Disney fans are rejoicing over the recent release of The Little Mermaid on Blu-Ray, letting us return, once again, under the sea to get reacquainted with Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder, and the gang!
The Little Mermaid is one of Disney's most important animated films as it is credited for sparking the Disney Renaissance, a revival of successful classics that Disney hadn't enjoyed since before Walt's death.
The Little Mermaid also introduced us to the first Disney princess since Cinderella, and introduced Broadway style musical numbers into Disney films.
Since The Little Mermaid is such an important part of Disney history, and is so popular, the Disney World parks have incorporated this timeless story and its unforgettable characters into décor, attractions, resorts, and even merchandise!
So if you are on the lookout for Ariel on your next Disney vacation, we have rounded up all the places at WDW where you can find her and revisit your favorite moments from the film! Enjoy!
There are dozens of places where you can immerse yourself in the world of The Little Mermaid at WDW! Which is your favorite?
Have you ever heard of the Frontierland Hoedown? It's one of our favorite Magic Kingdom secrets! The Frontierland Hoedown is a small, country dance party that usually takes place in front of the Country Bear Jamboree.
Line dancing and country tunes can be found here, as well as some rare characters such as Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar, some of the Country Bears, and even Brer Rabbit and Brer Ber from Splash Mountain!
During the Hoedown, Cast Members and characters dance to these backwoods tunes; and you can join in! Afterwards, the characters linger for just a few moments so you can take some pics; but as we discovered, some disappear pretty quickly.
When we stumbled upon the Frontierland Hoedown one afternoon, we were ecstatic to find Big Al, our favorite Country Bear, participating! We waded out into the crowds to try to grab a pic after the show, but Big Al was already being hurried along by his Cast Member.
We followed, along with a few others, hoping he may stop again. He did for a few guests, but we just didn't get the chance. However, all was not lost!
During our somewhat stalking expedition, we learned a great secret! Some of the Hoedown characters disappeared by means of the Frontierland Boardwalk
, a wooden boardwalk that runs along the shoreline of the Rivers of America and is one of our favorite routes to avoid crowds!
Most people don't even know it's there, making it a great get-away for these characters. Clarabelle Cow and Brer Rabbit headed this way; and knowing the Boardwalk pretty well, we decided to wait at the end so that they couldn't miss us!
It worked! When Brer Rabbit came strolling around the corner, he saw us and stopped to wave and smile in our camera. The best part is that there was no one else around! It was a great experience, way better than waiting in a long line and then feeling rushed when it's finally your turn to meet a character, right?
Brer Rabbit, as well as a few other characters who took this route, met up with each other near Splash Mountain and then disappeared through the gate which is across from Pecos Bill's.
This gate is leads directly to a backstage area for Cast Members and buildings which house parade floats. (But you didn't hear that from us!)
The Frontierland Hoedown usually isn't listed in a Times Guide; but lately it has been taking place in the afternoon around four or five o'clock. In years past, we have also seen it occur in the morning, about an hour after park opening.
If you can, we encourage you to check out the Frontierland Hoedown on your next visit to the Magic Kingdom; and be ready to act fast to get those photos and autographs and try to get to where you know the characters will be. We hope this post will help you do so!
In the picture below, you can see where the Hoedown Cast exits, as well as our only picture of Big Al... Well, there's always next time!
Where the Frontierland Hoedown Cast Goes After the Show
One of the highlights of The Disney's Art of Animation is the life-size Cars characters!
They are located all throughout the wing of Disney's newest resort, just as they would in Pixar's Cars. They truly transport you into the film, as well as make great photo-ops! Check them out!
Doc Hudson! He keeps an eye on things near the entrance to this wing of the resort.
Mater! Definitely one of the most popular characters in this area. He is situated near his own sign too.
Sarge! He's always on alert. Be sure to salute too!
Lightning McQueen! You can find him near the back of the wing with Sally. Notice the detailed stickers and, my favorite, the tires!
Luigi and Guido, in front of the Casa Della Tires!
Ramone! Did you notice his tires too?
Fillmore! Isn't the detailed sign great?
What little girl isn't fascinated with Disney Princesses? When most families with little girls visit Walt Disney World, the princess characters, attractions, and souvenirs are at the top of their to-do list. Therefore, today we are going to show you the Disney Princess hot spots at Walt Disney World to help you create that Disney Princess Vacation for your own little princess! Whether her favorite is the classic Cinderella, the intelligent Belle, or hardworking Tiana, Disney has something for you!
So check out our Disney World for Disney Princess Fans Part 2!
Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage-On Sunset Boulevard, you can find a covered theater showcasing a Broadway style Beauty and the Beast show! The costumes and musical numbers are fantastic; and it's a must-see for any Belle fan!
Voyage of the Little Mermaid-This unique show takes guests under the sea to an indoor theater which literally feels like it's underwater! This show showcases the main musical numbers from The Little Mermaid, and uses a combination of live actors, puppets, film, and even laser and bubble effects to tell the story.
Magic of Disney Animation-Inside the main area of this Hollywood Studios spot, you can find stations featuring personality quizzes! Will you be a Disney Princess? We bet your own little princess will be eager to find out!
Beauty and the Beast - Live on Stage
Animation Gallery-This store, located at the exit of the Magic of Disney Animation, sells a variety of Disney artwork and collectibles, many of which feature Disney Princesses!
Hollywood Boulevard-On this street, which leads straight to the giant Sorcerer's Hat, you can find a variety of shops, and there is sure to be Disney Princess stuff for sale!
In Character-Next door to the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, you will find Disney Princess costumes and accessories, along with dolls, toys, and more!
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique-Let your little princess feel like Cinderella herself with a princess dress, a new hairstyle, makeup, and some pixie dust in a magical salon with Fairy Godmothers in Training.
Disney's Days of Christmas-This shop sells Christmas ornaments and decor 365 days a year! Drop in to pick up a Disney Princess ornament for your Christmas tree!
Once Upon a Toy-This is the ultimate toy store that just has to be experienced! Also, there's plenty of Disney Princess merchandise to be purchased inside!
The Art of Disney-This art store sells Disney artwork and collectibles, many of which feature Disney Princesses!
TrenD-For those grown-up Disney Princess fans, check out this boutique for stylish clothing and accessories which feature Disney characters, especially Disney Princesses!
World of Disney-Check out the world's largest Disney Store and explore its various rooms for it's fun decor and vast variety of Disney merchandise.
The Grand Floridian Lobby
1900 Park Fare-At the Grand Floridian, make reservations for this restaurant at dinner for an elegant buffet with visits, and even a dance, with Cinderella, Prince Charming, the two ugly stepsisters, and Lady Tremaine (the evil stepmother). While it has a fairytale theme, it also offers some laughs too, mainly from Cinderella's extended family.
M. Mouse Mercantile-At this Grand Floridian shop you can find kid friendly, and Disney Princess themed, merchandise in an elegant, white turret.
Ink and Paint-Disney World's newest resort, the Art of Animation, has a gift shop selling merchandise featuring The Little Mermaid, themed after The Little Mermaid wing!
Art of Animation-Disney's newest resort has four different wings themed after popular Disney movies; and later this year, the resort is opening a Little Mermaid themed wing! Your family can stay a Little Mermaid room in area of the resort that is decorated to look as if you stepped into the film!
Port Orleans Riverside-Royal Guest Rooms-Part of this resort offers special rooms that have a royal theme, ideal for Disney Princess fans! These rooms contain references from several Disney Princess movies, such as the carpet from Aladdin! Also, the walls have pictures of Disney Princesses, and the headboards have fiber optic "fireworks" effects.
The Grand Floridian-This is Disney World's flagship resort; and it's elegant theme, breathtaking lobby, and grand staircase is fit for a princess! Check out the Disney characters in the tile floor and the live piano player in the lobby at certain times of day, he may play a Disney Princess song that your little princess can twirl to!
Cinderella's Royal Table
What little girl isn't fascinated with Disney Princesses? When most families with little girls visit Walt Disney World, the princess characters, attractions, and souvenirs are at the top of their to-do list. Therefore, today we are going to show you the Disney Princess hot spots at Walt Disney World to help you create that Disney Princess Vacation for your own little princess! Whether her favorite is the classic Cinderella, the intelligent Belle, or hardworking Tiana, Disney has something for you!Magic Kingdom
: Prince Charming's Regal Carousel
-This classic carousel can be found in Fantasyland and lets Disney Princess fans ride on majestic steeds near the castle! There are also painted scenes inside from the Cinderella film; and keep an eye out for the horse with a golden ribbon tied around its tail, it's Cinderella's favorite!Mickey's Philharmagic
-This 3-D show, located in Fantasyland, takes guests on a trip through famous musical numbers from classic Disney films, such as The Little Mermaid and Aladdin! Fantasyland Expansion
-The Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland is currently being expanded; and a large portion of the expansion is being dedicated to Disney Princesses! There will be two castles: one holding a Beauty and Beast restaurant and the other housing a Little Mermaid attraction! You will also get a chance to venture inside Belle's library, as well as explore her village, plus more! There is even a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs coaster in the works! These new experiences are set to begin opening later this year. Read about the other additions to the Fantasyland Expansion here
-You can find Aladdin and Princess Jasmine in this themed land from time to time for an autograph and picture!Fantasyland
-What better place to meet and greet with Disney princesses than in the shadow of Cinderella Castle? You can find princesses here from time to time, especially after rope drop in the morning.Liberty Square
-Tucked behind Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe is a picturesque gazebo in view of the castle! Here many of Disney's newest princesses can be found at certain times throughout the day, such as Tiana from the Princess and the Frog!Town Square Theater
-On Main Street U.S.A., inside this the Town Square Theater, you can temporarily meet with Disney Princesses for a picture and autograph! However, this meet-and-greet area is temporary for the princesses as they will have a permanent area in the new Fantasyland which is currently under construction.Fairytale Garden
-In an area between Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, you will find a corner featuring a small stage and seating area where new Disney Princesses visit and even put on a little, mini-show at times. Right now, Merida, from Pixar's newest movie, Brave, is making appearances! Read more about that experience here
-Both of the Magic Kingdom's parades feature appearances by Disney Princesses, definitely must-sees for princess fans.Dining
:Cinderella's Royal Table
-This is the ulimate character meal for Disney Princess fans! This restaurant is located inside Cinderella Castle, overlooking Fantasyland! You begin this fairy tale meal with a professional picture with Cinderella before walking up a winding staircase, or taking a royal elevator, up to the dining room which is decorated like the interior of a medieval castle! Girls then receive magic wands and boys plastic swords as you dine and enjoy princesses stopping by for a visit! Whether you are young or old, this restaurant experience is a dream come true!Shopping
-While Disney Princess souvenirs are easy to find at WDW, the best selection and store decor can be found in the shops at Fantasyland!Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
-Let your little princess get a royal makeover and don her own princess attire at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique inside Cinderella Castle! Fairy Godmothers-in-training help transform little girls into princesses with special hairstyles, makeup, and even a Disney Princess dress if you didn't bring your own! Some guests choose this experience before enjoying a meal at Cinderella's Royal Table for the ultimate dream come true!Extras
~Check out the windows on Main Street U.S.A., particularly those in front of the Emporium, to see Disney Princess stories come to life! Also see the windows in Fantasyland, Disney Princess fans are sure to enjoy the scenes!
~Located right behind the castle, to the right, there is a fountain featuring a statue of Cinderella (see picture above). If you look at it just right from a certain angle, the crown behind her looks as if it's sitting on her head!
~There are two paths located on either side of the castle, if you take the one on the right (if you are facing the castle from the front) you will find Cinderella's Wishing Well!
Akershus Storybook Dining
Character Spots: At many of the World Showcase pavilions, you can find Disney Princesses!
China-Meet up with Mulan for a picture and autograph!
Germany-You can find many princesses here, such as Snow White and Aurora! Also keep a look-out for Rapunzel's Tangled Tower hidden near the train scene.
Morocco-Be sure to explore this pavilion for Princess Jasmine!
France-Belle can often be found at the pavilion!
Akershus Storybook Dining-Located at the Norway pavilion, this restaurant is one of the best character meals on property for Disney Princess fans! At Akershus, you enter a Norwegian castle where you get a professional picture with Belle in her signature yellow gown. As you enjoy your medieval surroundings, you dine on delicious Norwegian fare (it's really good) as a variety of Disney princesses drop by for a visit, such as Cinderella, Ariel, Aurora, and Snow White! Akershus is open at breakfast, lunch, and dinner and is, in our opinion, one of the best ways to meet Disney Princesses!
If you are visiting Walt Disney World with kids, all of the the activities and entertainment involving their favorite Disney characters and movies are probably at the top of their to-do list; and we are here to help! Today, we are going to show you the hot spots at Disney World for all of you Toy Story Fans! Whether you prefer Buzz, Woody, or Jessie the Cowgirl, Disney has something for you.
Tomorrowland-At certain times in Tomorrowland you can find Buzz Lightyear waiting to give an autograph and take a photo!
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin-This attraction lets guests be Space Rangers along with Buzz Lightyear as you shoot at targets in order to defeat the evil Emperor Zurg! As you reach the end of the queue, Buzz fan's will be delighted to encounter a life-size, realistic, audio-animatronic Buzz who informs you of your mission!
Frontierland-At certain times you may catch a small parade of country characters dancing through Frontierland; and some of these characters include Woody, Jessie the Cowgirl, and Bullseye!
Diamond Horsehoe Saloon-During Mickey's Very Merry Christmas Party, this Frontierland location is known to host a dance party with Woody, Jessie the Cowgirl, and Bullseye.
Pixar Place-THis section of Hollywood Studios celebrates Pixar and not only is home to Toy Story Midway Mania, but also a Pixar themed gift shop, character spots to get pics with Toy Story characters, and you may even find some of the Green Army Men running through as they train young recruits or pose for pics!
Toy Story Midway Mania-At Pixar Palce you will find this incredibly popular attraction featuring a vast variety of Toy Story Characters in an amazing, interactive ride! You will also get the chance to see what the world is like from a toy's point of view, including walking through Andy's room, and see a life-size, audio-animatronic of Mr. Potato Head!
Pixar Pals-This parade takes place around the giant Sorcerer's Hat and down Hollywood Boulevard and features familiar Pixar characters, including some of your favorite Toy Story characters!
The Magic of Disney Animation-After watching the cute Mushu film, this attraction leads you into an open room where you can take personality quizzes, an art class, or get some pictures with some Disney characters. You never know if you might run into a Toy Story character here!
Resorts: At All-Star Movies, there is an entire section of the resort dedicated to Toy Story! You will find giant Toy Story characters and even Andy's room. Awesome spot for photos and definitely a must-see for Toy Story fans!
Are you a fan of Pixar's Ratatouille? Or do you enjoy hunting for rare characters during your visits to Walt Disney World? If so, you can find Remy, that "little chef" at Les Chefs de France at World Showcase's France pavilion!
On my last trip to Disney World, I enjoyed a delicious, three course lunch at Les Chefs de France; and right before dessert, Remy dropped by on a play of fruit and cheese. His handler was there also to interprete Remy's squeaks and to add a few jokes of his own!
Remy was so cute and life-like; and he made me feel as if I had stepped into the film! Youngsters will be captivated and adults will enjoy this extra bit of magic!
Remy and his handler drop by Les Chefs de France at certain times throughout the day and come to each table. We had a reservation at Les Chefs de France right when it opened for lunch; and not only did we get to see Remy, but we were also seating in the glass, atrium style part of the restaurant which provided a great view of the pavilion! To see what times Remy might be appearing, check out Touring Plans Epcot's showtimes.
Have you ever seen Remy at Les Chefs de France? What did you think? Would you make a reservation at this restaurant to see him? Let us know!
One of the most popular things to do as Disney World is to meet Disney characters, especially when visiting with kids! Disney offers a vast variety of different Disney characters and they can be found throughout all of the parks; however, they usually can be found at the end of a long line in the humid Florida heat. For convience, comfort, and to save you time, I have come up with a list of the best ways to meet Disney characters.
1. The Magic of Disney Animation
The Magic of Disney Animation is located at the rear of Animation Courtyard in Disney's Hollywood Studios. After seeing a funny film starring Mushu from Mulan and an actual Cast Member, you will see some displays showing artwork from upcoming Disney films and an animators office before entering a large room filled with interactive games, an art class, and themed backgrounds where there are Disney characters!
Instead of waiting out in the heat, you can get several different characters autographs and pictures indoors! While the lines can be lengthy at times, there are usually several characters appearing; and since they are kind of hidden back in this area, the lines can be shorter than in other areas of the park.
Plus, as a bonus for tired adults, there are also comfy benches where you can sit and relax in air conditioning and in full view of your kids.
Last year, characters from Pixar's Up could be found in this area, but this year Winnie the Pooh is being featured to promote the new Winnie the Pooh film coming to theaters next month. You can also find characters from The Incredibles here, and sometimes members of the Fab Five!.
2. Character Meals
Character meals are probably one of the best ways to meet characters; and we definitely recommend this method if you're traveling with kids!
Why are character meals so great? Well, you are guaranteed some one-on-one time with Disney characters; and there is always more than one character to meet and greet with! Secondly, you don't have to wait in the sun. Actually you don't have to wait at all as the characters come to your table while you're eating.
Character meals are a must if you are tight schedule. Many Disney guests wait in line for long periods of time for just one character; but with a character meal, you eat in comfort while several come to you. By the time you're done with breakfast, you have already met four or five great characters and the day hasn't begun yet!
Most character meals are buffets; and while the food may not be as good as Le Cellier or The Brown Derby, it's pretty tasty, offers a variety of choices, and is all you can eat. Plus, there are always kid-friendly menu options available here!
There are lots of different character meals available at Disney World with many different character offerings ranging from Mickey and the gang to Disney Princesses to Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland. Therefore, there's something for almost everyone!
Parades are another guaranteed way to see Disney characters! While you do have to sit in the heat, and you have to pick a spot and hold it about 45 minutes before parade time, parades offer A LOT of Disney characters along with great music and floats! Plus, you just have to see a parade while you're at Disney as few others can compare; and your kids' faces during these daily events are priceless!
While the characters are constantly moving, they do try to interact with guests when they can. The characters who are dancing down the street will often come up to kids for a high five or something to that effect; and the characters aboard the floats often strive to be as personal with their smiles and waves. More than once have I heard a kid get excited about Cinderella smiling right them or Mickey waving to them!
Parades are usually shown every day at the same time; and every park has a parade. In fact, the Magic Kingdom has two parades! Therefore, if you catch at least one, you are guaranteed to see a vast variety of Disney characters!
4. World Showcase
World Showcase is another great spot to meet Disney characters. Here you can find different characters at almost every pavilion throughout the day so the lines are typically shorter than other designated spots and you have more variety.
For example, you can meet Mary Poppins, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, the Queen of Hearts, Wendy, Winnie the Pooh, and other British Disney characters at the United Kingdom pavilion. You can also find Belle, the Beast, and Sleeping Beauty, along with Marie from The Aristocats at France and Aladdin and Jamine at Morocco. Snow White and Dopey can often by found in Germany and Mulan is often at the China pavilion, Donald Duck even appears in a sombrero in Mexico!
We have also seen a variety of characters at the American Adventure pavilion; but these characters are less predictable and not as common as others. Still, we have seen characters from A Song in the South/Splash Mountain, Cinderella's mice friends, and even a few of the Fab Five. Tip: If you don't find these characters in front of the pavilion, venture inside the pavilions' buildings as there are themed character areas located near the rear of some stores.
Also, around the 4th of July, you can spot Mickey and friends sporting patriotic apparel and famous historical figures such as Ben Franklin and Betsy Ross!
World Showcase also offers dining experiences that feature Disney characters, such as Akershus Storybook Dining where several Disney princesses appear; and Les Chefs de France where a small, audio-animatronic Remy from Pixar's Ratatouille makes appearances throughout the day!
My best places to meet Disney characters guarantee to deliver Disney characters; and while there are other character spots and trails designated in the parks, they usually have long lines and can really eat up your vacation time. Therefore, for comfortable and convenient ways to meet characters, check out these spots on your next trip!
If you are visiting WDW with little girls, chances are they are big fans of Disney princesses and she probably can't wait to see and visit with her heroes in person. However, finding Disney princesses in the parks isn't always as easy as the commercials make it seem. Where and when a Disney character or princess might be often varies, especially in hot weather; and long lines and crowds can only add to the difficulty. So if your own little princess is bent on finding her favorites, here are some places where you can be sure to make her dreams come true.
Parades: Magic Kingdom afternoon and night parades are a sure way for your littlle princess to see her favorite princesses. This is especially true during the afternoon parade. Disney princesses can be found on beautiful floats in their best dresses, waving and dancing with their princes.
Shows: Shows are another way to be sure to see princesses. Throughout the day in front of the castle, WDW puts on a show starring Mickey and the gang and other popular Disney characters, including princesses. Be sure to arrive early to get a good view; but be warned that these shows can be cancelled due to rain. You can also see Belle in the Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage show and Ariel in the Voyage of the Little Mermaid show, both located at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Character Meals: At character meals, different characters rotate around the dining room whiel you dine, visiting each table to talk, sign autographs, and take pictures. Booking one of these meals guarantees your little girl invidiual time with her favorites. You can make this happen at 1900 Park Fare at the Grand Floridian Resort during dinner where Cinderella, Prince Charming, Lady Tremaine, and the two ugly step sisters make an appearance and even dance with the kids at certain points. Another is Cinderella's Royal Table for lunch where you get to dine inside of Cinderella's Castle! You get your picture taken with Cinderella before you enter the dining room overlooking Fantasyland where different princesses visit while you feast. Finally, there is Akershus in the Norway Pavilion at Epcot. Here you get your picture taken with Belle in her iconic gown before dining in a Norwegian castle where Snow White, Aurora, Cinderella, and Ariel visit!
All of these options are ways that can assure your little girl a magical experience and you some magical memories!