Disney has been encouraging humans and mermaids alike to become part of each other’s worlds since Ariel first swam into our lives in 1989 — but now, they’re making it easier than ever: You’ll soon be able to attend Mermaid School at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla. According to the Disney Parks Blog, several of Disney World’s on-property resort hotels will begin offering classes that will teach attendees how to swim like a mermaid, tail and all. Bookings will be available starting in mid-March, so grab your dinglehopper and get planning!
The Mermaid School is one of a number of new activities set to debut at Walt Disney World’s themed resort hotels this spring. Other options include the chance to join Captain Hook’s pirate crew for kids between the ages of 4 and 12, art classes for guests age 12 and up, and fishing excursions leaving out of the Magic Kingdom marinas — but let’s face it: The offering that’s arguably the most exciting is the one that literally teaches you how to swim like a mermaid.
Per WDW Magic, local Orlando company the Mermaid Academy will teach the classes, which will each be an hour in length. You’ll have use of a swimmable tail during the class, of course (and if you really want a tail of your own to keep and cherish for all eternity, you can buy one through the Mermaid Academy’s website) — you can’t very well flip your fins like a mermaid if you don’t have any fins to flip — as your instructor leads you through a series of activities that will help you embrace your inner Ariel. The classes cost $50 per person, plus tax, and will be taught on select dates at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Beach Club Resort, and Disney’s Yacht Club Resort.
Doctor Disney has a few more details — namely, specific days and times: Classes will take place at 8 a.m., bright and early and prior to the time the pools officially open to guests, and will occur according to the following schedule:
- Art of Animation: Sundays and Thursdays
- Caribbean Beach: Wednesdays and Fridays
- Beach Club: Tuesdays and Saturdays
- Yacht Club: Also Tuesdays and Saturdays
And here’s the best part: The only age requirement according to the Disney Parks Blog states that the class is for “guests ages 4 and older.” Since there’s no age cap, I assume that means that people of all ages are eligible for the class as long as they’ve been on this planet for at least four cycles ‘round the sun — which means, in turn, that adults, too, can learn how to swim like a mermaid there, right? Plus, the regular Mermaid Academy’s Mermaid experience is for “participants of all ages,” so, uh, signs point to “yes.” Even so, though, you might want to double check with Disney before you book yourself a spot at Mermaid School — just in case.
Mermaid schools are by no means new; we’ve been seeing them circulate the internet for a number of years, and now, they can be found in both many locations across the globe and lots of cities specifically in the United States. What’s more, the “mermaids” of Weeki Wachee in Florida have been wowing visitors with their underwater skills for decades, performing complete with tails up to eight times a day. (I was lucky enough to see them perform once when I was about five years old, and I still remember it now, almost 30 years later. That’s how impressive the Weeki Wachee mermaids are.) In fact, it’s actually quite remarkable that it took Disney this long to get into the mermaid school game themselves; The Little Mermaid is largely credited with ushering in the Disney Renaissance, which produced some of the most successful animated features ever to come out of the company’s studios. At this point, mermaids are a vital part of Disney's DNA.
To be fair, though, Mermaid School did start appearing at Disney World a few months ago. According to Disney fan site All Ears, signs for Mermaid School were posted around the Caribbean Beach resort as early as October 2018. At the time, the classes were offered on Tuesday and Thursday at the Fuentes del Morro Pool one hour prior to opening; guests could reserve their spots in person at the hotel’s concierge desk. Then as now, they were $50 per person plus tax and included the loan of a tail for the duration of the lesson.
You’ll note that the Caribbean Beach resort’s days for 2019 have changed from what they were last fall; however, there’s also now more coverage overall, due to the classes being available at multiple hotels: You can now attend Mermaid School somewhere every day of the week except Monday. Clearly, the Caribbean Beach classes were a success — and who knows? If the offerings at Art of Animation, the Yacht Club, and the Beach Club are similarly popular, maybe more resorts will star to offer them later on down the line.
Bookings open mid-March; call 407-WDW-PLAY to make your reservations. And while you're waiting, just keep swimming!