history, per Deadline.

Are you looking forward to seeing Halle Bailey’s Ariel from the new film at Disney Parks? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in Disneyland Paris, Movies & TV

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