Executive Producer Edward Kitsis teased this summer that they had always wanted to introduce Ariel and saved her until the tale got to Neverland. He was very secretive though about how she ended up in Neverland.
The long wait to meet Ariel (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) is finally coming to an end. ABC has been promoting Ariel's arrival
since the summer and the character will be introduced in the Once Upon a Time
episode titled for her, "Ariel."
Ariel is introduced through her first meeting with Snow White in the Enchanted Forest. Ginnifer Goodwin (Snow White) expressed her excitement for the story from the set in Vancouver last month, "The Ariel introduction is going to make all of our fans and all of the Disney fans supremely happy, because she's everything that you want Ariel to be."
"And, the actress who is playing her brings this layer of emotional intelligence to it that I really didn't foresee that I found super impressive and meshes really well with all the rest of the characters in our world."
In Fairy Tale Land that was, Snow and Ariel have their initial encounter. Goodwin explains, "Snow and Ariel come together because of a near-fatal experience in which Ariel saves Snow. And, so Snow is going to try to repay the favor by helping Ariel find the love of her life. So, that's how that comes about."
Their new friendship leads to a gorgeous party, Ariel's Ball. From the show's set, Emilie de Ravin* said, "She's not invited to that. She gets to the ball because she saves Snow's life. And, Snow then brings her to meet the love of Ariel's life, Prince Eric."
And, the ball costumes sound like they will be quite memorable. de Ravin's excited to see them on screen, "I'm so looking forward to see the ball scene, the dresses are like little marshmallowy..."
Ariel and Price Eric (Gil McKinney) aren't the only The Little Mermaid characters that will be making an appearance in "Ariel." There's a shocking reveal regarding Ursala. She's played by Lana Parrilla. Is she another incarnation of the Evil Queen? Or, does Ursala just look like Regina?
Check out the clip of Ursala's introduction.
*Edited to clarify the quote.
Once Upon a Time airs on Sundays at 8 pm ET on ABC.
(Image and video courtesy of ABC.)