It’s a great day when another meet and greet comes back to the parks. Finally, Ariel is back meeting at Magic Kingdom after being closed since 2020. In my opinion, this is one of the most themed character experiences, making it more magical. As a kid, all I wanted to was to visit Ariel’s Grotto and see all of her thingamabobs. This meet and greet brought that dream to life each visit. Here’s everything you need to know about the experience.
Where is the Grotto?
Guests can find the Grotto in ‘New Fantasyland’ to the right of the attraction, Journey of the Little Mermaid. There’s a standby line and a Lightning Lane, but they are only using the standard line. Other characters in the parks offer Lighting Lane, but Ariel’s Grotta hasn’t gotten there yet.
Lightning Lane, Do You Need it?
Ariel is a very popular character. If you are traveling with someone that loves this princess, you might want to rope-drop the attraction and meet & greet. At the time of writing this, they are not utilizing the Lighting Lane. If you are a DAS user, you can go to the Lightning Lane entrance. There, a cast member will verify your eligibility, and you’ll be sent through the line.
Is There a Photographer, or Do You Use Your Camera?
A recent trend at Walt Disney World has been to replace PhotoPass photographers with these camera boxes that capture a few photos. I strongly dislike these boxes. They never get the right angle and always miss those picture-perfect moments.
To me, the best images are when I’m hugging the characters or having a genuine interaction. I barely ever enjoy the posed photos with the character. At the Grotto, they have a character attended that can take pictures with your camera or phone. There is also one of those PhotoPass boxes, but it is not up and running yet.
Overall, having this meet and greet operating once again is excellent. I am so happy to see the offering return, and it gives me hope that soon we will be able to say that everything is open. This was a significant step in the right direction. Will you be visiting Ariel on your next visit to Magic Kingdom?
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.