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Disney World Casting For Live-Action Style Ariel Character

On January 20, 2023, DisneyCareers posted an open casting call for Walt Disney World character performers resembling the live-action depiction of Ariel from Walt Disney Studios’ upcoming The Little Mermaid (2023).

The Little Mermaid | Disney+

Credit: Disney+

Disney’s The Little Mermaid tells the now-beloved tale of a genuine “fish out of water” princess who longs to explore the human world under the strict control of her father King Triton. The soon-to-debut live-action adaptation featuring new music from famous composers Lin-Manuel Miranda and Alan Menken (one-half of the team responsible for the award-winning soundtrack in the animated 1989 original) also updates the storyline in more ways than one, most notably the casting of singer-songwriter and performer Halle Bailey in the lead role of Ariel.

RELATED: Original Little Mermaid Is ‘Thrilled’ For Live-Action Remake and Halle Bailey’s Ariel

Unfortunately, not all fans reacted positively to the casting, resulting in an outcry over Disney’s alleged “woke agenda” despite Little Mermaid’s director Rob Marshall clarifying that they did not cast based on race but rather chose Bailey out of a diverse pool of candidates because she was the best fit.

Now, Disney Parks is doing the same, putting out a casting call for online audition submissions now until next month for performers resembling Halle in the role of Ariel. Since Disney lists the role as a “look-alike” position, Disney likely intends for this Ariel to visit with Guests around one of its theme parks rather than a stage performance or other type of entertainment show.

The Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

RELATED: Little Girl Has the Most Heartwarming Reaction to ‘The Little Mermaid’ Trailer

In fact, a full statement on the DisneyCareers site reads:

Disney Live Entertainment is seeking Disney Character Look-alikes for the role of ARIEL as depicted in the upcoming live-action adaption of “The Little Mermaid.” Performers will have the opportunity to bring this role to life, in addition to performing as world famous Disney Characters at our Parks & Resorts near Orlando, Florida. Disney Character Performers play before thousands of Guests each day in character greetings, sightings, and other experiences across the Walt Disney World Resort. Performers sign autographs, pose for pictures, and help create magical moments with Guests of all ages.

Moreover, Disney notes that those auditioning for this role should have “warm, engaging, and outgoing personalities” to accurately bring to life this “inquisitive and daring mermaid princess… fascinated by the world of humans.” Plus, it continues: “Whether she’s on land or under the sea, she’s eager to connect her two worlds, knowing they aren’t so different after all. Ariel appears as depicted in the upcoming live-action adaption of The Little Mermaid.”

Fantasmic at Walt Disney World with Little Mermaid

Credit: Disney

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Notably, the casting call then includes a photo of both Ariel from the upcoming 2023 film, as well as a promotional image of Bailey herself. Although the description does not specify necessary physical requirements beyond a height requirement of 5’2″ to 5’6,” assumably this means they only want Black performers resembling Bailey to apply, a distinctive diversion from Ariel’s previous white, blue-eyed, and red-haired appearance at the Walt Disney World Resort and beyond.

As Attractions Magazine notes in a recent article on the casting call, as of yet, it’s unclear whether Disney intends to temporarily (or even permanently) replace the existing depiction of Ariel’s animated form by character performers to rotate between the old and new versions as Disneyland did for Buzz Lightyear, or even something completely different! Perhaps this version of Ariel will specifically feature in a promotional meet-and-greet following the film’s release this year, or a limited-time entertainment spectacle similar to 2019’s Tale of the Lion King in honor of the classic’s live-action, with the opportunity for a future permanence in the Parks!

Credit: Disney

RELATED: Enjoy an Ariel-Themed Day at Walt Disney World

If you’d like to try your hand at becoming part of her world, the DisneyCareers site will accept auditions for the role of Ariel until February 5, 2023. Plus, fans of all ages can welcome this new princess into the fold when The Little Mermaid debuts in theaters on May 26.

Click here for more information on Disney World’s casting call and full submission guidelines.

About Spencer Johnette

Spencer is a lifelong lover of theme parks, princesses, and Disney history that recently relocated to Northern California. She completed her undergraduate studies at UCLA, where she was the founder and first president of the campus Disney Club. A former Cast Member still mourning the loss of the Disney Store, she now haunts the Walt Disney Family Museum halls and shares her opinions with anyone who will listen @gothelsflower.