We’ve heard rumors that suggest Disney is preparing a surprise opening of Ariel’s Grotto meet and greet location at the Magic Kingdom in the coming weeks, after being left empty since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic closures in 2020.
Ariel’s Grotto is attached to the Under The Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction in Fantasyland. This meet and greet location offered guests a chance to meet Ariel with her mermaid tail, unlike when she has legs on other rare occasions.
This video was taken in 2012, when the newly-imagined Ariel’s Grotto opened as part of New Fantasyland. We also shared a viral online video where a Disney fan created a what-if “The Little Mermaid” roller coaster.
Now in 2023, we’ve heard rumblings that Ariel is coming back to the Magic Kingdom. While not yet confirmed by Disney, we have heard this location is expected to open within a month.
We’re not sure if the location will open to full capacity or if it will offer the Genie+ Lightning Lane option, but we do know Disney is continuing to open more and more entertainment offerings. Just this week another character meet and greet location, Pete’s Silly Sideshow, re-opened to visitors of Storybook Circus at the Magic Kingdom.
At the time of this article, Disney still lists Meet Ariel at Her Grotto as temporarily unavailable. There is no listed return date or additional info about the offering, but, we expect to see this change in the coming weeks if the rumors are true.
Update 1/17/22: Disney has confirmed that Ariel’s Grotto will re-open at the Magic Kingdom on Jan. 22 and Enchanted Tales with Belle will re-open at the Magic Kingdom on Feb. 19.
What Disney character is your favorite to meet? Have you been eagerly waiting for Ariel to return to the Magic Kingdom?