Ariel's Grotto

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Ariel's Grotto
Ariel meets guests within Ariel’s Grotto.
Magic Kingdom
Land Fantasyland
Attraction type Meet and Greet
Opening date 1996
Closing date April 12, 2010
Reopened December 6, 2012
Disney Genie + No
Based on The Little Mermaid

Ariel’s Grotto is a meet and greet location in Fantasyland.

Attraction Description and History

Original Ariel’s Grotto (1996-2010)

Ariel's Grotto initially opened in the fall 1996 as a water play area and meet and greet location [1]. Found on the shores of the lagoon that had once held the attraction 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea [2], Ariel's Grotto featured a small water play area themed after the 1989 Disney movie "The Little Mermaid". Originally, a waterfall fell into the lagoon, serving as the backdrop for a large statue of King Triton (Ariel's father) [2].As mentioned above, besides just being a play area, Ariel’s Grotto also gave guests the opportunity to meet Ariel in her mermaid form.

In 2004, the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea Lagoon was filled in. At this time Ariel's Grotto continued to operate, although the waterfall and statue of King Triton were removed [1].

New Fantasyland Ariel’s Grotto (2012-Present)

On April 12, 2010 the original Ariel's Grotto was closed to make way for the New Fantasyland expansion [2]. When the area opened in 2012, a new version of Ariel's Grotto reopened next to the new Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid attraction [1]. The current version of Ariel's Grotto does not feature a water play area like the original; however it does allow guests to meet Ariel in her mermaid form [3].

Official Website

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • Although Ariel can be found in her human form at Akershus Restaurant in Norway, Ariel's Grotto is the only place where guests can meet the princess in her mermaid form [3].


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