It’s nearly impossible to overstate the impact “The Little Mermaid” had when it arrived in 1989. The songs were inescapable.
The animated film kicked off an almost unmatched string of success, followed by classics like “Beauty and the Beast”, “Aladdin” and “The Lion King”.
The mighty quartet became the pillars of Disney parks as well, holding down the fort until Anna and Elsa brought a new generation of princesses.
Even today, the love for Ariel remains nearly unmatched. If Ariel isn’t the most represented princess in the park, she’s certainly right at the top.
When Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom underwent a large expansion roughly a decade ago, part of it was to give Belle and Ariel larger pieces of the park to accommodate demand.
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Is there an Ariel at Disney World?
Yes. There are several.
And thanks to the new live-action version of “The Little Mermaid,” you can see two versions of her.
From parades to rides to character meet and greets and character dining to shows, there is enough Ariel to make your Walt Disney World vacation magical.
Can you still meet Ariel at Disney World?
Yes. Outside of Mickey, Disney princesses are probably the most popular characters to sign an autograph book for a guest.
And Ariel may well be the most popular princess.
Which Disney park has Ariel?
Ariel is in the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom doesn’t have any Ariel interactions.
Does Disney have the live-action Ariel?
Yes! On the same day the live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid” hit theaters, which premiered on May 26, a “new” Ariel made her debut at Walt Disney World Resort.
The new look is inspired by the actress Halle Bailey.
Located at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Ariel stepped out of the new movie and into Prince Eric’s shoreside castle.
Ariel’s meet and greet location at Walt Disney Presents, which is in the Animation Courtyard, features artwork inspired by the movie.
There are also many of Ariel’s “thingamabobs” and replicas of props from the film on display.
Ariel from the live-action story appears at Walt Disney Presents in Disney’s Hollywood Studios for a limited time only.
Guests can also see her at Disneyland Resort in California and at Disneyland Paris in France.
Where can you find Ariel in Disney World?
In addition to the new experience at Hollywood Studios, there is a meet and greet at Ariel’s Grotto in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. We usually knock out our ride in the clamshell attraction and the Ariel meet and greet early in the day because the lines usually aren’t bad then.
You can also do a character dining experience at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside the castle at the Magic Kingdom. She is usually one of the four princesses in addition to Snow White, Aurora and Jasmine that guests get to meet at the dinner. Although, note that characters are subject to change.
She is also commonly one of the featured characters at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT. She is frequently joined by Belle, Mulan, Aurora and Snow White.
Two words of caution: First make sure you get a reservation for either of these two dining experiences. And note that you are not guaranteed to meet Ariel at either one. Disney reserves the right to have other princesses come out including Pocahontas, Mary Poppins or Alice.
There was also the Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno at Disney’s Boardwalk. The character breakfast featured a pair of royal couples, Ariel and Prince Eric and Rapunzel and Flynn Rider. The Disney website says the character breakfast is temporarily unavailable.
Where else can we see Ariel?
She is around. One of the best places to see her is in a parade or cavalcade in the Magic Kingdom.
Ariel is one of the main attractions of the Festival of Fantasy parade where she is joined by Sebastian the crab and Flounder the … well, flounder. Her float follows the parade route from over near the former Splash Mountain through Liberty Square and eventually up Main Street USA.
She also makes an appearance at the Fantasmic! show in Hollywood Studios.
You can also stay in a Little Mermaid-themed room at Disney’s Art of Animation resort. It’s not as exciting as a character meet and greet, but the kids think it’s cool.
Can I meet Ariel at the Princess Fairytale Hall in the Magic Kingdom?
No. Disney likes to keep their most popular princesses apart to break up the lines, and the Fairytale Hall is Cinderella’s domain.
They used to host four princesses in the hall, but it’s currently Cinderella and a guest like Princess Tiana or Princess Elena from the Disney Jr. TV show.
Is Ariel’s Grotto still at Disney World?
Yes, it’s still there. It’s in the Little Mermaid section of what I call the new Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom. Check the Disney app for details.
It was temporarily unavailable for some time but is currently back open.
Where is the Ariel ride at Disney World?
Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid is right next to Ariel’s Grotto in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. You can ride and then meet the princess from your favorite Disney movie.
To get there, come straight down Main Street, through the Cinderella Castle, past the Prince Charming Merry Go Round and then make a right at Belle’s Castle.
The ride itself is classic Disney. You board a clamshell ride vehicle to enjoy a ride through the story of the Little Mermaid.
It’s a great ride for those who love the story and colorful visuals. I also love exceptional air conditioning.
Who is your favorite Dinsey princess in Orlando? Let us know in the comments below.