On Thursday August 11, 2016, a special ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle Walt Disney World welcomed the newest and first Latina Disney Princess, Elena of Avalor. The morning started with the very talented Royal Singers of Avolar performing the princess's own theme song.After a few remarks in both English and Spanish welcoming the newest Disney Princess, Vice President of Disney Parks and Resorts Jim McPhee introduced Disney Junior Channel Nancy Kanter and CEO of Girl Scouts of Citrus Maryann Barryand for the inaugural presentation of the Scepter of Light Award. The Scepter of Light Award recognizes two Girl Scout Gold Award recipients who demonstrated an exceptionally thoughtful process for undertaking her "God Award Take Action" project and thus best exemplified the leadership qualities of Elena of Avalor. One recipient, Ashley Chico, is from Girls Scouts of Citrus (Central Florida, including Orlando) and the second was from the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana Council. Once all the business was done, Princess Cinderella and Prince Charming came to the stage to welcome the precession for Princess Elena of Avalor. After being welcomed to the Magic Kingdom, Elena of Avalor wanted to share a story and as her grand father always said the best way to do that is in song. The Princess picked up a guitar and proceeded to sing one of the popular tunes from Disney Elena of Avalor show on the Disney Channel, "My Time." If you were unable to watch the full Welcome Ceremony via the live stream on the Disney Parks Blog, The Royal Welcome of Princess Elena live performance that will be presented several times daily at Magic Kingdom Park for a limited time.
A replay of the live stream is available here.
After the enjoying the show, I had the chance to speak with Craig Gerber, creator/executive producer of Elena of Avalor, who shared that, while working on another Disney Princess show for the Disney Channel and being emerged in the world of princesses, he noticed a large demand for a Latina Princess and felt that a strong Princess leading her kingdom would be a great way to inspire kids. When I asked about the tie in to Sofia the First, he "thought it would be a lot of fun, since Sofia is tied to all the classic princesses, it would be a great way to create a 'Princess Universe'". Along with Gerber, Silivia Cardenas Olivas Story Editor for Elena of Avalor, pointed out that she and Gerber actually have a hand in writing some of the songs featured in the show.At this time, Princess Elena of Avalor is not doing a meet and greet in the parks, but, through some Disney Magic, we were able to spend a few minutes with the newest princess and admire her beautiful gown that reflects her special qualities and cultural origins. The one-of-a-kind gown is made from 14 yards of crimson Avaloran satin and is embroidered with more than 900 flowers that represent her kingdom and family. The beautiful crown she wears holds 222 dazzling jewels. For those of you not familiar with the story of the newest Disney Princess, it is set in the enchanted fairytale kingdom of Avalor. The stories of Elena incorporate influences from diverse Latin and Hispanic cultures through architecture, traditions, food and customs. Magic, mythology, folklore and music also play an important role, with each episode featuring original songs spanning an array of Latin musical styles including Mariachi, Latin Pop, Salsa, Banda and Chilean Hip-Hop. The series airs Fridays at 7:30 p.m. EDT on Disney Channel and weekends at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Disney Junior.