Actor-Shared Background: Numerous cast members are of Hispanic or Latino descent. It might be quicker to list who isn't either of those nationalities. Here are some examples:
Jillian Rose Reed (Naomi) is American, but was raised by Puerto Rican parents, just as Naomi is a foreigner that views Avalor as her second home.
Lou Diamond Phillips (Victor) is Filipino (Filipina mother, American father), though he has passed as a Mexican-American in some of his roles, such as in La Bamba. Probably helps that the Philippines has prominent Spanish influence, on par of that of Latin American countries.
Jane Fonda supported the Chilean "No" movement against Pinochet's dictatorship, as seen in No, making her character role in Elena of Avalor ironic.
Kimiko Glenn is half Japanese from her mother, while her character, Tomiko, is presumably from Ever Realm's equivalent of Japan.
Jamie-Lynn Sigler is Jewish (and her mother is Cuban and converted to Judaism from Catholicism).
Grey Griffin's maternal grandmother, whom she was raised by, was Mexican.
Adored by the Network: Disney Junior really loves the show, no doubt due to its connections to Sofia the First. On the main Disney Channel, it's shown weekdays at 12:30 pm inside the Disney Junior block and at 9am on weekends, closing out said block. On the Disney Junior channel, it's shown about 2-4 times a day, and the movies get plenty of airtime.
A few weeks after its premiere, it was announced that it had been greenlit for Season 2, with Season 3 being announced of its greenlit long before Season 2 even premiered. Star Wars: Rebels had undergone similar circumstances and had been stated to be greenlit as an entire show, possibly suggesting similar conditions for Elena of Avalor.
After a trailer for Ralph Breaks the Internet showcased a scene in which Vanellope meets the Disney Princess line-up, quite a few Elena of Avalor fans asked where she was and created fanart including Elena in the scene. Craig Gerber approved of the support.
Aimee Carrero approves of Elena/Gabe (Gabe would be a "good boyfriend"), Elena/Mateo (Mateo is "husband material"), and Gabe/Mateo (Elena would be too busy to commit to a romance, so Gabe and Mateo should pursue each other instead).
The Cast Showoff: Jenna Ortega has a rather impressive vocal range when she gets her own number in Three Jaquins and A Princess. It's worth noting that this is the second time she ever sang onscreen since Netflix's Richie Rich, which not many remember.
In the Korean dub, Elena is voiced by K-pop singer Wendy of Red Velvet.
Channel Hop: The show was originally meant for Disney Junior only, though it had premieres on Disney Channel first with Disney Junior encores either on the day of the premiere or the next day. However, it was officially recognized as part of Disney Junior when January 2017 came around, and it's airtime was only on the Disney Junior block and channel.
Creator's Favorite Episode: At 50:55 in this podcast , Tom Rogers mentions that the favorite episodes that he's written are "Spirit Monkey Business" , "Royal Rivalry" , "Finding Zuzo" , and "Snow Place Like Home".
Elena is voiced by Elena Perino in Italy, in Romania by Elena Gheorghe, and in Greece by Elena Delakoura.
In the Latin American Spanish dub, Dr. Mendoza is voiced by Carla Castañeda Mendoza.
Dawson Casting: It's played straight with Elena and other teenage characters, but averted with Isabel and the other children. The former are voiced by adults who are at least in their 20s. The latter are voiced by actors of roughly the same age.
Fandom Nod: In his The Magic Within interview, Christian Lanz has stated that he's aware of shipping with Esteban (he finds Esteban/Naomi "creepy", although their moment in "Royal Rivalry" was cute and the ship would otherwise work if Esteban was still a teenager) and has also come across his wiki page (he was amused that his Word of Saint Paul statement that Esteban "exfoliates" was listed as an explanation for his Older Than He Looks age).
I Knew It!: A good number of fans correctly guessed that Elena's test was Esteban and finding out his betrayal. Quita Moz revealed in the end that Elena's test was about whether she can learn to forgive.
Constance Marie (Doña Paloma) and Emiliano Diaz (Elena's Abuelo) both worked together on The George Lopez Show. They are later joined by Olga Merediz (Felicia). Additionally, Lou Diamond Phillips guest-starred in The George Lopez Show.
Out of Holiday Episode: The show normally averts this, but the episode "Dia De Los Madres" plays this straight. The episode would've come out in May to tie in with Mother's Day, but due to the coronavirus pandemic halting production, it was moved to July.
Out of Order: Averted for the most part. Unlike Sofia the First, Elena of Avalor has a linear storyline (though Sofia developed one later on) and while the order of some episodes don't matter due to how close in time they occur, you can tell when they happen due to holiday episodes and other indications of time in the story.
"Elena and the Secret of Avalor" is clearly the show's pilot episode, but for traditional reasons note Like the previous Sofia The First specials, it also aired in November, it was aired as the show's 11th episode and a Framing Device had to be added to it to reflect the change.
"Realm of the Jaquins" is supposed to be the Season 1 finale, fitting with why the characters note that it has been a year since "First Day of Rule" and Shuriki returning at the end of the episode.
"Two Left Fins" was supposed to air in between "The Tides of Change" and "The Return of El Capitan", but was likely aired after "Snow Place Like Home" due to "The Return of El Capitan" and "Snow Place Like Home" being holiday episodes and how late these batch of episodes were aired, leaving out "Two Left Fins".
The Discovering the Magic Within shorts were released on DisneyNow a week before Season 3 premiered, spoiling some of the events in "The Magic Within". This seems to have been a mistake on Disney's part, as the shorts were removed from the app a couple of days later, only to be put back up after "The Magic Within" aired.
From Sofia the First, we have writers Laurie Israel & Rachel Ruderman, voice director Sam Riegel, composer John Kavanaugh, songwriter Danny Jacob, and recurring voice actors Carlos Alazraqui, Mick Wingert, Grey DeLisle Griffin, Jeff Bennett, Keith Ferguson, Jenna Lea Rosen, Fred Tatasciore, Julie Nathanson, Dee Bradley Baker, Khary Payton, Kari Wahlgren, Trevor Devall, James Sie, and series regular Jess Harnell, among others.
From Jane the Virgin. Jenna Ortega (Young Jane) is Princess Isabel, Anthony Mendez (the Narrator) is King Juan Ramón, Jaime Camil (Rogelio) is Julio, Justina Machado (Darci) is Carmen, Andrea Navedo (Jane's mother) is Queen Lucia, Ivonne Coll (Jane's grandmother) is Doña Angelica, Gina Rodriguez (Jane) is Princess Marisa, Rosario Dawson (JR) is Daria, Tyler Posey (Adam) is Alonso, and Diane Guerrero (Lina) is Vestia. This time around, Rita Moreno portrays Gina Rodriguez's mother instead of grandmother.
From Hamilton, we have Javier Munoz (Cristobal) and Anthony Ramos (Tito), although the two never share any scenes. Both have played Philip Hamilton/John Laurens (Munoz on the Vassar Workshop; Ramos on and off of the Broadway production), and Munoz has also played as Alexander Hamilton on Broadway as Lin-Manuel Miranda's replacement from 2016 to 2017.
Release Date Change: Due to the Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic, episodes after "Sweetheart's Day" were delayed — "The Lightning Warrior" and "Dia de las Madres" were initially delayed to a June and July release, but it was later announced that "The Lightning Warrior" and the last five episodes of Season 3 would be delayed to late July for weekly releases instead.
Schedule Slip: The show has had many hiatuses starting with "Navidad", ranging anywhere from 2-4 months.
The show's time slots kept decreasing as it became more serialized, to the point of only airing new episodes.
In a similar manner to Tangled: The Series, both of their first halves of Season 3 aired at 12 to 1 at noon on weekdays in a daily episode premiere format, but received little advertising and aired at a time where most people would be busy. This was during a time Disney was transitioning from cable television to its DisneyNOW app in preparation for Disney+, expecting its viewers to stream the new episodes as opposed to watching them as they premiered on TV.
Merchandise-wise, Elena of Avalor tends to get the short end of the stick like many other Disney cartoons, despite being attached to the animated films. Good luck trying to find merch in big store chains. The toyline has yet to be updated since Season 2 (the latest being a doll of Elena in her dress from "Snow Place Like Home" and the 2018/2019 calendar with various vectors of her in her different dresses throughout Season 2) with the exception of the 2020 calendar.
"Science Unfair" aired in the UK on February 10, 2018, which was two weeks before its US airdate.
"Luna's Big Leap" is an interesting take on this. It first aired in Spain on April 15, 2019 while its US airdate is April 27, 2019. However, when the day came , it was on demand and on Watch Disney Now, not television. Its television debut is April 29.
This tweet revealed that Migs will have kids before they formally appeared.
Toy Fair 2018 revealed that Season 2 would have a Masquerade Ball episode ("Song of the Sirenas") and another Navidad episode ("Snow Place Like Home").
A book adaptation of "Song of the Sirenas" came out before the episode aired.
The songs in "Snow Place Like Home" were released on a Disney Junior holiday music CD a year before the episode itself was released.
Story Bible: Averted. Unlike Sofia the First, there is no official story bible since the budget can't afford hiring someone to write one. The series overview that Craig Gerber wrote is considered the de facto story bible, although as of August 2019, no one has updated it in a long time.
There's a line in "To Queen Or Not To Queen" where one of the guards in the alternate reality said how Sofia sounds like a real princess name. Craig Gerber said how series director Elliot M. Bour put that line in during the animatic.
Esteban is voiced by Christian Lanz, but in the episode "Island Of Youth", his kid self is voiced by Anthony Alvia, while Desmond Gerber voices him as a baby.
Princess Marisa is voiced by Gina Rodriguez while her child self in a flashback is voiced by Gia Lopez.
Cloris Leachman voices Hool while her younger self is voiced by Kate Micucci.
The episode "Dia De Los Madres" shows flashbacks to Elena and Esteban as children, and Isabel as a baby. In this case, Hailey Hermida voices Elena, Ian Imigo voices Esteban, and Grey DeLisle Griffin voices Isabel.
Troubled Production: The show generally averts this, but there was the matter of recording Gina Rodriguez. As explained at 18:05 in this video, her schedule was so busy that she only had one day to record dialogue , a Saturday.... the day of a family vacation.
None of the servants in "Something in the Air" from "Sweetheart's Day" are credited. Travis Willingham is the gardener.
Voices in One Room: Subverted. According to Craig Gerber, the cast members usually record their parts separately. However, for many key scenes, the key actors for those scenes are often brought in to record together if schedules work out.
Julia Vera (Abuela) recalls in one interview how she often recorded separately from Emiliano Diez (Abuelo).
Roman Reigns recorded his lines for Kizin while in New York while the crew directed him via Skype.
The show is supposed to take place over a span of five years, in both real life and in-story.
The elderly man in Elena and Cristobal's family picture shown in "Song of the Sirenas" is Cristobal's maternal grandfather.
The climax of "Song Of The Sirenas" in regards to Shuriki's death was shot in an ambiguous way where it looks like she was trapped in the Jewel of Night, much like with the Fiero scene, in order to keep it from being too scary, but for all intents and purposes, Shuriki is dead.
Becomes clearer in "Coronation Day," where Shuriki is shown in the dark side of the spirit world with other dead spirits.
According to the Podcast Princesses interview, Craig and a sizable amount of other crew members are on "Team Mateo" than on "Team Gabe".
Nathan Chew liking and replying to posts about Gabe and Naomi as a romantic couple after the airing of "Norberg Peace Prize" seems to confirm that this is indeed the authorial intent behind their relationship in that episode.
Question: Is the Scepter of Light's crystal also made in the Mystic Isles like the Amulet of Avalor? Addition: Initially, means "at first" first the crystal was made in the Mystic Isles and then given to the Maruvians to use. Craig: It was not so much given as the crystals were hidden in secret spots around the EverRealm. The Maruvians found one such spot.
In her Entertainment Weekly Q&A, Aimee Carrero believes Elena is a Cancer (like herself because she's tough but also sensitive and emotional/spiritual.
In the same interview, Aimee also thinks that for Elena, Gabe would be a "good boyfriend" and Mateo is "husband material", but Elena would be too focused on her royal duties to be romantically involved so Gabe and Mateo should go for each other instead.
Working Title: The pilot movie was titled "Journey to Avalor" during production, as it's technically a Sofia the First episode. When the show aired early, it was renamed "Elena and the Secret of Avalor".
Write What You Know: Craig Gerber's directorial debut, "Festival of Lights", draws from his own background as a Jewish person.