You can’t even utter the words Disney Princesses without seeing a flood of pink and a lineup of some of our favorite Disney characters. But there’s more to it than that. Did you know that the Disney Princesses is like an exclusive club that you have to be let in?
To be a Disney Princess, a character is selected not necessarily for their royal status, but how well they fit into the “Princess Mythology”. These strong women have been selected because of their heroism in their story, their strength, and their ability to overcome.
The Disney Princess lineup began in the 1990s and has changed quite a bit since the beginning. Originally, all of the Princesses were Princesses by royalty and were the more stereotypical romantic princesses. Original Princesses included Snow White, Cinderella, and Aurora. Now, there are currently 13 official Disney Princesses, and not all of them needed a man to win their story!
Disney Princess Lineup
Just in time for Princess Week 2022, Disney announced that Raya is now officially a part of the Disney Princess lineup! Raya teaches girls that they can be strong and tough both physically and emotionally. Raya also sends a strong message that kindness and empathy can heal. Welcome to the lineup, Raya!
In her words, she’s not a princess, she’s the daughter of a chief! That doesn’t matter, because she was named an official Disney princess in 2019. Moana teaches girls to take charge of their destiny and they can not only see personal growth, but they can also help those around them in the process!
Merida is the most unique Disney Princess because she is the only Princess of the list to be from Pixar! (Remember the parody of Merida when Venelope meets the Disney Princesses in the movie Ralph Breaks the Internet? “She’s from the other studio”.) Merida famously fought for the right to her own hand. She was the first Disney Princess to teach girls that they don’t need a man to continue their story!
Rapunzel shows girls ways to be creative not only with her special paints but also creative ways to go through life. Frying pans, who knew right? Rapunzel also teaches girls to not judge books by their covers, and to give everyone a chance, despite how scary they look. You just might make a new friend!
Tiana shows young girls that they can reach for their dreams. That not only can they dream big, but also that they can achieve their dreams only by working for them. There is no wishing on stars for miracles to happen. “You gotta make ‘em happen. It all depends on you!” Tiana was made an official Disney Princess in 2010. We wish that we could meet the Tiana’s Place version of Tiana in Walt Disney World instead of the wedding day version in the Bayou!
Saving all of China is what secured a spot in the Princess lineup for Mulan. She is not royal in any way. She is the daughter of a respected family in China, but saved her country from the Huns as a woman posing as an enlisted soldier. She teaches young girls that women are as powerful and ingenuitive as men, while using teamwork and creativity. Mulan may have ended up with the guy, but don’t be fooled, it was Mulan that saved the day!
Pocahontas is Native American royalty as the daughter of the chief. She lives her own life and marches to the beat of her own drum. She teaches children to be open-minded to things that are new, while respecting her culture. She was introduced to the Disney Princesses because of the values taught in the song, “Colors of the Wind”. She reminds us that we are all one people here to care for the Earth.
Jasmine teaches young girls to be choosy and not settle for anything less than you deserve. Furthermore, Jasmine teaches everyone that money and status doesn’t matter when she, the daughter of the Sultan, chooses a homeless man for a husband. (Not a good practice for real life, ladies!)
Can we just say, we think Disney should make an exception to the “must be animated” rule for Jasmine. While we love the classic animated Jasmine, the live-action Jasmine was intelligent, strong, and proved that she didn’t need a man to run her country! She convinced her father to defy tradition to make her Sultan! Girl power!
Belle made bookworms cool, and made little girls long for a massive library of their own to get lost in! Belle teaches everyone to care for others, and how to look past people (or things) that are different. We love that we see that she is apprehensive at first about the beast, but learns to love him despite his appearance. It takes a strong woman with equally strong convictions to turn down the studly Gaston!
Sorry, Disney… We just don’t quite get this one. Don’t get us wrong! We’re 80s babies over here at www.WDWvacationtips.com, so naturally, we love The Little Mermaid, but what do girls learn? To defy your parents? To sign a contract without reading it? To give up your life and soul for a shot at a man? We can’t stop chuckling at “…I’m 16 years old! I’m not a child anymore!” Oh Ariel… Also, when shown with the Disney Princesses she is always in her dress with legs. Do a poll of 100 children and find 1 little girl who prefers Ariel with legs over Ariel with a tail. We’ll wait…
*Steps off our soapbox*
Princess Aurora is better known as Sleeping Beauty. Let’s be honest, this movie is more about those awesome little fairies than Sleeping Beauty, but it is a beautiful romantic tale that is what every little girl dreams will happen. She will meet her prince charming one day that waltzes her into a stupor, and then when she is in distress, he rescues her from the dragon. Swoon!
We want to know what you think: Pink or Blue??
Cinderella is a princess treasure! Despite being treated horribly and having a bad childhood, she remained a beautiful soul inside and out. That is the definition of a princess in our books! Cinderella teaches us that even when faced with difficult people and situations, always choose kindness. The world could use more Cinderella’s these days!
Snow White is the “Original Gangster”, the O.G., the queen of Disney! Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first full-length animated feature film in history. She changed the face of the Walt Disney Company and started the legacy that we all know and love. Let’s not forget Snow White keeps us humble and teaches us that even princesses clean their own homes! Though we’re still waiting for woodland creatures to come help us, no matter how much we whistle while we work.
“Unofficial” Disney Princesses
Wait… Is this list missing people? What about Elena of Avalor? She is listed as a Princess in Walt Disney World as a Princess Meet and Greet? Apparently, she has not earned the badge of Princess yet according to Disney!
Other “Unofficial Disney Princesses”
- Elena of Avalor
- Lottie from Princess and the Frog: She is the Princess of the Mardi Gras!
- Nala from Lion King: She was betrothed to the Prince of Pride Rock
- Princess Dot from a Bug’s Life
- Sofia from Sofia the First
- Anna from Frozen (before Frozen II)
- Vanellope von Schweetz from Wreck it Ralph
- Elsa: Sure, she was a Queen, but she was also the most profitable Disney character of all time!
BONUS: Disney Princess Fan Theories!
Let’s talk fan theories! Disney doesn’t have any details just “because”. There is always something more to the picture. Let’s explore ways that some people theorize our favorite stories are connected!
- Jane from Tarzan is Belle and Beast’s granddaughter!! It may be surprising at first, but now it makes sense as to why Jane has Mrs. Potts’ teapot! Also notice how educated Jane is for her time period. We see a strong Belle influence here!
- Sisters, Anna and Elsa, are cousins with Rapunzel! If you watch in the beginning before the coronation you can see Eugene and Rapunzel coming in. It is even thought that Anna and Elsa’s parents died at sea traveling to Rapunzel’s wedding.
- Is Tarzan really Anna and Elsa’s brother?? We know that Anna and Elsa’s parents perished at sea, and think about it, Tarzan’s parents were victims of a ship fire… O.M.G, am I right??
- Hercules and Ariel are cousins … Hercules is the son of Zeus, and King Triton is the son of Poseidon, so that makes Ariel Hercules’ cousin once removed!
- Belle’s favorite book that she sings about in the first song is actually Sleepy Beauty. Daring sword fights and a prince in disguise? She’s talking about Prince Phillip!
Who is your favorite Disney Princess? Tell us in the comments!
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.