Elena Is Coming Back in a Big Way

Last week, I wrote about how Tangled: The Series would return to Disney Channel on October 7th with a new episode every weekday for two weeks. As it turns out, Rapunzel will not be alone in this endeavor. I'm not sure why it wasn't announced at the time, but we now have official confirmation that new episodes of the third and final season of Elena of Avalor will air alongside Tangled starting October 7th. This news accompanied other announcements about the final season of Elena, such as a list of upcoming guest stars that includes Auli'i Cravalho, the leading voice of Moana, who will also star as Ariel in the upcoming November 5th live special to celebrate the 30th anniversary of The Little Mermaid. Is this girl living the princess dream or what?

Elena of Avalor began as a spin-off of Sofia the First and broke boundaries as the first Latina Disney Princess. She currently does regular meet'n'greets at Walt Disney World alongside Cinderella. The show had a rocky start, but quickly picked up around the second season, which led up to the defeat of Elena's arch nemesis Shuriki in Song of the Sirenas. The third season is confirmed to comprise of 26 regular-length episodes and two specials, including Elena's coronation finale special that is set to air next year. If it's anything like the mind-blowing finale of Sofia the First, it will be an event that will not be soon forgotten. The Broadway World article also teases another Dia de los Muertos special and a Hanukkah episode! Wow. A Hanukkah episode? Give me a second.

This is a huge deal for me. I've expressed my disappointment in the past about the lack of inclusion of the holiday I was brought up with in Disney Princess holiday specials. Over the years, I learned to accept that none of my favorite princesses would participate in the same traditions I did as someone who was raised Jewish. Seeing my holiday represented on a Disney Princess show warms my heart and makes me feel like I could be part of Disney's many extravagant holiday celebrations from their parks and media. The episode will be about a "visiting princess from a Latino Jewish kingdom" and is set to air in December. I am eager for other girls like me to like part of the Disney Princess universe.

Elena is reported to receive new magical powers in the final season, which will likely come with the return of her newly restored Scepter of Light. Shuriki is confirmed to be gone for good, making the new big villain Ash Delgado, who was introduced as the long-lost wife of Victor Delgado and mother of Carla, minor adversaries from the show's first season. Ash nearly succeeded in an elaborate scheme to kidnap Elena and drain her magic and life force in the finale of the second season. She and Carla vowed revenge on Elena and her family following their defeat, which will likely be the main story thread over the course of the final season.

I cannot wait to see the return of Elena and the inclusive multicultural episodes that will come with her! The season premiere, "Sister of Invention," will air on October 7th alongside Rapunzel Returns, the premiere special of Tangled. There will also be a 44-minute Elena of Avalor special called The Magic Within on October 13th. Both of these shows are entering their third and final season and will be sure to pull all the stops that we've been patiently waiting for since they began. The recent conclusion of Star vs. The Forces of Evil marks Elena and Tangled as the last two princess shows on Disney Channel. We can only hope to see more in the future.


I did not expect to be airing on the Disney Junior block given that the remainder of season 2 aired on the Disney Junior channel (Elena is airing at 12:30, and the Disney Junior block is now from 6am-1pm). Though it makes me think that it'll follow the route of Miles From Tomorrowland (where half season 2 aired on the Disney Junior channel while season 3 had the first half on the DJ block and the second half on the DJ channel).

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