Ariel from Disney’s 2023 The Little Mermaid arrived at Disneyland this morning. The character of the live-action version arrived in the late morning at her location to gasps and cheers who were waiting to meet her. To say she received a happy welcome would be an understatement.
For many, this was a moment that had been long-waited for… and in more ways than just standing in a line (that technically didn’t exist until 11:00 AM) that morning to meet a character. Clearly, the arrival of Ariel at Disneyland was something that was inspiring people at many different levels, and it was a beautiful thing. Representation matters and the arrival of Ariel at Disneyland this morning was such a beautiful illustration of that.
Seeing that it was the first day that Ariel from the 2023 version of The Little Mermaid was going to be meeting with guests at Disneyland (and also Walt Disney World and Disneyland Paris), some fans eagerly arrived at the park quite early in the morning to welcome her. Some fans were in the park and heading to the location by 8:00 AM. By 10:00 AM, there were over a dozen groups in line. When the line was “officially formed” at 11:00 AM, Cast Members could be seen already determining where the cut-off for the first set and the start of the second set’s group of guests would start. Shortly at 11:30 AM, Ariel made her way out to ecstatic guests who were thrilled to see her. Within seconds she was making magic for the people who had been waiting throughout the morning, and some throughout their lives, to meet her.
Ariel’s interactions with guests were heartfelt, charming, and completely magical. She focused on each guest and engaged with them in a conversation that was very sweet. It also appeared that she was making legitimate connections with each guest that stepped up to meet her and take a picture. For some, this also involved seeing her dinglehopper or other treasures in her little box. There were also statues of her friends Sebastian and Scuttle. By the time the Daps Magic team had reached Ariel, it was already past 12:00 PM and Cast Members could be seen strategizing how the line would move and guests would get to meet Ariel throughout the day. Before the end of the first set, the group of guests for the third seemed to have already been determined.
Finally, it was time to meet Ariel. She was very interested in my bow tie and was more than happy to show off some of the statues of her friends and a gift from Eric. Finally, we took a picture together before taking a few photos of her. The whole experience was very sweet and having not seen her movie yet, I found myself eagerly anticipating seeing The Little Mermaid (read Daps Magic’s review here) and getting to be a part of her world again. The whole experience can be seen here:
Ariel is meeting with guests daily currently at this location near it’s a small world. This is the same location where Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and other characters were meeting with guests before the reopening of Mickey’s Toontown. For a time there were also some fun sets in the location that were themed to it’s a small world. For Ariel, her set is full of fun things to look at while waiting in line. This includes Scuttle, Sebastian, maps, trinkets, a triton, and a whole lot more.
Ariel’s Meet and Greet Set Times
(Set times as of the first day of Ariel’s meet and greet. Check the Disneyland App to confirm the set times)
- 11:30 AM
- 1:00 PM
- 2:15 PM
- 4:00 PM
- 5:15 PM
On the first day of Ariel’s meet and greets, the line was quite long. Keep in mind, this is the first day so that quite often means a longer line. However, expect this line and location to continue to be popular as word of mouth about how great meeting Ariel gets out and also word of mouth about the movies also grows. The line officially opened at 11:00 AM on the opening day. An unofficial line was starting to grow by 10:00 AM. While this may not be the norm, prepare for a wait if meeting Ariel is on your agenda.
The addition of Ariel as a meet-and-greet character is a wonderful and magical thing. Even if we hadn’t been able to meet her today (which I’m thankful we were), it was worth seeing her arrive and experiencing people’s reactions to that moment. Watching her make magic was also absolutely wonderful as well. Hats off to Disney for bringing Ariel from Disney’s 2023 version of The Little Mermaid into the parks. Definitely stop by and meet her if you get the chance. You won’t regret it!