Grammy-nominated singer Halle Bailey, who will play the lead role of Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s “The Little Mermaid,” left two aspiring teen filmmakers speechless when she surprised them Friday during Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort with a personal invitation to join her on the red carpet at the movie’s world premiere in Hollywood.
Dylan Jones of Atlanta and Madison Henderson of Los Angeles were in the middle of a movie production training session Friday morning during Disney Dreamers Academy when Bailey, the program’s celebrity ambassador, made a surprise appearance and delivered the personal invitation to come to Hollywood. For the students it was a truly magical dream come true moment.
The movie’s world premiere takes place just before the film officially hits theaters nationwide on May 26.
Bailey is one of several celebrities taking part in the program that runs through Sunday. Music producer Questlove, R&B singing sensation H.E.R. and other TV and movie stars are serving as mentors and speakers.
This is the 16th year of Disney Dreamers Academy, a four-day, transformational, mentoring program designed to broaden career awareness and create opportunities for 100 Black high school students and teens from underrepresented communities across America each year.
The 100 students are selected from thousands of nationwide applicants for a once-in-a-lifetime mentoring program at Walt Disney World Resort. The program is designed to assist young people in identifying and pursuing their dreams. Along with a parent or guardian, the students receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to participate in the program, which features career-oriented workshops, leadership seminars and presentations by celebrity guests, community leaders, educators and Disney executives.