10 Things You Should Know About Disney’s Newest Princess, 'Elena of Avalor'

PHOTO: Elena is seen on the first episode of "Elena of Avalor" on the Disney Channel.PlayDisney Channel
WATCH Actress Discusses Voicing Disney's 1st Latina Princess in 'Elena of Avalor!'

"Elena of Avalor," Disney's newest princess, is set to make her long-awaited debut this week. It's a big deal -- and not just to the under-8 crowd -- because Elena will be the first Disney princess of Hispanic descent.

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Here are 10 things you should know about Elena of Avalor.

1. Aimee Carrero will be the voice of Elena

PHOTO: Aimee Carrero of the Disney Channels, Elena of Avalor is pictured in a recording studio, Jan. 26, 2016.Matt Petit/Disney Channel via Getty Images
Aimee Carrero of the Disney Channel's, "Elena of Avalor" is pictured in a recording studio, Jan. 26, 2016.

Aimee Carrero, 28, who stars on Freeform’s hit series “Young and Hungry,” has been tapped to voice the new animated character for the "Elena of Avalor" series that will launch on the Disney Channel on Friday.

WHAT TO KNOW
  • Aimee Carrero talks about her role as Disney's newest princess.

It will be Carrero's first-ever role as a voice actor. You may also recognize her from recurring roles on “Blindspot” and “The Americans.” Carrero was born in the Dominican Republic to a Puerto Rican father and Dominican mother.

2. Elena will be the first Latina Disney princess

Carrero told ABC news she is honored be a part of the "Elena of Avalor" cast as Disney makes history with its first Latina princess.

“It means the world to me because people have been waiting a very long time for this, myself included,” said Carrero. “My grandmother has been waiting a long time for this. Many generations have been waiting a long time. And so to be a small part of this movement, to be a small part of that history is almost too much to wrap my head around. Because I really hope that my future daughters or granddaughters will look back and say, ‘Hey, she was sort of trailblazing that at that time. Or, remember when that was a big deal?’ That’s a really cool thing."

Watch Aimee Carrero talk about what it means to her to be the voice of ‘Elena':

VIDEO: Aimee Carrero on her new Role as Elena of AvalorPlay
Aimee Carrero on her new Role as 'Elena of Avalor'

3. Elena will steer clear of romance

PHOTO: Prince Eric and Ariel from The Little Mermaid. Disney
Prince Eric and Ariel from "The Little Mermaid."

Unlike Ariel, who gave up her voice to be with Prince Eric, or Cinderella, who dreamed of a happily-ever-after with Prince Charming, Elena will not have a love interest.

“That’s one of the things that drew me to this story, to this character,” Carrero said. “She’s very much her own hero. She is very much the autonomous character in her own story. And I love that about her. And I think that as women, whatever ethnicity, we want a balance of everything. But I think this message when it goes out to a young audience, it’s like, find yourself first, before trying to find a partner. Find your passion. Find out where your place in the world is.”

Watch Aimee Carrero on why ‘Elena’ will steer clear of romance:

VIDEO: Why Disneys Newest Princess Will Steer Clear of Romance Play
Why Disney's Newest Princess Will Steer Clear of Romance

4. Elena has special powers

PHOTO: Elena of Avalor is an animated series that follows the story of Elena, a brave and adventurous teenager who saves her kingdom from an evil sorceress.Disney Channel
"Elena of Avalor" is an animated series that follows the story of Elena, a brave and adventurous teenager who saves her kingdom from an evil sorceress.

Much like Rapunzel with her magical hair and healing abilities, Elena will have a unique power:

“Yes, she has a scepter of light. I don’t know how much I can reveal. I don’t know if this is a spoiler,” said Carrero. “But she has a scepter of light and she uses it in her adventures. It’s sort of like multitasking. It could be a weapon. It could show what’s behind a wall or a door. But what I love most about that is that it has consequences. So a lot of the stories with magic, it’s just sort of available, and you don’t have to work at it. But in this story she has a scepter. But it doesn’t come easily to her. Whenever she uses it, it weakens her body a little bit.”

Watch Aimee Carrero talk about Elena’s special powers:

VIDEO: Will Disneys Newest Princess Have Special Powers Play
Will Disney's Newest Princess Have 'Special Powers'

5. Elena comes to us from the producer who created ‘Sofia the First’

Craig Gerber, creator and executive producer of “Elena of Avalor,” also developed and still serves as executive producer of the Disney Junior animated series “Sofia the First.” Gerber, the father of three young boys, has now created two Disney princesses!

Watch a clip of ‘Sofia the First’::

6. Elena was ‘born’ from confusion surrounding ‘Sofia the First’

PHOTO: Princess Sofia is seen on The Secret Library episode of the Disney Channels, Sofia the First, in 2015.Disney Channel
Princess Sofia is seen on "The Secret Library" episode of the Disney Channel's, "Sofia the First," in 2015.

There was significant social media backlash when Princess Sofia was reported to be Walt Disney’s very first Latina princess in 2012. Show creator Craig Gerber told ABC News it was that confusion that sparked the idea for a new show.

“What the experience from Sofia showed me was what a demand there was a for a Latina princess,” Gerber said. “That a misstatement that was made by a producer could snowball virally into this announcement that was never made. And Sophia was not Latina and never meant to be the first Latina princess. But it did really illustrate the fact that people really wanted a Latina princess, and I think it certainly bubbled in my mind and was part of what inspired me to come up with this idea.”

Watch Craig Gerber talk about the inspiration behind ‘Elena of Avalor’:

VIDEO: Why I Created Elena of Avalor Play
Why I Created 'Elena of Avalor'

7. Elena will make her debut on TV, not the big screen

Not all Disney princesses are introduced to the world via the big screen. Elena will make her debut on the Disney Channel. Gerber explained why.

“I think people have this idea that Disney is just one big group of folks sitting around a table making decisions about everything, but it’s not like that at all,” Gerber said. “I’m on the TV side. I have nothing to do with the features side. I was personally inspired to create a show about a Latina princess. And it was luckily compelling enough that the powers that be said, yes go ahead and do that. I think right now diversity is so important to Disney that it doesn’t really matter who is pitching the idea. If the idea is ready to go, they’ll say go ahead and do it.”

Watch a clip of Disney Channel’s ‘Elena of Avalor’:

8. Aimee Carrero will sing in each episode

Aimee Carrero says she is not a professional singer, but you wouldn’t know it. She will sing as Elena in the series. She’s already recording a rousing number, “My Time,” sure to get you motivated to do just about anything.

Watch the ‘My Time’ Music Video From Disney Channel’s ‘Elena of Avalor’ Featuring Aimee Carrero:

9. There will be a new song in every episode of ‘Elena’

The songwriting team for “Elena of Avalor," who are also the Emmy Award-winning songwriting team behind Disney’s “Sofia the First, will create a new song for every episode of the show. Staff writers on the show will pen the lyrics, and a songwriter will create the music.

10. Elena is 16-years-old

Elena of Avalor will be written as a 16-year-old girl. That would make her the same age as Aurora in “Sleeping Beauty,” Ariel in “The Little Mermaid” and Mulan.

"Elena of Avalor" will premiere Friday on the Disney Channel. Walt Disney is the parent company of ABC.

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