In this article, we visit Ariel’s Grotto in Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom to meet Ariel in mermaid form.
Have you ever wanted to meet Ariel as a mermaid? Thankfully, you can do so at Walt Disney World. She meets daily at Ariel’s Grotto in Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland. You can find this character meet-and-greet next door to her attraction, Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid.
Below, we’ll share our latest experience meeting Ariel at this location. We’ll also discuss the best times to meet her, how long we waited, and a few talking points.
Here are a few quick references for meeting Ariel.
|New Fantasyland near Journey of the Little Mermaid
Yes, with Disney Genie+
High Priority for fans
Early Theme Park Entry:
Extended Evening Hours:
Photographers are not present. A box mounted on the wall takes photos of guests with the Memory Maker.
Posted Wait Time:
Our Actual Wait Time:
January 23, 2024.
Ariel’s Grotto is open daily from 10:00 a.m. until 7:00 p.m. You can check the exact operating hours for Ariel’s Grotto here on Disney’s site or in the My Disney Experience app on the day of your visit. Hours may fluctuate based on the park’s operating schedule.
Ariel’s Grotto is the first attraction you’ll encounter when entering New Fantasyland from Storybook Circus. Both Ariel’s Grotto and the Journey of the Little Mermaid are beside each other.
On the evening of this visit, cast members at Ariel’s Grotto ensured guests knew they were joining the line to meet Ariel. Only a few characters have a dedicated home like Ariel, so it almost appears you are entering the line for a ride.
Ariel’s Grotto has a Lightning Lane queue next to the standby line. If you purchase Genie+, this character meet and greet is one of the selections offered through the service.
Ariel’s Grotto had a posted wait of 40 minutes when I arrived at 6:19 p.m. Since it’s relatively dark inside the queue, it’s hard to tell, but there were at least 20 groups of guests ahead of us.
In addition to the guests ahead of us, anyone using a Lightning Lane was given priority while we waited. Since the standby and Lightning Lane queues are separate, you cannot see these other guests going ahead. But if the line’s not moving, that’s probably why.
Thankfully, the queue for Ariel’s Grotto is a pleasant place to wait. It’s cool and covered with a waterfall element.
We met Ariel at 6:49 p.m. Therefore, it ended up being a 30-minute wait. Ariel was sitting on a clamshell, waiting to greet us. She loves to talk about her friends Flounder, Sebastian, and Scuttle. Or you could always ask her about Prince Eric.
Other conversation topics for this meet-and-greet include thing-a-ma-bobs (she has twenty!) or what she uses to brush her hair. It’s a dinglehopper.
If you would like her signature, Ariel signs autographs. Cast members attending the meet will ask that you have your autograph book ready and turned to the page you want Ariel to sign. Unfortunately, PhotoPass photographers are not available at this meet-and-greet.
Even more, unfortunately, a new photo box has been installed. While these boxes will snap your photo, they do not do a good job. We recently discussed this problem in detail when we visited Pete’s Silly Sideshow.
After you exit the meet, you scan your ticket or Magic Band on the screen below to get your photo. Only those who purchase the Memory Maker can access these photos.
So you’ll have to decide whether or not the price of the Memory Maker is worth having a machine take your photos. If not, you can always ask the cast member or someone in your group to take a picture with your camera.
Ultimately, meeting Ariel as a mermaid is one of the best character meets at Magic Kingdom. But I might be a little partial.
For more Magic Kingdom characters, you might enjoy the following:
- Captain Jack Sparrow Character Meet
- Meet Mickey at Town Square Theater at Magic Kingdom
- Meet Aladdin and Jasmine at Magic Kingdom
- Merida Character Meet-and-Greet
- Meet Chip and Dale at Magic Kingdom
- Meet Princesses at Princess Fairytale Hall
In the Comments
What do you think of this meet-and-greet? Do you plan to meet Ariel in her Grotto on your next vacation?