On a ship sailing across the sea on a stormy night, a cloaked woman heads to the stern and opens a small container and finds a glowing key she plans to use to take over the Kingdom of Hakalo. A young girl named Lani tries to stop her but both end up falling overboard with the key. Lani cries for help but no one notices her as she floats out to sea.
At the same time, the Royal Family of Enchancia are spending the day at the beach, when Roland notices a storm coming. Miranda tells the kids they're going home and as everyone packs up, Sofia finds the key and shows it to her family. She asks her parents if it's magical and Roland states they'll find out when they get back to the castle. Meanwhile, the woman who tried to steal the key is watching from tall grass and decides to trick them into giving her the key and uses a magical jewel to disguise herself, revealing that she's a sorceress.
Meanwhile, back at the castle, Sofia discovers the key she found is known as the Emerald Key, a magical key that leads whoever possesses it to the island Kingdom of Hakalo. Baileywick comes in and announces that they have a visitor: the Princess of Hakalo. After being introduced, Lani tells Sofia and her family how she came to the castle and asks for the Key to be returned to her. Suddenly, a green-eyed girl comes in claiming she's the real Princess of Hakalo. Amber insists that the second Lei-Lani is the real Princess of Hakalo since she has a classical princess look but Sofia knows that appearances can be deceiving and insists that the two girls be tested. Roland agrees to test them with three challenges. For the first challenge, the two girls are expected to dance gracefully. Princess Look Lei-Lani wins only because she danced a waltz. For the second challenge, the two girls are required to gracefully accept a gift. Lani wins because Princess Look Lei-Lani throws a tantrum after discovering that her gift is a snail. Since it's still raining, Roland decides that the third challenge will be held tomorrow morning. Sofia spends some time with Lani, who tells her what being a true Princess is all about and Sofia agrees. Sofia now knows that Lani is the real Princess but Lani reminds her that she still has to prove it to her family. Meanwhile, Princess Look Lei-Lani reveals that she is in fact the sorceress who tried to steal the key in disguise and makes Lani's bed lumpy to ensure she fails the final challenge.
The next morning, Lani comes out of her room, bone tired. The third challenge is to see which girl can make it out of the maze first. Princess Look Lei-Lani wins because of her cheating and gains the Emerald Key, upsetting Lani. Sofia points out that Lani only failed because she didn't sleep well. Amber insists that she must not be used to sleeping in a castle but Sofia suspects foul play. Sure enough, Sofia discovers that the reason Lani didn't sleep well is because her bed was lumpy and finds Princess Look Lei-Lani's ring under the mattress, proving she made the bed lumpy. Since a true princess would never cheat, this discovery forces the Royal Family to realize that Lani was telling the truth all along. They go after Princess Look Lei-Lani who drops her disguise and Lani identifies the sorceress as the one who tried to steal the Emerald Key. The sorceress tells the Royals she is Mamanu the former Royal Enchantress of Hakalo who Lani's father banished from Hakalo for stealing magic crystals from the Royal Museam and that she wants the Emerald Key so she can take over Hakalo and have her revenge on Lani's family. The forest animals stop Mamanu from escaping and Lani gets the Key back. Mamanu demands the key back. Sofia and her family shield Lani but before the guards can seize Mamanu, she escapes. Later on, Lani is reunited with her family and after saying their good-byes, the Royal Family of Hakalo use the Emerald Key to return home.
Home Video Release
- Ariel Winter as Sofia
- Darcy Rose Byrnes as Princess Amber
- Zach Callison as Prince James
- Travis Willingham as King Roland II
- Sara Ramirez as Queen Miranda
- Tim Gunn as Baileywick
- Abigail Mavity as Princess Lani
- Angelique Perrin as Mamanu (Rachel Pace voices her disguised form)
- Wayne Brady as Clover
- Ashley Eckstein as Mia
- Meghan Strange as Robin
- Kevin Michael Richardson as King Kamea
- Monica Richardson as Queen Halia
- While on the beach, Sofia wears an alternate version of her Pirate outfit from "Baileywick's Day Off".
- The island Kingdom of Hakalo is possibly inspired by the Islands of Hawaii, The people wear native clothing and do Hula like dancing.
- Hakalo is the only known kingdom to be hidden away and only accessible by a mystical item.
- This episode is similar to the fairy tale "The Princess and the Pea". A princess is drenched in water when she comes to the castle, and she is tested. The test, though, was by putting a pea underneath several mattresses; in the episode, it wasn't a test and merely a cheat so the real princess wouldn't pass the test.
- A stag in this episode looks like Bambi's father, The Great Prince of the Forest.
- While Lani and Sofia's family chase Leilani in the rain they show no sign of getting wet.
- Sofia gains a new enemy: Mamanu
- Mamanu is very similar to Cedric, both are Royal sorcerers who desire a magical object so they can take over their kingdoms.
- However there are differences between Cedric and Mamanu, Cedric is bumbling and rarely does anything right, but he has shown from time to time to have a heart and Sofia trusts him to the point where she regards him as a friend while Mamanu is truly evil and is a very talented enchantress who only cares about her selfish and greedy desires and Sofia knows she's an enemy and would never trust her even if her life depended on it.
- Kevin Michael Richardson, who voiced Captain Gantu in Lilo & Stitch and Samson's father in The Wild, voiced the King of Hakalo along with his wife Monica as the Queen of Hakalo as well.
- This is the second time Prince James wears his swim trunks.
- The part when Lani says "She tried to steal my family's key last night" is incorrect. On that night, Lani was having trouble sleeping. Mamanu tried to steal the key the other night.
- Moral: Don't judge others according to their appearance or your own preconceptions.
- This is the last episode where Zach Callison voices James.