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Exclusive First Look Behind the Scenes of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

posted on January 20th, 2011 by Valarie Sukovaty, Disneyland Public Relations

As the exciting expansion of Disney California Adventure park moves forward, the Disney Parks Blog continues to give you a front row seat and backstage pass to all of the excitement. Since the expansion was announced, we have opened Toy Story Mania!, Games of the Boardwalk, Mickey’s Fun Wheel, Silly Symphony Swings and of course, the nighttime spectacular, “World of Color.” Now, Walt Disney Imagineering has turned its sights to the next highly-anticipated opening: The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, coming soon in 2011. In this video, Imagineer Lisa Girolami takes you behind the curtain (or under the waves) to give you a first look at Ariel’s world. From the drawing board to the incredible scenery, this is an attraction sure to make a splash with guests.

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Filed: Behind the Scenes, Disney California Adventure Park, Disneyland Resort



Raquel from CA on January 20th, 2011 at 4:08 pm

Looks like it’s going to be amazing! I can’t wait until our family gets to experience it!


Fred from CA on January 20th, 2011 at 4:09 pm

So cool! :)

Thank you so much for this video!

I am really looking forward to The Little Mermaid ride.


rachel on January 20th, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I’m looking forward to going to Disneyland next year and see all of the new things disney has created in california adventure. Looks like they are doing a wonderful job on the new Little Mermaid ride.


Christian on January 20th, 2011 at 4:14 pm

So colorful! I can’t wait to ride it!


Missy on January 20th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I don’t know if any one has asked this question before, but was the ride ever considered to be a water attraction, like Pirates of the Caribbean? If it was, was there a reason why a dry attraction was chosen instead?


Jill from CA on January 20th, 2011 at 4:15 pm

I can’t wait-LOVE little mermaid. I hope it will be open by the time I go May 19-22!


Jeremy on January 20th, 2011 at 4:25 pm

I was so excited when this ride was announced. This ride is going to totally be the best thing ever of 2011 next to the new parade. Heck I even remember when the ride on the 2006 DVD was canceled!


mark from NY on January 20th, 2011 at 4:29 pm

I love the videos if I coudl only watch them. does anyoen elsse see them as a series of stills? I have adsl line with windows xp and clean uot my cookies an temp folders weekly, yet the videos are always choopy only from disney where I expected the best.


Crystal on January 20th, 2011 at 4:32 pm

Oh my son loves this movie (and so do I)! Can’t wait to see it!


Cecilia from CA on January 20th, 2011 at 4:39 pm

Any idea when this ride will open up in 2011?


Katrina from CA on January 20th, 2011 at 4:42 pm

looks amazing!


Duane on January 20th, 2011 at 4:53 pm

The name of the Toy Story attraction at Disneyland is actually Toy Story Midway Mania. It may be the abbreviated version you mention above at WDW, but the DCA version has the full title.

Love the fact that they are not skimping on this one like they did on the Winnie-the-Pooh attraction. Looks great.


Jeannine from NV on January 20th, 2011 at 4:55 pm

To all of the imagineers involved, You NEVER cease to amaze me! Thanks a million for keeping Walt’s dream alive! I know I will be enjoying Little Mermaid many times over in the future!


kat on January 20th, 2011 at 4:59 pm

OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!! My granddaughter and I saw them working on the ride earlier this month. She is five and her very favorite princess is Ariel and she can’t wait to see the magic in store! This year she was afraid of all the indoor rides so the fact that she still wants to go on it anyway is a tribute to her love of all thing Little Mermaid. We spent the whole trip this year NOT going on rides but meeting Princesses and Sydney’s very favorite activity…pin trading. I think she has 22 pins now! The best thing about Disneyland is the fact that no matter what you love or what you fear there is still, magically, something to all of us do.


Tammy on January 20th, 2011 at 5:07 pm

I’m so excited for this ride!!!! I’m a HUGE Little Mermaid fan. I’ve been waiting forever for this to open.


Randall from CA on January 20th, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Imagine a bubble machine that blows bubbles with helium instead of regular air – so the bubbles go UP! Now THAT would really add to the “under the sea” effect, wouldn’t it?


Samantha from ID on January 20th, 2011 at 5:32 pm

YAY!!! I’m so psyched for this ride! Do you have an estimated time of when it will be complete? It would be awesome to see it completed by the time I go in July. :)


Travis from NH on January 20th, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Everything looks spectacular! I can’t wait to ride it later this year, and I really can’t wait to see Magic Kingdom’s version in a couple of years. I know it’s essentially the same attraction, but the rockwork and Prince Eric’s Castle at Magic Kingdom’s looks absolutely stunning. I’ll probably ride this when I head out for the D23 Expo this summer – can’t wait!

Discussion Kingdom


Aaronya on January 20th, 2011 at 5:41 pm

AWESOME!!!!!! I can’t wait to share and enjoy this ride with the children and grandchildren.


Tim on January 20th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

This truly looks like Disney is going back to their roots – a classic animatronic based attraction inspired by a Disney movie. I’m looking forward to seeing this in California next year and in Florida in 2012.

Co-Host of the WDW Fan Boys Podcast


Sarah from CA on January 20th, 2011 at 6:22 pm

I can not wait! This video is getting me excited for opening day!! 😀


Diana from sonora on January 20th, 2011 at 7:11 pm

enough of scary rides, i hope it has more erick than ursula!


Carolyn on January 20th, 2011 at 8:25 pm

I’ve never been a big fan of California Adventure..BUT, this ride is one I’ll definitely want to try!!! I love the “Little Mermaid” and all its songs in the movie!! ; ) That’s even more of a reason for my boyfriend to take me again to Disneyland as soon as this ride is open! ; )


Rachael on January 20th, 2011 at 8:32 pm

How different/similar is this ride to the teaser concept ride featured on the special edtion “Little Mermaid” DVD?


Diann on January 20th, 2011 at 9:01 pm

thank you for creating a fun ride! can’t wait to visit:)


Fred from CA on January 20th, 2011 at 9:48 pm

I’m looking forward to seeing the new exhibit that will be opening next week in the Blue Sky Cellar. I hear that they are going to have a more detailed look at the Little Mermaid ride.


Terry on January 20th, 2011 at 11:19 pm

This is the same ride that was mocked up in 3D Animation on the 2006 Platinum Release of the Little Mermaid on DVD. As they presented it back then, they wanted to do this ride a while back but it didn’t come to fruition, so they modeled the entire ride as it was planned in 3D animation and created a virtual ride thru. If you want to see what this ride will look like (with some changes I’m sure), check out the virtual ride-thru on that DVD! I’m glad that “The Ride That Almost Was” is about to become “The Ride That Is!”


Krista on January 21st, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Mark, it is the same for me. I let the video load fully before watching and it still comes out choppy, like it is just a series of stills. Very frustrating! I’m using Win. 7.


Daniel from CA on January 21st, 2011 at 2:39 pm

You know, there was a time in Disney when showing images of an attraction under construction, as detailed as this, was totally forbidden.

Much props to whomever, on whatever management team to FINALLY o.k. a behind the scenes look as detailed as this.

We NEVER saw whole warehouse type scenes, with unfinished scenery, props, and animatronics.

It’s totally great, and really, REALLY cool to see!

I think Walt wanted to save much of this for opening day. But, you know what? It’s o.k.! Even a video ride through of any attraction (weather under construction, or finalized) will never replace actually being there. Because, that’s how the attractions are designed. For live view, and not to live inside a video box.

I can’t wait to see it!

Walt Disney Imagineering – YOU ARE AWESOME!!

And yet, I wonder what the store is going to be like at the end of the thing…??? Anyone?


Fred from CA on January 21st, 2011 at 4:14 pm

I agree. Its awesome to see behind the scenes videos like this, and nothing beats experiencing an attraction in person. As a side note, due to the limited space that they had to fit this attraction into the park, I am almost positive that there will not be a store at the exit of this ride. Instead, they will be using an existing souvenir stand nearby (previously named “Souvenir 66″) and will rename it “Seaside Souvenirs.”


Scot on January 21st, 2011 at 10:38 pm

This is going to be so cool. i love how Disney brings the magic to life.


Christine from SC on January 21st, 2011 at 11:18 pm

I am SO excited about all the new features coming to both WDW and Disneyland, but this gives me goosebumps. The Little Mermaid was my first big-girl movie (I was 2) and Voyage of the Little Mermaid was my favorite attraction as a 6 year old during my first visit to WDW.
I grew up LOVING everything Disney and these sneak-peaks make the anticipation of a new adventure so much more magical!
I still dream of being an Imagineer when I really grow up.


Lory from UT on January 23rd, 2011 at 9:17 am

Yeah! :)


Barbara from PA on January 24th, 2011 at 9:31 am

What a thrill to see a real Disney ride/attraction again!!! I’m so excited for this!! It looks amazing! Let’s hope this trend continues and we get to see more of what we love about our Disney parks!! Woohoo!


Chandra on January 24th, 2011 at 11:08 am

Whoo! I can wait! Ariel is my favorite Disney character and I am so glad you picked under the sea as the song for this ride. Can’t wait ti see it this summer! :)


Susan from VT on January 25th, 2011 at 9:08 am

We here at Advanced Animations in Vermont truly loved working on this exciting project. I think the world is going to enjoy this ride more than anyone knows!


Sonya on January 26th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

I can’t wait!