Disney World’s Ariel Character Suffers A Seashell Wardrobe Malfunction And Recovers Beautifully

The Little Mermaid
(Image credit: Disney)

Any time you’re dealing with live entertainment, the possibility of things going really wrong increases. There’s only so much you can do to cover for any serious mistake when a performer is visible to hundreds of people. But Walt Disney World live entertainment cast members are pros, so when a woman playing Ariel during a parade lost a sea shell, she had it covered, in this case quite literally.

A TikTok video has gone viral showing a recent Disney World parade as a Little Mermaid float is going by. Ariel sits at the top waving at the guests, when you notice something fall off the float. It’s one of the seashells covering the mermaid. Don’t get excited, there’s nothing to see here. The costume is designed not to reveal anything. However, what makes this moment actually really interesting is how both the Ariel actress and one of the dancers on the ground react. Both take care of the error as soon as they notice it, almost without a second thought. Check it out.


♬ original sound - DRAMATIC

Ariel just brushes her hair over the missing shell like that’s the way she always wears it, while the man on the ground picks up the shell so that nobody trips over it and it doesn’t get broken. And the parade simply continues. As things have sometimes gone for Ariel at Disney World, it could have been worse.

When a parade happens every day, sometimes more than once, for months or years, you’re going to have the occasional mishap, it’s inevitable. The key is to be prepared so that when something goes slightly wrong, everybody is able to continue the show. Live actors can audible in a way that a flying Spider-Man animatronic can’t. The parade is full of guests who have never seen this show before, regardless of how many times it has happened, and the goal is to make sure those people still remember the great parade. 

Of all the people on the parade route, only a few will have actually seen what happened here. Those even just a few feet down the path will never notice there is anything wrong with Ariel’s costume. This is all thanks to quick thinking on the part of a couple of cast members. 

Live entertainment tends to get overlooked inside Disney Parks. While people love to hug their favorite Disney characters, There’s so much focus on rides at Disney that the people performing in shows and parades often don’t get the recognition they really deserve. It’s unfortunate in this case that a costume error is what drew attention to these cast members, but they also showed how professional they are. Next time you see a Disney World parade, remember that while they may just be sitting on a float and waving, they work hard to make the job look so simple. 

Dirk Libbey
Content Producer/Theme Park Beat

CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian, Dirk began writing for CinemaBlend as a freelancer in 2015 before joining the site full-time in 2018. He has previously held positions as a Staff Writer and Games Editor, but has more recently transformed his true passion into his job as the head of the site's Theme Park section. He has previously done freelance work for various gaming and technology sites. Prior to starting his second career as a writer he worked for 12 years in sales for various companies within the consumer electronics industry. He has a degree in political science from the University of California, Davis.  Is an armchair Imagineer, Epcot Stan, Future Club 33 Member.