Disney Could Replace Its Highest-Paid Princess in New Fantasmic! Show

in Walt Disney World

Actress Halle Bailey looking at her character Ariel from the live-action 'The Little Mermaid' (2023)

Credit: Inside the Magic

Disney is set to replace a fan-favorite Disney Princess — who is also the highest-paid performer in Fantasmic! — at Walt Disney World Resort soon.

When visiting Walt Disney World Resort, Guests of all ages can meet their favorite Disney characters and Princesses — despite severe critics against adults — at different locations, live shows, and parades. From Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora, to Tiana, Moana, Elsa, Anna, and more, Disney World and its four theme parks — Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and EPCOT — are must-visit destinations for all Disney fans. But from all Disney characters, there is one that sits comfortably on the fattest paycheck. And no, it’s not Mickey Mouse.

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

Related: Halle Bailey Doesn’t Want “Unprepared Interviews” After Disgusting International Experience

We’re talking about Disney Princess Ariel from the Walt Disney animated classic The Little Mermaid (1989), who reportedly is the highest-paid Disney character in the nighttime spectacular Fantasmic!

TikTok user Taryn Leigh Bench (@benchlandia) shared the reason why, commenting that Ariel can’t get out of the boat at the end of the show due to her costume but is instead covered in a highly flame-resistant blanket to protect her from the fireworks, which earns the performer an additional hazard pay for every performance. You can see the hilarious video of Ariel “securing the bag” below:


♬ original sound – Taryn Leigh Bench

While Ariel is a beloved Disney Princess who appears on the Festival of Fantasy Parade in Magic Kingdom and Fantasmic! at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, in addition to her iconic meet-and-greet location in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, Disney is gearing up to replace Ariel, at least temporarily. 

Last month, Disney officially announced that Halle Bailey’s live-action version of the character would meet Guests at Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort starting on May 26 — The Little Mermaid’s premiere date — and Disneyland Paris with no official debut date announced yet.

Halle Bailey as Ariel talking to Scuttle (Awkwafina) in live-action 'The Little Mermaid'
Credit: Disney

At Disneyland, Ariel will meet Guests along the promenade near “it’s a small world,” while at Disney World, Guests will be able to meet her by visiting Walt Disney Presents at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. And at Disneyland Paris, Ariel will meet Guests at Walt Disney Studios Park.

It is unclear if the live-action version of Ariel will permanently replace the original animated character or if both versions of the character will be “Part of Your World” for a limited time.

Halle Bailey as Ariel in live-action The Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

While Disney has not announced any official plans to invite Halle Bailey’s version of Ariel into the upcoming Fantasmic! performances, thinking that the live-action Princess could appear during the nighttime spectacular is not farfetched, especially considering that new characters like Moana and Mirabel have already been included in the show. However, as of this article’s publishing, this remains purely speculative. Inside the Magic will keep you updated on any changes as more information becomes available.

Would you like to see Halle Bailey’s live-action version of Ariel’s debut in Fantasmic! soon? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments below!

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