EBONY's May Cover Star, Halle Bailey, is truly the epitome of a Disney Princess. The upcoming Disney’s Live-Action ‘The Little Mermaid’ star debuted the official world premiere of the film on May 8, 2023, in Hollywood. And while those in attendance were certainly excited to see the highly anticipated film, two young, Black aspiring filmmakers were the real winners of the night.
Bailey, who also recently served as the celebrity ambassador for Disney Dreamers Academy at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida earlier this spring, walked the blue carpet with Dylan Jones and Madison Henderson, who were both a part of the Academy's 2023 cohort. She was moved by Jones' and Henderson's drive and visions—as both look to make their marks on the film industry some day. In true Ariel and Disney Princess form, Halle Bailey made them feel like Disney royalty.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity, it feels surreal. I feel like I'm in a dream," Jones shared from the blue carpet.
"I'm excited to be here. Being here on the blue carpet, I never thought this would happen. Getting to see Halle again and getting to hug her really meant the world to me," Henderson added. "She looks so beautiful."
After the screening, the two aspiring filmmakers attended the after party with the cast and crew, where they rubbed elbows with the Hollywood types they hope to become in the future. It was certainly an experience that neither of them will forget.
Each year, 100 students are selected from thousands of nationwide applicants for Disney Dreamers Academy, a once-in-a-lifetime mentoring program at Walt Disney World Resort. The program, which has touched the lives of more than 1,600 students during the past 16 years, is designed to assist young people in identifying and pursuing their dreams.