Disney Welcomes the Brave and Passionate Merida into the Disney Princess Royal Court
Gymnastics Gold Medalist, Gabby Douglas Hosts Royal Celebration With Her Mom At Walt Disney World On Mother's Day Weekend
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ORLANDO, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- In celebration of mothers and daughters everywhere, Disney today proudly welcomed Merida from Disney∙Pixar's Academy Award® winning film, "Brave," into the Disney Princess royal court. With her mother Queen Elinor proudly by her side, the ceremony took place at the Magic Kingdom in front of Cinderella's Castle at Walt Disney World® Resort in conjunction with Mother's Day festivities. Gymnastics Gold Medalist and All-Around champion, Gabby Douglas, hosted the celebration accompanied by her mother, and shared her personal story of strength, perseverance and courage - the true meaning of being a Disney princess.
Rosie McClelland (front left) and Sophia Grace Brownlee (front right), TV personalities from "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," pose with the newest Disney Princess, the brave and passionate Merida, and the rest of the Disney Princess royal court at Magic Kingdom in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Photo: Business Wire)
Watched by hundreds of park guests, Merida's procession through the Magic Kingdom to Cinderella's Castle was led by a troop of Scottish dancers and an authentic pipe and drum band. In true Merida fashion, she forged her own path, foregoing the traditional horse-and-carriage arrival and instead wowing the audience as she rode in on her trusty horse Angus. She was welcomed on stage by the entire Disney Princess court, and was crowned by her mother Queen Elinor in a touching moment of love and respect that highlighted the unbreakable bond between mother and daughter. Over the last few years, the Disney Princess royal court has expanded to welcome new princess characters whose stories, personalities and inner qualities serve as role models inspiring girls around the world.
(Editor's note: To view event photos, please visit http://bit.ly/MeridaCelebrationGallery)
"I admire Merida for being determined and courageous as these are qualities that have had a big impact on my own life and helped me achieve my goals as an athlete," said Gabby Douglas, gymnastics gold medalist. "And like Merida, I have a strong relationship with my mom, whose support and belief in me has helped me recognize my own inner princess qualities. It's really special for us to be here and share in Merida's celebration, especially on Mother's Day weekend."
"As a Disney Princess, Merida sets an admirable example for all, being brave, strong, passionate, determined and confident," said Katherine Sarafian, "Brave's" producer. "When Queen Elinor placed the crown on Merida's head, it signified a moment of deep connection, as a mother recognized the spirit, heart and true personality of her daughter. It's moments like these that encapsulate what is special about being a princess, but also resonate with mothers across the world."
On hand to join in on the festivities were 10-year-old and six-year-old British singers and TV personalities of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," Sophia Grace Brownlee and Rosie McClelland, who celebrated their inner princess by performing an original song on stage. Also in attendance were young girls and their families from Give Kids The World, a 70-acre nonprofit "storybook" resort where children with life-threatening illnesses and their families are treated to weeklong cost-free family vacations.
As part of Merida's celebration, a group of 200 mom bloggers and their families attending the Walt Disney World Social Media Moms conference were treated to a first look at the latest video from the "I Am A Princess" campaign, which features Merida and a real-life young archer. The campaign's message encourages girls to believe in themselves and their inner strength.
Highlights from Merida's Royal Celebration ceremony will be available on May 15 at DisneyPrincess.com.
About Disney Consumer Products
Disney Consumer Products (DCP) is the business segment of The Walt Disney Company (NYS: DIS) that delivers innovative and engaging product experiences across thousands of categories from toys and apparel to books and fine art. As the world's largest licensor, DCP inspires the imaginations of people around the world by bringing the magic of Disney into consumers' homes with products they can enjoy year-round. DCP is comprised of three business units: Licensing, Publishing and Disney Store. The Licensing business is aligned around seven strategic brand priorities: Disney Baby & Classic Characters, Disney Media Networks & Games, Disney & Pixar Animation Studios, Disney Princess & Disney Fairies, Disney Live Action Film, Marvel, and Lucasfilm. Disney Publishing Worldwide (DPW) is the world's largest publisher of children's books, magazines, and digital products and also includes an English language learning business, consisting of over 40 Disney English learning centers across China and a supplemental learning book program. DPW's growing library of digital products includes best-selling eBook titles and original apps that leverage Disney content in innovative ways. The Disney Store retail chain operates across North America, Europe and Japan with more than 350 stores worldwide and is known for providing consumers with high-quality, unique products. Disney's official shopping portals online are www.DisneyStore.com and www.DisneyStore.co.uk. For more information, please visit Disney Consumer Products www.DisneyConsumerProducts.com or follow us at www.YouTube.com/DisneyLiving, www.Facebook.com/DisneyLiving and www.Twitter.com/DisneyLiving.
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