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May 17, 2016

Disney reveals more details about its first Latina princess, Elena of Avalor

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The Walt Disney Co. announced earlier this year that it would introduce its first Latina princess, Elena of Avalor, this summer. Her debut is planned for a special episode of Disney Junior’s “Sofia The First” and then will be followed by her own show later in the summer on Disney Channel.

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Recently, Disney released more details about its newest member of the royal family. Here’s what we know so far:

** Princess Elena is a bold, caring, funny and clever 16-year-old who is ascendant to the throne in the fairytale kingdom of Avalor.

** She saves her kingdom from an evil sorceress and must now learn to rule with the support of her appointed Grand Council and some magical friends by her side.

** Elena's adventures will highlight the importance of family and family traditions.

** Elena’s character was inspired by diverse Latin cultures and folklore.

** The Latina princess will be voiced by Aimee Carrero (ABC Family’s “Young & Hungry”).

What’s new? Oh My Disney has revealed more of Princess Elena’s back story:

“Princess Elena’s journey began long ago when her parents and kingdom were taken from her by the evil sorceress, Shuriki. Elena bravely faced the sorceress to protect her little sister, Princess Isabel, and grandparents but in the process, her magical amulet pulled her inside its enchanted jewel, saving her life but imprisoning her at the same time. Decades later, Princess Sofia of Enchancia discovers the truth about the amulet she has worn since joining her royal family and sets out to restore Elena to her human form and help her return to the kingdom of Avalor.”

The Disney website also revealed more characters in the series:

“While Elena is the rightful heir to the throne, she is only age 16 so she will rule Avalor with the help of a Grand Council comprised of her Grandfather Tito, Grandmother Cici and Royal Advisor, Duke Esteban. With some magical friends by her side – Mateo, a wizard-in-training, and Skylar, a magical flying creature – Princess Elena’s further adventures will lead her to understand that her new role requires thoughtfulness, resilience and compassion, the traits of all truly great leaders.”

“Elena of Avalor” stories are created for children ages 2 to 7 and “will be guided by an established curriculum that nurtures multiple areas of child development: physical, emotional, social and cognitive; thinking and creative skills, as well as moral and ethical development.”

The Disney Princesses will welcome Elena to Walt Disney World in August, and families can see her in person at the Magic Kingdom. She also will visit Disney California Adventure in Anaheim beginning this fall.



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August 14, 2012

New D-Tech Me Disney dolls may not be for everyone

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Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote about a friend and fellow Walt Disney World passholder who was invited to test a new merchandise concept. The invitations were sent to a limited number of families with girls 3 to 16 years old, and during their sessions they helped determine how the new D-Tech Me customized princess figurines would be offered.

Last week, the Disney Parks Blog announced the figurines will be available beginning August 26 at World of Disney in Downtown Disney Marketplace. During the 10-minute experience, cameras capture images of each girl's face from multiple angles. The images are then used to personalize the face a princess figurine of her choice -- Ariel, Aurora, Belle, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Snow White and Tiana. While the gowns are traditional, the hair, skin and eye color of each princess also will match the guest's. My friend who participated in the test said the figurines were made of a rubbery material, not hard plastic.

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Guests must be ages 3 to 12 years to participate, and it takes five to six weeks for the finished figurines to be shipped to their homes. Participants can choose from a 7-inch figurine for $99.95 or a 3-inch model for $39.95. Each girl also receives a silver link necklace with gem. Reservations can be made now by calling 407-WDW-TECH.

I certainly can see the appeal of these products, even if they are not my taste or priced in the range I would spend for this type of merchandise. Little girls love personalized souvenirs, and parents on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation may be willing to spend big bucks for a unique gift.

I'm the mother of an almost -8-year-old girl who loves the Disney Princesses and identifies with the royal heroines that she thinks share similar traits. I get that, and I'm sure that's what Disney marketers are hoping for. Unlike some other mommy bloggers responding to the D-Tech Me dolls, though, I don't worry that my child's enjoyment of the Disney Princesses is damaging her ability to think for herself or develop into a strong woman. It's my job as a parent to help her develop those skills and self-confidence. Placing her face on a princess statute isn't going to sway my daughter's beliefs about herself.

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But for me, there's something just a little too weird about having my daughter's exact likeness on a princess statue. I guess it's like that uncanny valley hypothesis in robotics and 3D animation, which is defined as "when human replicas look and act almost, but not perfectly, like actual human beings, it causes a response of revulsion among human observers."

I'm more a fan of American Girl dolls, which come with a variety of hairstyles, eye colors and skin tones. Girls are encouraged to pick dolls that appeal to them for their similar "personality" or physical attributes, and they look more like siblings to their owners. For the same $100 price tag, girls are getting a toy they can play and grow with, rather than just a keepsake.

So, what do you think about the new D-Tech Me princess figurines? Would you purchase one?

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About Disney Princesses

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to A Mom and The Magic in the Disney Princesses category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

Disney pin trading is the previous category.

Disney Publishing is the next category.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.