'Little Mermaid' actress joins Weeki Wachee mermaids 'under the sea'

By Katie Jones, Reporter
Last Updated: Friday, July 14, 2017, 7:38 AM EDT

Some very famous mermaids recently joined forces for one special performance.

  • Diana Huey plays "Ariel" in traveling production of Disney's "The Little Mermaid"
  • Huey joined world-famous Weeki Wachee mermaid performers 'under the sea'
  • "The Little Mermaid" playing at Straz Center through July 16

The stage version of Disney’s classic rendition of "The Little Mermaid" is currently showing at Tampa’s Straz Center. After a recent performance, when “Ariel” stepped off the stage, she headed 'under the sea' to join other mermaids in Weeki Wachee.

Actress Diana Huey, who plays the beloved Princess Ariel on stage, got her chance to swim with the world-famous mermaids of Weeki Wachee Springs Park and see them perform.

"I think this might be one of the coolest things I'll ever do in my life," Huey said.

Huey told us Ariel is a character she’s admired since she was a little girl.
 
"This is a dream role," Huey said. "I grew up -- ever since I was knee-high -- watching this movie and loving Ariel and loving the story and loving the magic."

Huey added that seeing the mermaids in person and underwater takes the magic to a whole new level.

"To take it and now go underwater and swim with mermaids and in a mermaid tail, I feel like this is going to change everything for me," Huey said.

"The Little Mermaid" the musical features all of the iconic characters from the 1989 Disney animated film, but dives deeper into their stories. Audience members get to sing along with its most memorable musical numbers, and also learn a few new ones.

Huey said the mix of imagination and real-life lessons makes the story unforgettable. "The Little Mermaid" is a family favorite, but Huey had a message for the little ones watching.

"I really want little girls to see the magic in the world that's possible," Huey said. "And if you really believe something or want something, and if you need to figure out who you are, do it, because it's worth the fight to  be happy and to be yourself."

You can see Huey and the rest of "The Little Mermaid" cast performing at the Straz Center in downtown Tampa through Sunday, July 16. For more information, visiit strazcenter.org.