Ariel’s Replacement Disappoints Disney Guests

in Walt Disney World

Ariel Meet and Greet with the new version

Credit: Inside the Magic

The new live-action adaptation of Disney’s The Little Mermaid is the newest remake from the studio, and it’s already causing more than a bit of a buzz. However, no Disney character has caused a stir like Halle Bailey’s Ariel. An actress of color playing Disney’s scarlet-haired sea princess divided the fanbase at the very beginning, but how does she fair at the Disney Parks?

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

The remake version of Ariel made her debut at Walt Disney World and can be found outside of One Man’s Dream at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Naturally, it took only a short time for images of the new Meet and Greet to take to social media, and fans definitely have something to say.

Ariel Meet and Greet is Delightful… But Dull

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

Disney’s Character Meet and Greets are quintessential elements to the Disney Park experience, and the studio has gone above and beyond the call of duty to make them as screen-accurate as possible. But while Disney spared no expense in bringing live-action characters like the Avengers to life at Disneyland, Ariel’s new look seems to be lacking.

Related: Ursula Leak Spoils ‘The Little Mermaid’

A recent post on r/WaltDisneyWorld announced Ariel’s arrival, and many fans were understandably excited that she was being welcomed into the Parks. However, many users were quick to comment that the version seen in Disney World left much to be desired.

u/mercuryomnificent writes,

“She looks adorable but her dress feels weirdly casual. It looks like something a parks influencer would wear, not a princess. I get wanting to give her a more modest outfit than a bikini top and mermaid tail but this is… not my favorite.”

To which u/erin_mouse88 replies,

“Yeah it looks like disneybounding. If this is what the dress actually looks like in the movie there’s going to be a thin line between what’s acceptable disneybounding and what counts as “guest in a costume”.”

And u/AfterTheNightIWakeUp responds,

“Right? This is just a pretty girl at Disney. Wearing more sensible shoes than most. It doesn’t have the big flouncy gown feel like the other princesses, and no accessories like a crown to really send it home.”

Related: Some of the Best Twitter Reactions to ‘The Little Mermaid’

Multiple comment threads on the post follow this same train of thought, and the consensus seems to be that Disney could and should have done better. It might be the case that Ariel’s look will change once the film has been in theaters longer than two days, but fans will have to live with the lackluster look until then.

Do you like Ariel’s new look? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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