Elena was born to the late King Raul and Queen Lucia of Avalor. She resides within the kingdom's castle alongside her family, consisting of her sister Isabel, maternal grandparents Francisco and Luisa, as well as her scheming maternal cousin, Esteban. She is additionally accompanied by a trio of comedic, flying jaquins that double as her friends and mode of transportation, as well as the wise spirit fox Zuzo, whom only she can see on her own free will, as a result of her magical abilities.
Elena has the heart and mind of a true leader. She is devoted to the welfare of her subjects, her family, and her friends. She is shown to hold her father in high esteem and looks to him for inspiration. Like the Princess who freed her, Elena values keeping promises no matter what and has a strong dislike of disappointing her loved ones to the point where she can take on more than she can handle. Also like Sofia, she has a personal approach to leadership and a disregard for her own personal safety. Unlike Sofia though, Elena is very confident, to the point where she can be careless. Also unlike Sofia, who is quite particular, Elena can rush into things and miss key points. Her grandfather Francisco noted this to her through the story of the king who thought he had lost his crown, a way of telling her she wasn't ready to rule alone. Elena is reluctant to take advice at the beginning, while Sofia can take too much advice. She's also shown to love Dia de los Muertos because she sees it as a party where everyone you love is invited.
In "The Race for the Realm" while she was focusing on getting the rest of the pieces of the Scepter of Night the flashbacks of Shuriki murdering her parents got the better of her, so much so Elena decided to kill her that moment instead of waiting for later and protecting the pieces.
At seventeen years of age, Elena is an olive-skinned girl, with a slender figure and amber-brown eyes. She has ruby red lips and long, wavy, dark brown hair tied in a ponytail.
Her signature outfit is a long red sleeveless over-skirt dress stylized with matching coral gauze ruffle/flounces around the elastic neckline and on the side and bottom with an attached ivory colored underskirt. Around her waist is a golden belt held in place with a golden buckle. She wears brown high heeled shoes with flowery patterns. Elena's jewelry includes a pair of golden engraved hoop earrings, a braided beaded bracelet on her left wrist, and a flower hair comb clip on the right side of her hair.
She also usually wears an elegant, flowing yet once again ruffled flower motif red ball gown with a pink sash for more formal occasions. With this, she retains her usual ponytail, yet swaps out the flower hair combs for a tiara, and her hoop earrings for hanging jeweled earrings.
In her Jaquin form, Elena is swathed in red fur (with a white underbelly) that possesses yellow flower patterns scattered across her body. Elena also possesses light blue feathers extending from both cheeks and the rear portion of her front legs and a pair of wings that are also predominantly red with light blue throughout.
Powers and abilities
In her teenage years, Elena was given the Scepter of Light from her father, and the Amulet of Avalor from her mother. Both artifacts are ancient Maruvian treasures that possess powerful magic. The scepter can conjure spells through verbal order, while the amulet has a wide array of abilities that generally works to protect its bearer.
As a result of being trapped within the amulet for decades, Elena has garnered a few magical abilities of her own, as theorized by Zuzo at any rate. For one, as revealed in "First Day of Rule", she has the power to see and summon spirits at all times, as opposed to only when a wizard summons one. This also carries over to non-magical entities, such as the spirits of deceased humans, though this ability is only possible on Dia de los Muertos.
When Elena turned fifteen, her mother Queen Lucia gave her the Amulet of Avalor, a magical amulet that her parents hoped would always protect her from harm. One year later, Shuriki, an evil power-hungry sorceress from the Northern Islands, invaded Avalor and killed her parents. Alacazar, Avalor's Royal Wizard, came up with a way to save her family. Because he needed time to cast it, Elena made the choice to face Shuriki on her own. When Shuriki tried to strike her down, the Amulet saved Elena by pulling her inside it. When the Amulet was given to Princess Sofia of Enchancia, Elena knew she was the one who would free her.
Forty-one years after her imprisonment, Princess Sofia of Enchancia achieves enough of a state of oneness with the Amulet that Elena is finally able to make contact with her by triggering the Amulet's Secret Library Visions ability. This sends Sofia to the Secret Library of Enchancia where she learns of Elena's imprisonment from Alacazar. This makes Sofia set out to free Elena from the Amulet. With a combination of Alacazar's grandson, the Jaquins, Shuriki's wand, and her powers, Sofia finally frees Elena from the Amulet. Elena takes Shuriki's wand and sets out to defeat Shuriki alone. Her attempt fails when she can't use the wand properly and she's forced to flee. Elena and Sofia team up and free their families. They then rally the Citizens of Avalor, who march with them to the castle where they confront Shuriki. Her cousin Esteban grabs Shuriki's wand and tosses it to Elena. Knowing she can't use the wand, Elena destroys it. With the wand gone, Shuriki's powers are destroyed and she turns into an old woman who flees defeated. Elena then assumes the throne to the joy of all of Avalor.
In "First Day of Rule", Following her freedom from the amulet, Elena and her family resume their lives in Avalor, with Elena being particularly excited to finally be crowned Queen. However, Francisco informs her that her crowning will have to wait, as Esteban has discovered that Elena is too young to rule the kingdom as queen, per the kingdom's by-laws. Instead, Francisco explains that Elena will rule alongside a Grand Council who will help her make decisions until she comes of age. Elena strongly rebukes the idea, believing she's mentally capable of solely maintaining the kingdom and vows to prove herself by gathering the city leaders and working alongside them to restore Avalor's welfare, which had been damaged by Shuriki's purge. She was accompanied by Isabel, Estaban, and a new member of the Royal Guard, Gabe.
While out, Elena is informed of a mysterious series of thefts involving ships. Though Elena wants to spring into action, Esteban convinces her to instead focus on meeting the city leaders as intended, to which Elena agrees. Isabel and Gabe stay behind, where they uncover the mysterious ship thieves before being captured and kidnapped by them. A young girl named Naomi notices this and quickly informs Elena. Teaming up with Mateo and Naomi, Elena uncovers the whereabouts of the stolen ships, revealing the thieves to be mystical creatures known as Noblins. Elena and her friends battle the creatures, but this only heightens the danger and leads to senseless altercations. Zuzo appears and helps Elena realize that she's approaching matters far too hastily and recklessly, advising that she slows down and think before acting. Elena calms her nerves and approaches the Noblins diplomatically, learning they were imprisoned by Shuriki and forced to make gold for decades. After her defeat, they were freed and stole the ships to return home. Elena allows the Noblins to borrow the ships to sail home and journeys back to the castle for the Royal Ball.
She accepts that she is not ready to become Queen, and instead takes her grandfather's advice by assembling the Grand Council of Avalor consisting of her grandparents, Esteban, and Naomi. She is then dubbed "Crown Princess of Avalor".
In "The Scepter of Light", Elena finds a replacement for the Amulet of Avalor in the form of her father's scepter. After she accidentally blasts some of her furniture with it, Zuzo tells her that it is a magical object created by the Kingdom of Maru. When the evil moth fairy Orizaba invades Avalor, Mateo reveals that the scepter is indeed such an object: It's the Scepter of Light which gives its bearer the power to harness the Powers of Light at the cost of having their energy drained. Upon realizing that the Scepter can defeat Orizaba, who draws her strength from darkness, with it, Elena proceeds to do so. She later reveals to her family that she has magical abilities now.
In the special "Realm of the Jaquins", Elena is in attendance with Mateo as Skylar's little brother Nico is participating in the tests to become a Guardian of Avalor under Chief Zephyr that the chief arranged with Mateo's help. However, when on his way to complete the second task, Nico is secretly prevented from doing so by Victor Delgado, causing him to be unable to graduate into a full-fledged Guardian of Avalor. Hoping to help him, Elena travels with Luna to Vallestrella, the home of the Jaquins, to speak to King Verago, who is Skylar and Nico's father, but Verago is furious to see Elena and Mateo in Vallestrella as humans are prohibited from being in Vallestrella due to a previous incident. However, it is soon learned that a forest sprite named Marimonda has been released from her imprisonment and attempting to leave Vallestrella to attack Avalor. Elena seeks out the sun bird spirit Quita Moz, who reveals a new ability of the Scepter of Light that Elena had not known about before, the power to create illusions. With that knowledge, and an enchanted jar provided by Quita Moz to imprison Marimonda permanently again, Elena heads to find her, only to end up ruining a trap set up by King Verago and Migs to catch Marimonda, resulting in Marimonda capturing Migs, while Verago is not pleased at Elena's interference. Elena tries to make amends as she uses the Scepter's new power to fool Marimonda right before she reaches the portal to Avalor, but just when it looks like she and Skylar have Marimonda, Victor and his daughter, Carla, interfere, revealing themselves to be the real threats as they wanted revenge on Elena for defeating them previously.
Thanks to them, Marimonda opens the portal, and all three villains escape to Avalor. Elena and King Verago make amends and agree to work together to stop Marimonda once Skylar finally stands up to his father and tells him off for blaming Elena in allowing Marimonda being able to reach Avalor, returning to Avalor to enlist the aid of Chief Zephyr and the Jaquins there. While King Verago, Chief Zephyr, and the other Jaquins keep Marimonda distracted, especially Nico with his speed and agility, Elena is able to conjure a fake illusion of the front facade of the Royal Palace, so when Marimonda attempts to set foot on the stairs leading up to the front doors and believes she's won, Elena reveals that she instead set foot right in the enchanted jar, trapping Marimonda permanently once more, and undoing all her damage to Avalor. Afterwards, Elena tells her grandparents of the Delgados' part in Marimonda's attack, and orders the Captain of the Royal Guard to assemble a team of his best men to hunt them down and bring them to justice. With that, Elena returns to Vallestrella to return Marimonda to Quita Moz, but before she can leave, the sacred fire says something to Quita Moz, who then warns Elena of a great darkness that she will need to overcome in the future. If she fails, she will never be crowned Queen of Avalor. Unknown to Elena, that great darkness is her old arch-enemy, Shuriki, allied with the Delgados, seeking revenge on Elena, and promising to make the Delgados malvago wizards if they succeed.
Elena has another run-in with Victor and Carla in the second season episode, "The Jewel of Maru", as she's fearful of the test Quita Moz forewarned her about and worried she could fail it and lose her chance to become Queen. When Skylar and Luna warn her that Victor and Carla are heading for Tepet Muul, the abandoned capital of the Kingdom of Maru, she discovers the fabled Jewel of Maru itself, along with its guardian, Amaláy, who was the creator of the Scepter of Light itself. When Elena's attempts to stop Victor and Carla from escaping with the Jewel result in her trapping herself in debris, she is visited by the spirits of her late parents, King Raul and Queen Lucia, due to it also being Dia de los Muertos as well. After Elena explains her concerns to her parents, they encourage her to never give up, and do what she knows is best for Avalor. Thanks to their support, Elena escapes, and manages to stop Victor and Carla from escaping with the Jewel of Maru, which she takes back to seal away forever. She then returns to her parents' grave to let them know she'll see them again at next year's Dia de los Muertos celebration.
Following that, Elena decides to step up the hunt for Victor and Carla by putting up wanted posters, asking the citizens of Avalor to aid the Royal Guards with finding them. However, concerned that they may escape across the border to the neighboring kingdom of Paraiso, Elena suggests at a Grand Council meeting to invite Princess Valentina of Paraiso to Avalor to sign a peace treaty between their kingdoms, after learning of a long-standing feud between Avalor and Paraiso. Everyone except for Esteban agree, but when Valentina arrives, she quickly gets on everyone's nerves with her boasting of things from Paraiso being better than Avalor's, save for Elena, who is able to endure it, until during a carriage ride to the Twin Xolos, where Valentina's boasting finally pushes Elena too far, and results in where Valentina accidentally brings the Twin Xolos statues to life. When Elena confronts her about it afterwards, Valentina confesses to being jealous of Avalor, thinking they had better stuff than Paraiso. As a result, guilty of letting their pride get the better of them, Elena and Valentina make amends and are able to return the Twin Xolos back to their inanimate forms. Afterwards, they sign the treaty, and step up the guard patrols at the border, preventing the Delgados and Shuriki from crossing over into Paraiso.
Some time later, in "A Spy in the Palace", Elena is preparing for the Jaquin Festival, in which Migs, Luna, and Skylar will be performing some aerial tricks for the celebration, while King Verago, Chief Zephyr, and other Jaquins will be in attendance. Elena assigns Naomi to help with the preparations. Suddenly, a new guest named "Rita Perez", who says she's a cousin of Armando, arrives to help, but "Rita" is actually Carla Delgado in disguise thanks to a Shape-shifting Potion she drank that was brewed up by Shuriki in an attempt to get at Queen Lucia's Carnaval Tiara, which Victor and Carla had tried and failed to steal previously, as Shuriki could use the jewel in it to craft a new wand for herself. Carla sabotages Naomi's preparations, and steals her ideas to present as her own, angering Naomi and causing her to start to have a falling out with Elena, to the point Naomi resigns as the festival planner in a fit of anger, allowing Carla to take over, much to Elena's gratitude. However, Elena is happy when Naomi returns later and apologizes for her earlier outburst and anger, and Elena assures her that she's her best friend and no one could replace her. Once the festival gets underway, Elena decides to put the Golden Jaquin statue at the port as Naomi originally suggested, before "Rita" says that they make a great team, which Elena agrees to, still unaware that "Rita" is really one of her enemies in disguise, waiting for the right moment to strike.
Later on, in "Rise of the Sorceress", Elena is preparing for the Sunflower Festival, something she and her family had not taken part in since Raul and Lucia's deaths. However, noticing Rita acting strangely due to her hair changing color, and never showing up to help with some of the preparations later on, Naomi voices her concern to Elena about having a gut feeling about Rita, but Elena tells her she needs more proof than a gut feeling before she can investigate. During when her family is doing their dance for the celebration, the first time since Elena and Isabel's parents were cut down by Shuriki, just after they finish, Naomi tells Elena that her concerns about Rita have proof that she is up to something. When Naomi brings Elena back into the palace to show her, they arrive just as Shuriki, the Delgados, and Fiero are taking their leave, causing Elena to find herself face-to-face once more with her sworn arch-enemy that murdered King Raul and Queen Lucia, leaving her horrified to see Shuriki again as she remembers the fateful moment when Shuriki cast her spell that slain Raul and Lucia, along with their Royal Guards and horses. Seizing the moment, Shuriki tries to strike Elena down once more, and Naomi does her best to protect Elena from the attacks, but Mateo is able to arm Elena with the Scepter of Light, which Elena uses to destroy Shuriki's new wand, forcing her, Fiero, and the Delgados to retreat. Elena gives pursuit with Naomi, Gabe, and Mateo on Canela and the other horses, but losing sight and the trail of the four villains, Elena agrees to have the Royal Guards assembled to hunt them down. As they return to Avalor, Elena apologizes to Naomi for doubting her, and now realizes what her test forewarned of by Quita Moz is: To defeat Shuriki, once and for all. If she fails, she will never be Queen of Avalor, and Shuriki will be able to take over again with the support of Fiero and the Delgados by her side.
With Shuriki's return now public knowledge to all of Avalor, Elena finds herself under heavy guard by Gabe and his men until Shuriki can be brought to justice. During a meeting with her Grand Council, Esteban, as Chancellor, calls a vote that has Elena confined to the castle until further notice, as both Naomi and her grandparents do not want anything to happen to her. However, for Elena, this is about revenge. Shuriki murdered Elena's parents, and Elena wants payback, realizing her parents' spirits will not be able to rest peacefully in the afterlife until their assassin pays for her crimes. Visiting Mateo in his workshop later on, Elena learns that he has recently finished work on his Shape-shifting Potion to turn one into a Jaquin. After testing it on himself, Elena tries it and realizes she can use it to sneak out of the palace. However, she ends up running into Gabe, who is under orders to keep Elena in the castle under guard. He agrees to go with her and Mateo in Jaquin form to Luna's birthday party.
Once there, Elena distracts Gabe while she speaks to Chief Zephyr about joining the Jaquin scouts with looking for Shuriki, but Zephyr refuses, before taking his leave with his successor, Cruz. Elena and Mateo follow Zephyr and Cruz to Commander's Rock, a cave that Alacazar had made some time before he fled Avalor when Shuriki originally took over. Seeing nothing of interest there, Elena and Mateo return to Luna's birthday party, not seeing Cruz imprison Zephyr in Commander's Rock when Zephyr rescinds naming him his successor. When Cruz arrives back at the party, he puts the blame on Elena, Mateo, and Gabe when Luna, Migs, and Skylar ask about it. Elena, Mateo, and Gabe are captured and incarcerated, due to the Jaquins trusting Cruz and not them, despite Elena's pleas that it is her in a Jaquin form. However, when Elena proves to Mingo, Zoom, and Estrella it is her with their secret Guardian Salute, the cubs let them out, and they fly back to Commander's Rock to free Zephyr. Elena is able to remember the spell to open the cave just in time before being tackled by Cruz. Once free, Zephyr lunges at Cruz in fury, snarling "TRAITOR!!". Cruz attempts to escape, but Elena manages to tackle him out of the sky, allowing the other Jaquins to arrest him. Afterwards, Zephyr thanks Elena for her help, but suggests that she leave things to real Jaquins rather than try to do them herself as one. Back at the castle, though Gabe is frustrated with Elena for disobeying the order of her own Grand Council, he lets her off with a warning to report her next time she does it. Soon after, the Scepter of Light reveals some hidden writing in the Codex Maru among the blank pages that Fiero stole, along with writing all over Mateo's lab. They reveal a dark counterpart to the Scepter of Light, the Scepter of Night, and how Alacazar hid it away in pieces, with riddles that lead to find them. Knowing that Shuriki, Fiero, and the Delgados are going after the pieces so Shuriki has something more powerful to even the playing field with the Scepter of Light, Elena makes it her, Mateo, and Gabe's intent to find the pieces before Shuriki does.
In the episode that follows, "The Scepter of Night", Elena has Naomi join her, Mateo, and Gabe, in Mateo's lab to learn about the Scepter and the first riddle that leads to the handle of the Scepter of Night. Deducing that it is hidden in one of the pyramids of the abandoned capital of Tepet Muul, with Gabe taking point because of his orders to protect Elena while Francisco, Luisa, and Esteban are away on a diplomatic visit to the Kingdom of Cordoba, the quartet set off on Migs, Luna, Skylar, and Dulce for Tepet Muul. Once there, Mateo breaks off from the group, convinced that if he can find the handle of the scepter first, having control of both the Scepter of Light and Scepter of Night would make Elena unstoppable against Shuriki, Fiero, and the Delgados, and make him as powerful of his grandfather Alacazar. Soon, he returns to them empty-handed, having picked the wrong pyramid, and gets reprimanded by them, before they spot the right one, only for them to run into Shuriki and her team at the summit, leading to a battle between Elena and Fiero. However, while Shuriki and Carla act as decoys to try and lure Elena and her friends away from the pyramid, Fiero and Victor slip inside to follow Mateo and Elena to the first piece while Gabe, Naomi, and the Jaquins wait outside. Elena manages to open the hidden chamber where the staff piece of the Scepter of Night was hidden, along with finding Alacazar's riddle to the next piece, only to be ambushed by Fiero and Victor, as Mateo led them right to it. After Mateo apologizes to Elena for his mistake, they are able to keep the piece from falling into Shuriki's hands, with Elena getting possession of it herself, but realize that Fiero and Victor know the riddle to the second piece's whereabouts. After Mateo makes amends with Gabe, Naomi, and the Jaquins for his mistakes, the eight friends huddle together to figure out the second piece's riddle and get to it before Shuriki does now that they know where she is heading next.
As Elena and her friends discuss where the Mount for the Scepter of Night is in the follow-up episode, "The Race for the Realm", Elena has a flashback of when she was cleaning up Isabel before hearing their parents returning to the palace, going out to welcome them home, only to bear witness as Shuriki appeared and prepared to strike them down. She recovers afterwards to where they learn the Mount is in Vallaestrella. An argument between Gabe, Naomi, and Mateo results in Elena having Mateo and Gabe take the Scepter of Night's Staff piece back to the palace to lock up in the Royal Treasury, flying off on Dulce and Migs, while Elena and Naomi go to Vallaestrella with Skylar and Luna to find the Mount. However, once there, Elena has another flashback, before they encounter the Flaringoes, who help Elena calm down from her fear, before leading her to where the Mount is. After convincing a Butterfrog into retrieving the Mount for them, Elena and Naomi learn from Skylar and Luna that the Jewel for the Scepter of Night lies on Vallaestrella's highest mountain peak, and set off for it. They find the Jewel is concealed inside the rock face, but before they can try to get it out, Shuriki and Fiero arrive on Cruz and his sister Vestia. Seeing Shuriki triggers another flashback for Elena of the moment King Raul and Queen Lucia were struck down, and fueled with vengeance on her mind, Elena forgets about the Scepter of Night's Jewel to pursue Shuriki, leaving Naomi to fend for herself with Luna against Fiero and Vestia. Elena attempts to hit Shuriki and Cruz with the Scepter of Light, but Cruz is able to evade all the shots, resulting in Elena exhausting herself and falling off Skylar from fatigue. By the time they return to the mountain to save Naomi as she had fallen off the summit after being bested by Fiero, they find that Fiero and Shuriki have both the Mount and the Jewel, and Mateo, Gabe, Migs, and Dulce return to report that the Delgados caught them en route to the palace and retrieved the Staff, meaning Shuriki has all three pieces of the Scepter of Night now. As Elena mourns over the situation having become very bleak, Quita Moz arrives, having learned of what happened through the sacred fire, and tells Elena that in order for her to defeat Shuriki, she must learn all that she can with the Scepter of Light and its powers, offering to teach her them himself. Knowing that is her best option, Elena climbs aboard Quita Moz, and sets off to begin her training for the inevitable confrontation with her parents' murderer and her allies.
Some time later, in "A Tale of Two Scepters", Elena is about to leave to continue her training with Quita Moz and the Sun Bird Elders, but Isabel is deeply worried for her well-being, especially with Shuriki still out there. To that end, Isabel gives Elena her braclet for good luck, and Elena departs for Vallaestrella with Skylar. Once there, they meet up with Quita Moz, and with Skylar joining them, Elena is flown by Quita Moz to the location of where the other Sun Bird Elders were located to begin her training with the Scepter of Light, while also being given details of the mutual conflict that has been long-standing between the Scepters of Light and Night, and how only one will survive the war between them. Elena begins her training, learning the Scepter's power of Farsight, along with how to maintain her Blaze spell through focus and concentration, but upon seeing Shuriki on the move with Cruz through Farsight, she abandons her training to return to Avalor to confront Shuriki again. At the same time, Shuriki had been trained in the use of the Scepter of Night's powerful Dark Fire spell, and upon being chased back to Avalor's Royal Palace, she uses the Dark Fire to engulf the tower Isabel was in, forcing Elena to save her little sister while Shuriki and Cruz escape. With Gabe unable to enter the tower, and Isabel completely unaware that she's in danger, Elena is reminded of the Blaze spell, and with Skylar and Zuzo's encouragement and reminder to maintain her focus and concentration, she is able to put out Shuriki's Dark Fire and save Isabel, very much impressing Gabe. After Isabel and Elena reunite, Elena shows Isabel the Farsight spell, and sees Shuriki and Fiero fleeing into the jungle on Cruz and Vestia. With knowing where they are going now, Elena decides to return to Vallaestrella to continue her training, with Isabel offering her full support and faith that Elena will complete her training and defeat Shuriki for good. With that, Isabel sees Elena off as she leaves on Skylar to return to her training with Quita Moz and the other Sun Birds.
Later on, in "Class Act", worried about Isabel starting her first weekly class with Professor Ochoa at the Science Academy, Elena escorts Isabel there to be shown around the Academy so she knows where Isabel will be while she attends, only for Isabel to soon run afoul of Javier, a student who likes to boast about himself and quickly gets on the bad side of Elena and Isabel with his insults. When Javier manages to sabotage Isabel's Mount Diablo Observatory project, causing Isabel to leave the Academy in shame, thinking she's not ready for it, Elena is able to encourage her little sister to come back and try again, where Isabel succeeds, and Javier ends up exposing himself as the one who ruined the original project, angering Elena, Isabel, Isabel's partner Tomiko, and Professor Ochoa, who suspends Javier until further notice.
Elena is later preparing for the All Kingdoms Fair, where various merchants from around the EverRealm can come to Avalor to sell their wares and goods. She soon tries to support Armando when he learns his brother and mother are coming from their farm to sell their dairy products, but once they do show up, Armando's brother angers Armando with his teasing and insults, causing Armando to break and smash things in his anger-induced state, only further proving his brother's point. Ashamed, he returns to his family's farm, but Elena arrives and convinces him to return to Avalor City to continue his duties, which he does in a much better mood, thanks to Elena restoring his self-confidence. His brother later apologizes for his behavior towards Armando after seeing all the dairy products their mother sold, and assists with selling more of them.
In the one hour special, "Song of the Sirenas", Elena is taking her family, alongside Gabe, Mateo, Naomi and her parents, to Nueva Vista to see their summer palace and visit her paternal first cousin, Duke Cristóbal. She has also been practicing the Scepter of Light's powers as she attempts to use its Vanish spell, but only succeeds in making herself below her shoulders vanish. En route, Naomi's mother spots Sirenas in the water, those being the crown prince and princess of the Sirenas, Prince Marzel and Princess Marisa. When Naomi's parents open fire on them with their crossbows, Elena uses the Scepter of Light to destroy one of the crossbows, seeing their attack as unprovoked since the Sirenas had not shown any hostile intent, even after being told that Sirenas were known to crash ships by entrancing the sailors with their songs. When Elena arrives in Nueva Vista, the Duke welcomes her and the rest of her family with open arms, before learning of their encounter with the Sirenas, and revealing that his father, Elena's late uncle, was the victim of one of their shipwrecks. Elena then learns that the Duke will be hosting a huge parade and celebration for her defeat of Shuriki, even when she reveals that Shuriki is still alive. However, Migs, Luna, and Skylar report to Elena that Shuriki and Fiero are on their way to Nueva Vista on Cruz and Vestia, so now Elena has to be protected from Shuriki, no matter what, especially when out in the open during the parade. Later, Elena is entranced by Princess Marisa and brought down to where she could formally meet Marisa and her brother, Marzel. When Elena learns that they want to establish a new friendship between Sirenas and humans, or at least, Marisa does, Elena tries to help by bringing the Duke down to meet them, only to be in shock when the Duke has his royal guards attempt to capture Marzel and Marisa. This leaves Elena unable to sleep that night because of what happened.
The next day, as Elena prepares for the parade, Mateo, Naomi, Gabe, and the Jaquins ride on the float Elena will be on, only to be lured away when they spot the Delgados in the audience. Now alone, Elena is confused when the gondoliers driving the float turn it into a side channel, then run away, before Elena finds herself face-to-face with Shuriki and Fiero. Elena tries to fight back with the Scepter of Light against Shuriki and the Scepter of Night, but when she tries to slip away via turning herself invisible with Vanish, the necklace she was given by the Duke is still exposed, allowing Shuriki to disorient Elena, before blasting her into the water, leaving her to drown in a watery grave.
However, Marisa is able to save Elena by wrapping a magical seaweed around her torso. It was revealed that this seaweed could turn a human being into a Sirena, like how their father, King Pescoro, saved their mother, Queen Camila, but Marisa does it in a way to avoid turning Elena into one, but allow her to breathe underwater, saving her life. Afterwards, Elena goes with Marisa and Marzel to the Sirena Royal Castle to speak to Pescoro and Camila about brokering peace between humans and Sirenas and getting Pescoro's help against Shuriki, but Pescoro reveals that he and Camila nearly lost Marisa when she was younger to a pair of fishermen when they mistook her for a young human girl and not a Sirena, and as a result, Pescoro still bears a heavy concern about trusting humans. Despite their best attempts, Elena and Marisa are unable to sway Pescoro's mind, and return to Nueva Vista, only to find the Duke waiting with Elena's Scepter of Light, and revealing his true colors to be allied with Shuriki, wanting revenge against Elena for cutting off his gold supply by overthrowing Shuriki previously. He has Elena and Marisa locked up with the rest of the Royal Family, but Naomi, Gabe, and Mateo are able to bust them all out. With Nueva Vista no longer safe, Elena and her family attempt to escape on their ship, only to be pursued by Shuriki, the Duke, the Delgados, Fiero, Cruz, and Vestia. With their ship soon damaged and unable to make any headway after losing one of their mainmasts, Elena decides to confront Shuriki, as it is her the sorceress is after. Luckily, Marzel had seen Marisa get captured by the Duke, and told Pescoro, who arrives with the Sirenas to stop Shuriki and help Elena, entrancing the Duke's helmsman so he crashes the Duke's ship into the sea wall of his palace. While Elena faces Shuriki one-on-one, Scepter-to-Scepter, with Elena on Skylar and Shuriki on Cruz, Fiero, Vestia, and the Delgados face Gabe, Naomi, and Mateo, resulting in Vestia being frozen solid by a spell, Mateo managing to turn Fiero to stone again, and the Delgados slipping away in the confusion.
Meanwhile, Shuriki manages to disorient Skylar, causing him to crash, but Elena wounds Cruz, causing him to throw in the towel and bug out. As Shuriki soon has Elena trapped at the top of a tower with no way out, she manages to hit the Scepter of Light with a spell that manages to disable it, so Elena could not cast any spells. With it looking like she'll finally end Elena's life before taking out the rest of her family and claiming the Avalor throne once more, Shuriki sadistically tells Elena goodbye, and fires. For a moment, Elena's final plea to the Scepter of Light to cast its Vanish spell failed, and she was killed, but then it is revealed that the Scepter of Light was able to overcome Shuriki's spell that disabled it and cast the spell just in time, saving Elena's life. Elena reappears behind Shuriki after whispering that she missed, and before Shuriki can retaliate, Elena hits her point-blank with Blaze, seemingly killing her parents' murderer once and for all, as all that is left of the Scepter of Night is the Jewel, which Cruz is able to fly off with, as Elena is too fatigued to be able to try and stop him, being comforted by Skylar as she realizes it is finally over. Her parents' deaths have finally been avenged.
Shortly afterwards, she reunites with Isabel, Esteban, Francisco, and Luisa, and when the Duke is brought before her, angered by his betrayal of his family and Avalor, Elena has the Duke incarcerated for his treason. Afterwards, she meets with King Pescoro and his family, and declares a newfound friendship and alliance between humans and Sirenas, as Elena could not have defeated Shuriki without the Sirenas' assistance.
Unfortunately, there are those who are still are not willing to accept the new friendship between Elena and Pescoro. Among them being Naomi, who harbors a deep grudge against the Sirenas for sinking the ship her grandfather was on, and Pescoro's Captain of the Guard, Daria. While Elena is planning the location for the treaty signing with Prince Marzel and Princess Marisa, Daria secretly plans to ruin the ceremony by hiring the dangerous malandros to disrupt it and convince both sides to resume hostility, while Naomi continues to show hostility to Marzel and Marisa, much to Elena's concern with her behavior.
When the ceremony is disrupted by one of the malandros, disguised as a Sirena, Pescoro is convinced to take Camila, Marzel, and Marisa, and return home to Coronado, only to be captured by the malandros, much to Daria's horror at having been tricked by the malicious shape-shifting dolphins. Elena is on her way back to Nueva Vista, upset about the treaty signing being ruined, when Marisa jumps onto her ship to report that her family is in trouble. Elena is ready to help, but Naomi is still unwilling, forcing Elena to ask her why she is treating the Sirenas with such anger and hatred, and Naomi explains what happened to her grandfather. Despite reminding her of the Sirenas helping them defeat Shuriki, Elena is unable to get Naomi's support to aid them as she's still bitter about her grandfather's death by their fins, but does gain Gabe and Mateo's support to aid Marisa. As they head back down to Coronado, Elena rescues Daria, who confesses to being responsible for the malandros taking over Coronado, and Elena forgives her, but with the coral alarms that drive the malandros away destroyed, Elena attempts to grow them back sooner with the Bloom spell from the Scepter of Light. Despite the malandros disarming Gabe and Mateo, and then going after Elena next, managing to disarm her of the Scepter of Light, they are too late to stop Elena from restoring the coral alarms, and once the alarms start ringing again, the noise is unbearable for the malandros to endure, and they are forced to retreat, swearing their war with the Sirenas is not over as they withdraw, saving Coronado.
Thanks to Elena, Naomi realizes she was wrong to let her grudge against the Sirenas cloud her judgement, and agrees to the treaty signing and forgive them for what happened to her grandfather. Once the treaty is signed, everyone celebrates the newfound alliance between Elena and Pescoro.
Elena later celebrates Dia de los Muertos in Nueva Vista, and meets the spirits of her grandfather's old friends who were lost at sea to due his own fault. Elena aids her grandfather with retrieving the shield he had sought with his friends, fighting off the enemy who also sought it, and being made an honorary member of Francisco's group, earning the nickname "La Magica" from him.
Later on, in "Finding Zuzo", Elena gets into an argument with Naomi regarding the fate of the Nueva Vista Harbor Lighthouse, built personally by King Raul when Elena was younger. Elena wants to make it taller for the ships further out to see, but Naomi suggests dismantling it instead. Unable to compromise, Elena storms off in a huff, and unintentionally takes her anger out on Gabe when he asks to send out patrols to look for the Delgados, as they were still at large. Elena allows it, but storms off again when Gabe seems to agree with Naomi's idea to dismantle the lighthouse, much to her chagrin. Later on, she speaks to Zuzo, but when an emergency back home forces him to leave, when he doesn't return after some time, Elena has Mateo summon the sloth chanul, Cacahuate, to take her to the Spirit World to find Zuzo. She soon learns from the other spirit animals that Zuzo had a moth problem, and Elena realizes it must have been Orizaba, the Moth Fairy, whom she defeated previously with the Scepter of Light, banishing her back to the Spirit World, and destroying the Eye of Midnight as well, and Orizaba must be seeking revenge on her. After learning that trying to reach Orizaba on the dark side of the tree the Spirit Animals live in is too dangerous without knowing the safe path, Elena and Cacahuate go to speak to Bobo and get his help to save Zuzo. However, as they make their way to Orizaba's lair, Cacahuate and Bobo get into heated arguments about past events, at one point forcing Elena to step in and reprimand them for their quarreling. When they find Orizaba and Zuzo, Cacahuate and Bobo reveal Elena to Orizaba by accident because of their fighting, resulting in Elena being captured as she tried to save Zuzo. Realizing their mistake and feeling guilty and remorseful for putting Elena in danger as well, Cacahuate and Bobo work together to save Elena and Zuzo. Afterwards, Elena thanks them for their help and teamwork, and returns to Nueva Vista with Zuzo. Learning from what happened with Cacahuate and Bobo, Elena finds Naomi, and after they both apologize to each other for their own argument earlier, they agree to have the lighthouse moved to a higher cliff so it satisfies both their ideas for it.
Back in Avalor City, in "Snow Place Like Home", Elena is preparing for Navidad, especially considering the hectic year she's had regarding Shuriki and her crew, especially with the Delgados still out there with Cruz and Vestia, when Isabel, Francisco, and Luisa depart to take Christina her gifts. In the meantime, Gabe caught up to the Delgados and their Jaquin allies, but Victor conjures a blizzard to keep them off their trail, resulting in Elena and Esteban being left snowbound in Avalor Palace with Naomi, Mateo, and Luna. Elena tries to help keep her friends and family in good spirits, but her attempts to do so fail, leading to her friends arguing, and then pin the blame on her, causing her to walk away heartbroken, especially after Mateo failed to clear the blizzard and made it worse as he botched the spell to disperse it. However, realizing their mistakes, Esteban, Mateo, Naomi, and Luna are able to make it up to Elena, and Mateo is able to see where he messed up and cast the spell again, succeeding in clearing the blizzard this time. Isabel and her grandparents return, and joined by Rafa and Naomi's parents, they celebrate Navidad together.
Elena made her California debut during Princess Elena's Musical Grand Arrival, a musical cavalcade that introduced guests to Elena and her story, followed by meet-and-greet sessions.
Elena made her debut at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom on August 11, 2016, which marked the debut of the temporary castle show, Princess Elena of Avalor - Royal Welcome. In the show, Elena is welcomed into the park family by Cinderella and Prince Charming.
On November 24, 2016, Elena began making regular meet-and-greet appearances at the Princess Fairytale Hall at the Magic Kingdom.
- Elena is Disney's first Latin-inspired princess.
- Elena is Disney's second oldest princess, as she is chronologically fifty-eight years old while being biologically seventeen due to being imprisoned in the Amulet of Avalor for forty-one years and didn’t age during that time. The first would be Kida from Atlantis: The Lost Empire, who is over eight thousand years old, and the third being Elena's sister Princess Isabel.
- Elena and Zita Flores share the same last name.
- Elena's voice actress Aimee Carrero is known for Young & Hungry, and coincidentally, her character shares the same first name with Princess Sofia.
- The age gap between Elena and Isabel is six years.
- In "First Day of Rule", it is revealed that Elena had been trapped inside the Amulet of Avalor for forty-one years.
- It has been assumed by Zuzo that during her long imprisonment Elena had absorbed some of the amulet's magic, making her magical and able to see Zuzo without the assistance of a wizard.
- The flower that Elena wears in her hair is an Apricot Mallow, which grows in Sonora and Baja California in Northwest Mexico.
- In Latin America, "Princesa Elena" is the name given to Princess Eilonwy.
- Elena means shining light, or bright one.
- Funnily enough, Elena was still in mortal peril even when she was trapped in the Amulet of Avalor. Had Princess Ivy's attempts to destroy it succeeded, Elena would more than likely have perished.
- Much like Princess Sofia, she is not officially considered part of the Disney Princess line-up due to being a television princess starting out with a television movie instead of a theatrical movie.