What makes Disney princesses “official”? We’re taking a look at all your favorite heroines and damsels to see which ones are actually royalty!
At the mention of “Disney Princess,” most of us paint a mental picture of our favorite animated heroines and damsels as featured on lunchboxes, binders, and water bottles. But are all of them actually Disney princesses– or do the technicalities of royal status exclude our most beloved princesses from being considered “official”?
Official Disney Princesses
The following ladies have been lucky enough to be currently considered official Disney Princesses, whether it be by lineage, marriage, or other means. Some are obvious, while others may surprise you!
Given that she is the daughter of a king (with pretty much the worst step-mom ever) and the O.G. princess, it’s only fitting that Snow White reserves the right to official princess status. Snow White is the princess featured in 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was based upon the 1812 tale from the Brothers Grimm.
In the film, Snow is a princess who lives with her wicked stepmother, the Evil Queen. When the Magic Mirror tells the Evil Queen that Snow is the fairest of them all, the Queen orders her Huntsman to kill her and bring back her heart. The Huntsman can’t bring himself to kill Snow, sending her into the forest and telling her to never return. There, she finds a cottage with the seven dwarfs: Doc, Grumpy, Happy, Sleepy, Bashful, Sneezy, and Dopey.
As of 2023, there is one Snow White ride you can find in the Disney Parks, featured in the original Disneyland Park. Snow White’s Enchanted Wish is a dark ride that takes guests through the story of the film, revisiting memorable scenes. At Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort in Disney World, you can dine with the characters of the film at Story Book Dining at Artist Point.
If the shoe (or glass slipper) were to fit anyone, it would be Cinderella! Despite her humble beginnings, Cinderella found her Prince Charming, and the rest is history. The movie Cinderella was originally released in 1950, a musical that has become a beloved classic over time.
You can find two different Cinderella Castles in the world. The icon is the centerpiece of the Magic Kingdom in Disney World, along with Tokyo Disneyland at Tokyo Disney Resort. You can even dine at Cinderella’s Royal Table inside the castle at Magic Kingdom, where you can meet the princess herself.
Disney doesn’t snooze on this iconic princess! True love’s kiss with Prince Phillip sealed her fate as a royal. Sleeping Beauty, Aurora, Briar Rose– whatever you want to call her, is as official as it gets.
Sleeping Beauty was a 1959 Disney film, following the story of Aurora, daughter of King Stefan and Queen Leah. Aurora is cursed by Maleficent, a curse forcing her to prick her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel before her sixteenth birthday, causing her death. Three good fairies, Flora, Fauna, and Merryweather, are able to weaken the curse, putting Aurora into a deep sleep instead of dying, and allowing her to awaken with true love’s kiss.
In the Disney Parks, you’ll find the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park at Disneyland Resort. You can also meet Aurora in the France Pavilion of EPCOT at Disney World.
Not only is she the daughter of King Triton, but she is also married to handsome landlubber Prince Eric. Is there such a thing as a double princess? While she had to share the title of a princess with her six older sisters under the sea (more on them later!), she is a princess nonetheless!
At both Disneyland and Disney World, you can ride Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, a dark ride that will guide you through the story of the film. In 2023, the film was given a live-action reimagining where the title character was played by singer and actress Halle Bailey.
While Belle may have started as the village bookworm, her life completely changed when she fell in love with a prince-turned-sasquatch and, in turn, became the princess of an enchanted castle. While her taste in men may be questionable, she is undoubtedly a Disney princess!
At Disney World, you can watch the story of how Belle and the Beast meet over at Enchanted Tales with Belle in Magic Kingdom. You can meet characters like Belle, Lumière, and the Enchanted Wardrobe as well.
Unlike some of the other ladies on the official Disney princess list, Jasmine was born a princess and made her love interest transform from a peasant to a prince. Being the daughter of a sultan, Jasmine was born into a life of royalty– whether she liked it or not.
Over at Disney World, you can meet Jasmine at the Morocco Pavilion in EPCOT. She’s also one of the featured princesses you can meet at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion of the same park. In Magic Kingdom, you won’t see Jasmine, but you can ride the Aladdin-inspired ride Magic Carpets of Aladdin in Adventureland.
Pocahontas’ peaceful and harmonic spirit combined with her diplomatic personality gives her the royal qualities that make for a great princess– not to mention that she is the daughter of her tribe’s chief, making her a noble figure of her community!
Pocahontas is also a princess you can see occasionally in Disney’s Animal Kingdom! Look out for her and Meeko on a Discovery River Cruise around the park at select times throughout the day.
While Mulan was neither born nor married into royalty, her extraordinary accomplishments in the Chinese military earned her high honor and accolades in her country. Talk about a girlboss, right? Despite not being monarchical, she is recognized as an official Disney princess.
You can meet Mulan in EPCOT in Disney World, where you’ll spot her at select times at the China Pavilion. Over at Disney California Adventure in Disneyland, you’ll also be able to see her at Mulan’s Lunar New Year Procession, part of the New Year festivities that take place in January of each year.
Tiana may have received the biggest promotion ever when she went from a humble waitress to the princess of Maldonia all in one week! Her marriage to Prince Naveen made it official– even if it was a frog wedding.
The past few years have been pretty big for Tiana’s representation at the Disney Parks! At both Disney World and Disneyland, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will be opening in late 2024, replacing the previous Splash Mountain ride at each. In Disneyland, New Orleans Square has also gotten some exciting Princess and the Frog updates. The restaurant Tiana’s Palace opened in the fall of 2023, and Eudora’s Chic Boutique Featuring Tiana’s Gourmet Secrets opened in 2022 in the section as well.
Rapunzel, a.k.a. “The Lost Princess,” was royalty in the kingdom of Corona her whole life, although she didn’t know it until she turned 18. Trading in her frying pan for a crown and her hidden tower for a castle, she finally took her rightful place in the kingdom as their princess!
At Magic Kingdom, you’ll find a Tangled-themed area of bathrooms (filled with some hidden Pascals!). There will also be a full Tangled section coming to Fantasy Springs, which will be opening in spring 2024 at Tokyo Disney Resort.
Her flaming locks match her fiery personality, she may be an official princess, but her status is certainly not defined by marriage. Merida was born into a monarchy, but the royal rules couldn’t confine her. Either way, Merida is very much an official princess!
She is Moana of Motunui, and being next in line to lead her tribe makes her an official Disney princess! Despite her differences with her father, the chief, she proved to be a fit leader when she risked her life to save her island and her people.
At Disney’s Animal Kingdom in Disney World, you can meet Moana at Character Landing. Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort also features Moana-themed rooms with special touches to represent the Disney Princess.
The newest addition to the official Disney princess list is Raya, who has joined the ranks of Mulan, Moana, and Merida after being confirmed as an official Disney princess during World Princess Week in 2022. Being the daughter of a chief, she is a warrior princess that can win any fight!
While we saw a Raya meet and greet at Disneyland around the time the film came out, we haven’t seen too much of this Disney Princess in the parks since then!
Former Disney Princesses
Although they are still beloved characters, these ladies are not considered “certified” royalty as part of the list of official Disney princesses.
While Tinker Bell could be found on merch sprinkling her pixie dust over a lineup of official princesses, she is not considered an official Disney princess. Poor Tink!
Luckily you can still meet her at Pixie Hollow at Disneyland Resort. She also plays a special part during Happily Ever After at Magic Kingdom, flying from Cinderella Castle at the start of the show.
Esmerelda possesses many qualities of a princess, such as beauty, grace, fierceness, kindness, and empathy, but she is not of royal descent or relation.
Jane Porter is the daughter of a professor, not a king, and the love interest of an ape-man, not a prince. No royalty here, but we still love her!
Unofficial Disney Princesses
You may think some of these iconic characters are princesses, but you’d be mistaken!
If you haven’t seen Frozen 2, you may be wondering, wait– how come Anna isn’t a princess? Well, after Elsa was crowned as queen of Arendelle, she then resigned to become the fifth spirit, and Anna took her place. This made Anna the queen, and you simply can’t be a queen and a princess all at once!
Anna plays a pretty big part at the Disney Parks! She is featured in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT in Disney World, where you can meet her and her sister, Elsa, at Royal Summerhus. She’s also featured on the Norway Pavilion ride Frozen Ever After, a boat ride telling the story of Frozen. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can enjoy the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. At Hong Kong Disneyland, a new World of Frozen-themed land is opening in November 2023. And in spring 2024, a Frozen-themed land will be coming to Tokyo Disney Resort with Fantasy Springs.
Elsa was once a princess before her coronation as queen but has since become the fifth spirit. I know all this royal technicality may be confusing, but I suggest you just let it go.
Just like Anna, you can find Elsa in the Norway Pavilion at EPCOT in Disney World, where you can meet her and her sister at Royal Summerhus. She’s also featured on the Norway Pavilion ride Frozen Ever After, a boat ride telling the story of Frozen. At Disney’s Hollywood Studios, you can enjoy the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. At Hong Kong Disneyland, a new World of Frozen-themed land is opening in November 2023. And in spring 2024, a Frozen-themed land will be coming to Tokyo Disney Resort with Fantasy Springs.
Giselle was never a princess, although she was engaged to be married to Prince Edward of Andalasia before being sent to our live-action universe in 2007’s Enchanted. She ends up marrying a divorce attorney. So, while she gets to live out her happily ever after, she never becomes an official Disney princess in her journey (even in the sequel).
Giselle returned in 2022 in the sequel to the Disney film, Disenchanted. In the sequel, Amy Adams reprised her role as Giselle, with the story following her and her husband Robert as they settle into suburban life. Of course, this is a Disney tale, so not all went to plan!
Megara is the love of Hercules, a demi-god whose parents have much more power than human royalty in 1997’s Hercules. That’s arguably much cooler than being an official princess, so who’s complaining?
While Megara does not currently meet anywhere in the Disney Parks, she has appeared in the past as part of after-hours events such as Disney Villains After Hours at Magic Kingdom.
No, Nala isn’t excluded from the official Disney princess list just because she’s a lion in 1994’s The Lion King. It’s actually because she didn’t marry Simba until after he became king of the savanna, immediately making her queen!
While Nala is not an easy find in the Disney Parks (outside of stuffed animals of her), she is a main character in the long-running Lion King show on Broadway in New York City and touring worldwide.
Ariel’s siblings could form a troop of Disney Princesses on their own! But alas, her siblings aren’t as official as Ariel. How many sisters does Ariel have, anyway?
Vanellope Von Schweetz
Vanellope is transformed into a princess during Ralph Breaks The Internet, but she is not considered to be an official Disney Princess. This may be because Vanellope says herself: Her code may say she is a princess, but she is actually a racer. I’d take her word for it.
Mirabel is brave, kind, and cares deeply for her family. While not an official Disney Princess, she certainly fits a lot of the qualifications of being one!
In 2023, Mirabel also opened up her own meet and greet in Magic Kingdom! You can now meet Mirabel at Fairytale Gardens, located to the right of Cinderella Castle.
Who’s your favorite Disney princess, and what makes them “official” to you? Tell us your thoughts over on our Facebook page!