“The Little Mermaid” Star Halle Bailey Surprises Disney Dreamers Academy Participants with Premiere Invitation

Grammy-nominated singer Halle Bailey, who will play the lead role of Ariel in the upcoming live-action remake of Disney’s The Little Mermaid, left two aspiring teen filmmakers speechless when she surprised them Friday during Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort with a personal invitation to join her on the red carpet at the movie’s world premiere in Hollywood.

  • Dylan Jones of Atlanta and Madison Henderson of Los Angeles were in the middle of a movie production training session Friday morning during Disney Dreamers Academy when Bailey, the program’s celebrity ambassador, made a surprise appearance and delivered the personal invitation to come to Hollywood. For the students it was a truly magical dream come true moment.

  • The movie’s world premiere takes place just before the film officially hits theaters nationwide on May 26.
  • Bailey is one of several celebrities taking part in the program that runs through Sunday. Music producer Questlove, R&B singing sensation H.E.R. and other TV and movie stars are serving as mentors and speakers.
  • This is the 16th year of Disney Dreamers Academy, a four-day, transformational, mentoring program designed to broaden career awareness and create opportunities for 100 Black high school students and teens from underrepresented communities across America each year.
  • The 100 students are selected from thousands of nationwide applicants for a once-in-a-lifetime mentoring program at Walt Disney World Resort.

  • The program is designed to assist young people in identifying and pursuing their dreams. Along with a parent or guardian, the students receive an all-expense-paid trip to Walt Disney World to participate in the program, which features career-oriented workshops, leadership seminars and presentations by celebrity guests, community leaders, educators and Disney executives.