Princess Rosalinda María Montoya Fiore (Demi Lovato) is about to be crowned queen of the small nation of Costa Luna. General Kane (Johnny Ray Rodriguez), the dictator of neighboring country Costa Estrella, invades her palace with his agents during her coronation rehearsal, and attempts to capture the royal family and take over the country. Joe Mason (Tom Verica), an agent of the Princess Protection Program, a secret organization funded by royal families that looks after endangered princesses, whisks her away to safety via helicopter. Kane’s agents, however, succeed in capturing her mother, Queen Sofía.
The Princess Protection Program hides Rosalinda in Mason’s home in Louisiana, where she is to masquerade as a typical American teenager named Rosie Gonzalez. She meets Mason's daughter, Carter Mason (Selena Gomez), an insecure tomboy who works at the family bait shop and dreams of going to the homecoming dance with her crush, Donny (Robert Adamson). Though Carter initially treats Rosie with barely masked hostility, she warms up to her after Rosie explains her situation, and the two become best friends. Carter teaches Rosie to act like a typical American teenager, and Rosie shows Carter how to disarm those that scorn them (especially resident mean girls Chelsea and Brooke) by behaving as a true princess. Rosie soon becomes popular at their high school.
In an attempt to trick Rosalinda into exposing her location, General Kane announces false plans to marry her mother. Brooke discovers that Rosie is in fact Princess Rosalinda from a magazine she reads for Spanish class. She and Chelsea confront Rosalinda and threaten to expose her, but they agree to keep quiet if Rosalinda drops out of the vote for Homecoming Queen. Brooke and Chelsea also ruin the dresses Carter and Rosalinda were going to wear for the dance. Rosalinda reads of the pending nuptials in the magazine and tells Carter that she has decided to return home. Knowing Costa Luna is still too dangerous, Carter secretly devises a plan to pose as Rosalinda and then use herself as bait to lure Kane into capture. Carter calls Mr. Elegante, Rosalinda's royal dress maker, for help with her plan. He tells Kane that Rosalinda will be attending the homecoming dance and will be wearing a blue dress that he actually sends to Carter. In the meantime, Rosalinda agrees to stay for the dance in order to help make the event special for a group of friends, the group of girls wear masks, which helps Carter disguise herself as Rosalinda.
According to plan, Kane and his agents mistake Carter for Rosie and lead her to Kane's helicopter the night of the dance. However, after winning the Homecoming Queen title and dedicating it to Carter, Rosalinda discovers and ruins the plan by exposing herself to Kane, insisting that it is not Carter's fight. Fortunately, agents of the Princess Protection Program, including Mason, have been waiting inside the helicopter and rescue both girls. The P.P.P. agents quickly apprehend Kane and his henchmen and turn them over to the international authorities.
Rosie is crowned Queen of Costa Luna with Carter, Mason, Ed, Sofía, and Mr. Elegante in attendance.Demi Lovato as Princess (later Queen) Rosalinda Marie Montoya Fiore/Rosie GonzalezSelena Gomez as Carter MasonTom Verica as Major Joe MasonSully Diaz as Queen Sofía FioreJohnny Ray Rodríguez as General Magnus KaneJamie Chung as Chelsea BarnesNicholas Braun as EdRobert Adamson as DonnySamantha Droke as BrookeKevin G. Schmidt as BullTalia Rothenberg as MargaretMolly Hagan as The DirectorDale Dickey as Helen DigenerstetRicardo Álvarez as Mr. EleganteBrian Tester as Principal Burkle
Filming took place in Puerto Rico in 2008. School scenes as well as homecoming scenes were filmed at Colegio San Ignacio de Loyola (San Juan) and Colegio San José (San Juan, Puerto Rico) in San Juan and lake scenes were filmed at the Loíza Lake in Trujillo Alto. The Serrallés Castle in Ponce was used for interior and exterior castle scenes while the interior courtyard of Casa de España in the Old San Juan was used for both coronation scenes.
Disney Channel promoted the film's premiere weekend by offering never-before-seen episodes of their original series' Wizards of Waverly Place and Sonny with a Chance as an online reward if viewers could correctly count the number of times the words "princess," "princesses" and "princesa" are spoken during the film and enter the correct number into a section on their website.
The film was released on DVD on June 30, 2009, in the United States and was later available worldwide.
The film introduced two songs: a duet recorded by Lovato and Gomez called "One and the Same" and a song recorded by Mitchel Musso called "The Girl Can't Help It". Both songs were included on the compilation album Disney Channel Playlist, which was released on June 9, 2009. The film also includes the song "Two Worlds Collide" by Lovato, which was featured from her debut album Don't Forget.
One and the Same
"One and the Same" is a song performed by the main actresses Lovato and Gomez. The song was written by Vitamin C, Michael Kotch and Dave Derby and was produced by Mitch Allan. The song's music video was included on the DVD of the film. The song was also featured on the compilation album, Disney Channel Playlist, which was released on June 9, 2009.Chart performance
The song peaked at number 82 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It has sold 329,000 digital copies, according to Nielsen SoundScan.Charts
Laura Fries of Variety magazine describes the film as being "light as a summer breeze on the Louisiana bayou". Although the film does not stray far from the Disney formula, Fries also praised the film writer Annie DeYoung for providing young girls a nice message about self-esteem. Fries said the film should be a hit with the channel's target audience.
The film garnered 8.5 million viewers on its premiere, making Disney Channel the most-watched network in the time slot, with nearly double the viewers of CBS at that time.