Love this scene - it just proves how much of a better heroine Mulan is than most of the other Disney girls. They're really beautiful, the other ones, but Mulan as a film proved that a prince is not necessary for you to become a great woman.
I always thought it was referencing beauty and the beast. Cause the same things happen in beauty and the beast. In Aladdin it's not a spell. It's just a genie with magic. In beauty and the beast it's actually a spell on the castle.