On the Mooncliff Mountains, Skylar is telling Nico, Ciela, and Avión about the time Shuriki invaded the Kingdom of Avalor and how a year ago Elena drove her out with Elena and Mateo watching. Skylar also tells his trainees that keeping Shuriki out of Avalor and then driving her out was supposed to be the Guardians of Avalor's job and how they have always been ashamed that they could not do it. Skylar explains to his trainees that because of this the Guardians of Avalor need to be smarter, stronger, and faster in order to keep history from repeating itself. With the story concluded, Chief Zephyr tells the trainees that the next day they will take their Guardian Test: If they pass, they will become Guardians of Avalor, but if they fail, they will be sent back to Vallestrella. Mateo reminds Elena of the state of the kingdom address she has to give the next day to the Grand Council and should therefore head back to Avalor Palace. Nearby, Victor Delgado and Carla are plotting their revenge on all of Avalor.
The next day at Avalor Palace, Elena gives her state of the kingdom address to the Grand Council, where she outlines how great her first year as Ruler has been. The Grand Council agrees that it has been a great year and awards her a Medal of Honor for all she has done for Avalor. Elena gratefully accepts the Medal and declares she got being Ruler down. Francisco reminds her that she still has more to learn before she will be ready for the day she becomes Queen three years from now. Elena disagrees and ticks off her numerous acts of heroism. After taking the Scepter of Light from Armando, Elena hops on Luna and flies off to watch Skylar's trainees take their test.
Elena and Luna arrive at Mooncliff Mountain in time for the Guardian Test. Chief Zephyr explains that the Guardian Test will test their reflexes, strength, agility, and intelligence. To make the test harder than ever, Migs and Mateo designed the Test for this year. Migs explains to the trainees the test is divided into two parts: First is the Battle Test, where they will face a magical enemy they must defeat without getting zapped, and second is the Search and Rescue Test, where they have to find three statuettes and bring them back to the pedestal within ten minutes. The Guardian Test begins with the Battle Test. For the Test, Mateo has conjured up Orizaba as the magical enemy. Working together, Nico, Ciela, and Avion defeat Orizaba and pass the first part. Mateo conjures up a magical hourglass and the second part starts. The trainees have trouble finding the statuettes until Nico reveals that they are invisible. They successfully find all three statuettes and head back with them. Avion and Ciela safely deliver theirs, but Victor hits Nico's with a slingshot, causing it to shatter. Because of this, Chief Zephyr passes Avion and Ciela, but fails Nico, to which Skylar sadly escorts his little brother back to Vallestrella. Nearby, Victor and Carla follow the Jaquin Brothers to the gateway since what they seek is in Vallestrella. Meanwhile, Elena protests failing Nico, insisting he be given a second chance. Ciela and Avion agree with her, stating it was because of Nico they passed. Migs tells them he cannot be given another chance as it is against the rules laid down by Skylar and Nico's father, King Verago. Elena decides to go talk to him, despite Migs and Mateo being against it since humans are not allowed in Vallestrella. She enters the Gateway on Luna, unaware that Victor and Carla have followed them inside.
Elena and Luna arrive in Vallestrella and meet up with Skylar and Nico. Migs and Mateo appear and urge her to head back but Elena remains adamant that she meet Verago. Meanwhile, Carla and Victor set off to find Marimonda, a wicked forest sprite who they plan to enlist for helping them take over Avalor, using a map that was given to Victor by an old friend of his. Meanwhile, Elena's group meets King Verago, who is not pleased to see humans in Vallestrella. Elena asks him to allow Nico to retake his Guardian Test but Verago refuses and explains why the Jaquin Rules are important. For example, he tells Elena that the reason humans are not allowed in Vallestrella is because years ago a human accidentally released Kizin, an evil monster the Jaquins had their biggest battle against, and their are other dark forces imprisoned in Vallestrella. Elena tells Verago she understands and sadly tells Nico he will not get a retest.
Meanwhile, Victor and Carla have arrived at the spot where Marimonda is imprisoned. Using the map, they pull out the right magical jewel and free the forest sprite. They tell her how urban Avalor has become and that she will need to capture a Jaquin to open the gate and the sprite sets out to cover Avalor in vines. Elsewhere, the others are alerted to Marimonda's escape. Verago informs Elena that Marimonda is an evil forest sprite who tried to destroy every city in Avalor centuries ago but was stopped by the sun birds with ancient magic. Verago sets out with Migs to trap the sprite. Skylar tells Elena about Quita Moz, a sun bird oracle who can help them stop Marimonda. The group goes to the spot where the nest is rumoured to be and find it with the Scepter. After being cut off from the others, Elena meets Quita Moz, who teaches her how to use the Scepter's illusion creating ability and gives her a magical jar to re-imprison Marimonda. Meanwhile, Verago has set a trap for Marimonda with Migs as the bait. Elena's group arrives and, thinking Migs is in trouble, accidentally ruins the trap. Marimonda traps Migs and moves out with him. Elena and Skylar give chase but Marimonda traps them in vines and escapes.
After they break free, Elena and Skylar decide to set a trap for her by using the Scepter to create an illusion of a house. However, Victor and Carla wreck the trap and reveal that they are behind it all. Marimonda uses Migs to open the gate and the three of them go back to Avalor. Verago accuses Elena of bringing ruin to Avalor but Skylar defends her. The group goes back to Avalor and after a long struggle successfully traps Marimonda inside the jar. Verago declares Nico a Guardian of Avalor and the group goes back to Vallestrella. Once there, Elena gives the jar to Quita Moz, who warns her of a darkness she must overcome or she will never become Queen of Avalor. The darkness is revealed when Victor and Carla give the jewel they took to his old friend: Shuriki. Shuriki uses the jewel's magic to restore her youth and promises to make the pair malvagos so they can conquer Avalor together.
Back in Vallestrella, Elena worries of her upcoming test, but Mateo reassures her that when the time comes, he and her friends will be right with her. She feels better, and they join Nico's ceremony.
- Aimee Carrero as Princess Elena
- Lou Diamond Phillips as Victor Delgado
- Myrna Velasco as Carla Delgado
- Cheech Marin as Quita Moz
- Noël Wells as Marimonda
- Jane Fonda as Shuriki
- Carlos Alazraqui as Skylar
- Jess Harnell as Chief Zephyr
- Jillian Rose Reed as Naomi Turner
- Emiliano Díez as Francisco
- Julia Vera as Luisa
- Jenna Ortega as Princess Isabel
- Christian Lanz as Chancellor Esteban
- Joseph Haro as Mateo
- Jorge Diaz as Gabe
- André Sogliuzzo as King Verago
- Chris Parnell as Migs
- Jenna Lea Rosen as Ciela
- Yvette Nicole Brown as Luna
- Lincoln Melcher as Avión
- Wilber Zaldivar as Nico
- This is the second special of Elena of Avalor, after Elena and the Secret of Avalor.
- This episode was originally meant to be the season finale but was changed.
- Elena uses the Scepter of Light's magic for the third time.
- Nico, Ciela and Avión make a returning appearance since "Flight of the Jaquins".
- Elena and Mateo visit Vallestrella for the first time.
- The "flaringos" and other animals in Vallestrella were inspired by alebrijes - Mexican folk art sculptures first made by Pedro Linares.
- The Delgados are revealed to be working for Shuriki in this special.
- Elena says near the beginning there’s three years left until she becomes queen. Given that she turned 17 before the episode aired, she’ll be 20 by the time she’s ready to rule.
- Moral: While rules are important, so to is leniency.