A Look at Disney: The Little Mermaid In The Parks
Hello & welcome back to A Look at Disney and today, we are heading back to the parks as we go under the sea, where’s everything better to take a look at the various ways that The Little Mermaid is represented in the various Disney Parks. I gotta be honest, I am really excited for this one as Mermaid is one of my Top 3 Favorite Animated Disney films. I’ve been a fan of it since I was a little kid. Ariel is a character that has always been special to me because before Rapunzel came along, she was my favorite princess character. Which is why one certain attraction that I’ll be talking about just left me infuriated because of how bad it was. Some of you may know, which one I’m referring to as I did a Top 6 on it during the A Look at Disney World summer event from last year. Thankfully though, there are quite a few other attractions that feature Ariel. With that out of the way, let’s begin.
Voyage of The Little Mermaid – Disney’s Hollywood Studios
THIS…. THIS show, I HATE THIS show with a passion. Okay some set up, for this attraction I first experienced this attraction during my last visit to Disney World and this was around the time that Ariel’s Undersea Adventure was going to open but it wouldn’t be open until after my trip. I was in desperate need of a Mermaid fix at Disney World, when we went to Hollywood Studios and I saw this and thought it might suffice but I was wrong, oh so very wrong. This attraction left me disappointed and no, it wasn’t just because I was pining for the Mermaid ride. This show was just pathetic. It relied on clips from the movie to tell the story, Ariel only appears as a human once, Eric isn’t seen until the finale. This attraction was atrocious and just thinking about leaves me angry. This is one of the worst attractions that I ever had the displeasure to bear witness to. Is there anything that I like about this show? Uhm…
But let’s move on to something that I haven’t actually seen and heard good things about and I am excited about.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure/Under The Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid – Disney’s California Adventure/Magic Kingdom
Now, this ride is unique in that it came a little later than planned. You see there were plans for build this ride back in the ’90s for both Magic Kingdom and Disneyland Paris and there were even plans to include it in Hong Kong Disneyland but the version that they wanted to build, which is referred to as The Little Mermaid: Under The Sea Adventure Ride almost never happened and it seemed for years, there would never be a true Little Mermaid ride at any Disney park and people just have to settle with Voyage of The Little Mermaid to get their Mermaid fix at a Disney park, at least state side. Disney was gracious enough to include a CGI ride through animatic of the original concept for this ride on the 2006 Platinum release. Which you can see here. But then in 2011, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure opened at Disney’s California Adventure and one year later, it opened at the Magic Kingdom. Now alas, I still not have had the chance to go on this ride as of yet but I really want to go on it, the next time I go back to Magic Kingdom. To me, it’s just so awesome to finally have a a true Mermaid attraction in the Disney parks and they did a great job on the characters.
And also I love how the facade for the Magic Kingdom version is Eric’s castle.
Scuttle also appears outside the ride in a game for kids , where they help him to look for his lost treasures.
Not the biggest fan of Scuttle but this is a cute little thing for kids, now let’s head on over to Tokyo DisneySea to take a look at Mermaid Lagoon.
Mermaid Lagoon – Tokyo DisneySea
Mermaid Lagoon is a port-of-call (land) at Tokyo DisneySea and as you may have noticed, the exterior facade is made to look like Triton’s Palace. And from what I have read, this land is geared towards younger kids and all of the rides and attractions are inside and it tries to give the impression of feeling that you are underwater. Some rides to note are Scuttle’s Scooters, Flounder’s Flying Fish Coaster.
Though perhaps one of my favorite things is found in Ariel’s Playground, which is designed to look like where Ariel kept her treasures.
And here it is, they included the Prince Eric statute. I just love that touch.
I wonder how many people go up to that and recreate this scene
Now there are also stores and restaurants here as well such as Kiss de Girl Fashions and Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen.
For some reason, the Sebastian’s Calypso Kitchen sign reminds of that Sebastian concert VHS that came out in the ’90s. I wish knew that was called. Mermaid Lagoon also features Ariel’s Grotto, the common meet n greet place for the princess. Well, it used to be at Disneyland and according to the Disney World website, it’s still there as well but I’ve heard other rumors and the meet and greet place has closed. Actually, upon further inspection thanks to Yesterland.com,
it’s just changed from what it was before Journey of The Little Mermaid opened.
Ariel’s Grotto – Disneyland (formerly), Magic Kingdom Tokyo DisneySea
This first picture is how it appeared at Disneyland
And as for Disney World, I went to the web site and verified it, they have it at the Magic Kingdom according to the official Disney World web site.
And lastly, here it is at Tokyo DisneySea.
Okay, gotta say that after how cool, everything else in Mermaid Lagoon looked, this is a bit of a letdown. Oh, and apparently, in Disneyland, the Grotto was a part of Triton’s Garden. Nice to see the king of the sea getting some love. Well at least until it became Pixie Hollow.
Triton’s Garden – Disneyland
Now once again thanks to Yesterland.com, I learned about this and what’s really cool is as you walked by, these statues would quote lines from the animated classic.
Triton: â€œOh, Ariel. How many times must we go through this? You couldâ€™ve been seen by one of those barbarians! Byâ€¦ by one of those humans!â€
Ariel: â€œDaddy, theyâ€™re not barbarians!â€
Triton: â€œTheyâ€™re dangerous. Do you think I want to see my youngest daughter snared by some fish-eaterâ€™s hook?â€
Now, while this location may be gone, you can still meet Ariel and the princesses at Disneyland, now you just have to go to the Fantasy Faire
Fantasy Faire – Disneyland
As you may have noticed however unlike the Grotto, here you will meet Princess Ariel in her human form. Now let’s head on over to California Adventure for a look at Ariel’s Grotto. (That’s not a typo).
Ariel’s Grotto – California Adventure
The Ariel’s Grotto at California Adventure is a restaurant and it appears from the menu that it serves seafood. Does that really surprise anyone and it looks from the website that Disney Princesses show up here on occasion. Makes sense and I’ve also read that this is a good place to see World of Color and that they even have reserved seating for that particular show. Speaking of which, let’s go take in that show, right now.
World of Color – California Adventure
Man, the more I see of this show, the more I want to see it but kinda hard to get out there, when you live on the East Coast but this show just looks so cool with all of the effects. Now let’s head on over to Neverland and to their Mermaid Lagoon as we take flight with Peter Pan.
Peter Pan’s Flight – Disneyland/Magic Kingdom/Disneyland Paris/Tokyo Disneyland
As you fly over Mermaid Lagoon in Peter Pan’s Flight, you can spot, our little Mermaid there. I love it when Disney does this. I love these little nods. I’m going have to keep my eye out for this one, when I finally go on Peter Pan’s Flight. Now let’s to Small World.
It’s A Small World – Disneyland
On the Disneyland version of Small World, you’ll find Ariel along with many other Disney characters. It’s cute and they did a good job making her look like one of the dolls one the ride and fitting her and the other characters into the Mary Blair aesthetic of the attraction. Now let’s head back to Disney World.
Mickey’s Phillarmagic – Magic Kingdom
Even before you enter the showroom for this attraction, you’ll get an Ariel reference, just by looking at the posters on the wall promoting the upcoming shows.
Now in the actual show proper, Donald Duck steals the Sorcerer’s Hat and it ends up taking him through famous musical numbers from classic Disney films such as Part of Your World.
Okay that is too cute and perhaps the image of Ariel that stays with me, the most from this particular attraction is this one…
Now let’s take a look at some parades that Ariel can be found in, starting with one that is no longer around and while it was there during one of my trips to Disney World, I didn’t see it as I was off doing something else with my uncle that day.
Disney Stars and Motor Cars Parade – Disney Hollywood (MGM) Studios
Disney Stars and Motor Cars was a parade where Disney characters would be in cars themed to their respective film such as Ariel’s having coral, a seashell and a giant seahorse in front and notice, Sebastian and Flounder on the side on my favorite mermaid. Now let’s stay in Disney World and head to the Magic Kingdom for the newest parade there.
Festival of Fantasy – Magic Kingdom
Okay, I think that this may be my favorite the Ariel floats thus far. Something about the look is just so vibrant and eye popping. It works really well in getting your attention. Now let’s back to Disneyland for Mickey’s Soundsational Parade.
Mickey’s Soundsational Parade – Disneyland
The idea for this parade is that it’s based around Disney music and thus many different songs are featured and here, we see Ariel atop the float known as Sebastian’s Calypso Carnival. This float looks very festive and that fits with the motif that they were going for with this float. Now let’s head on over to Disneyland Paris for the Once Upon A Dream Parade
Once Upon A Dream Parade – Disneyland Paris
Now, I’ll freely admit that my search on this left me confused as I found an article about a parade by this same name in Disneyland Park (California), yet, every picture result was for the Paris parade. So, if anyone has any knowledge or pictures of the Disneyland parade of this name, that’d be great because I could find very little on it. As for this one, it’s kinda cool to see as she is one of the best Disney villains. Now, we have one more thing to look at here in Disneyland Paris.
Disney Dreams – Disneyland Paris
Form what I understand, Disney Dreams is a nighttime show exclusive to Paris and Captain Hook is trying to steal Peter Pan’s shadow and he recruits Ursula to help in this goal. Now, let’s take a look at one of the most popular Disney shows.
Fantasminc – Disneyland, Hollywood Studios, Tokyo DisneySea
Ariel appears in all versions of this classic nighttime show and for a while, in Disneyland, so did Urusla as a giant float.
But apparently, the float was a pain.
Originally, a twenty foot Audio-Animatronic Ursula float traveled around her segment in the show on the water, but the air constantly leaked from the blow-up tentacles, and the animatronic as a whole was a maintenance nightmare, so currently the character is only featured via animation projected onto water screens. – DisneyWiki
The water screen is how I’m most familiar with seeing Ursula in this show.
As I’ve only seen the Hollywood Studios version and they never had the giant float. Also, it appears in 2009 that Floatsam and Jetsam joined Ursula in Disneyland for this show.
Man, those must be hard to work. However, it appears that they have not been in the show for a while.
They are portrayed using large puppets on jet-skis designed by Michael Curry, who has worked on numerous projects with Disney. A 34 foot long aluminum pontoon frame holds up the water-resistant fabric covering and is capable of pivoting similarly to a toy wooden snake to give it a slithering motion. They are frequently referred to as “Flotsam and Jet-ski” by Disney alumni. Recently, the duo disappeared and have not been seen for some time. Many presume it is due to technical issues. – DisneyWiki
That’s a shame that they haven’t been in the show as they seem like a neat addition. Now, let’s move onto one of the most interesting things at Magic Kingdom.
Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom – Magic Kingdom
Sorcerers of The Magic Kingdom is a game, where players go through Magic Kingdom stopping Disney villains from getting their hands on the crystal of The Magic Kingdom and the villains have been brought back to life by Hades, who wants it. However Ursula plans to double cross the God of the Underworld. And you fight them by going to various locations and holding up cards, that can be used as attacks and one of the cards is an Ariel card.
I played this game for about half-hour on the last day of my last Disney World trip before my mom got tired of it and wanted to go on rides. (Can’t say I blame her) but I don’t think I got this card. I do think I had the Rapunzel Hair Whip card and the Lumiere card. I can’t remember, what exact cards I had. We’re almost done. After all of this park stuff, let’s head to a hotel.
Art of Animation – Disney World
Yes, the Art of Animation Resort has suites based on The Little Mermaid as seen here. These are the standard suites and perhaps, only second to Cars, in the suites, I’d want to stay in. Even the bathroom is Mermaid themed with an Ariel shower curtain.
Though, my favorite part has to be the outside decorations.
Something even cooler in the lobby, you’ll find a picture of Ariel signed by Jodi Benson aka Ariel herself.
And there is also a picture of Ursula signed b Pat Caroll, the voice of Ursula.
Okay, I so know where I want to stay the next time I go to Disney World. Now, there is one last thing and I always save these for last as they aren’t park related but it’s still travel related. We’re taking a cruise on the Disney Wonder.
Tritons – Disney Wonder
Tritons is the main restaurant on the Disney Wonder and as you can see, it’s named after Ariel’s father and I gotta say that I really like that mosaic back there. What kind of food do the serve? Well, let’s look at the menu. It appears to fancy food. I can see that and I noticed duck on the menu, at least twice. Oh, and I guess I should bring this up but Ariel is the main statue in the lobby of this ship.
This completes my rather extensive look at the various ways, The Little Mermaid can be found in the Disney Parks. I’m sure, I forgot something here or there but as I did my research this article grew to be one of the longest articles for this particular sub-series to date and perhaps one of my favorites. I had no idea, there would be so much to cover. I hope that you’ve enjoyed this article. Now, I’m going to be a part of that world.