Disney's First African American Princess Makes Her Royal Debut this Week at Disneyland!
Princess Tiana -- "She's the princess every Black girl has been waiting for" - Â LaShanda Henry - Mother and Creator Mahogany Momma Magazine
By: Stephanie FredericSentinel Contributing WriterÂ
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Another magical and this time historical moment at Walt Disney World this week as the Mouse House welcomed its first African American Princess to the Disney family.
Princess Tiara, soon to make her big screen debut in the animated film "The Princess and The Frog," made her royal entrance in a horse drawn carriage with a New Orleans styled jazz band parading in a second line announcing her arrival. It was indeed a celebration to see and the symbolism wasn't loss on the hundreds who witnessed the big event.
On hand for the official and extraordinary welcoming ceremony, most of Disney's most colorful characters including Mickey & Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto and Snow White.
"This is so exciting," said LaShanda Henry, a young mother from Greenville, North Carolina who made sure she was at the Magic Kingdom to write about the life-changing event for her Mahogany Momma Magazine & Blog. "Princess Tiara is the Princess every young Black girl has been waiting for."
"I can't tell you what this going to do for my daughter's self-esteem," said Joan Henburg of New Orleans, Louisiana, mother of 7-year old Skylar. "She now has someone who looks like her, has hair like her and she's beautiful and a Princess-- that says something and it says a lot."
Princess Tiara is not only Disney's first African American Princess. "She's also the company's first American princess in more than a decade," said Disney spokesperson Annette Gibbs.
"She's pretty," said 9-year old Danica Escaâ€“o of Orlando who was decked out in a sparkling tiara, glittery makeup and princess gown after spending the morning getting a royal makeover at Disney's new Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.
Princess Tiara now becomes part of Disney's Magic Kingdom. She and the other characters from the motion picture will star in "Tiana's Showboat Jubilee!" - a Mardi Gras themed musical show that cruises around the theme park three times a day. (The 10-week experience at Walt Disney World Resort will run through Jan. 3, 2010. "Tiana's Showboat Jubilee!" party gets started at Disneyland Park in California, beginning Nov. 6.)
Also watching the historic celebration with a big smile was "The Princess and The Frog's" supervising animator Bruce Smith. Smith created and designed the movie's villain, Dr. Facilier. "This is really cool watching something I created come to life in another form. I really hope people come out and support and enjoy what we've done here."
Disney's "The Princess and The Frog," starring Tony Award-winning actress Anika Noni Rose, opens in Los Angeles and New York Nov. 25, nationwide Dec. 11th.