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Behind the Scenes: Imagineers Use Digital Technology to Create Art for New Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom Park

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid is one of several attractions currently under construction in the New Fantasyland expansion of Magic Kingdom Park.

This is a very exciting time as various elements are currently being installed in the attraction. Walt Disney Imagineers are currently putting the finishing touches on a sweeping seaside mural that will welcome guests to the load-in area of this attraction.

This video, provided by WDI, shows how Imagineers created an experimental process using digital technology to design the mural, and then used portable tablets to guide them in the artistic process when it came time to put paint on canvas.

How do you think it turned out?

Take a look back at more about Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid on the Disney Parks Blog:


  • Everything looks great but, How do they move it over to the attraction?

  • @Adam: I didn’t see a hidden Mickey. I was just asking if there was a hidden Mickey. Sorry.

  • Larry Nikolai and the rest of the Imagineers has done such a fantastic job at bringing this story to life in this ride! So excited to ride it on both coast!

  • After seeing the clip, I am so excited to have Journey of the Little Mermaid come to Disney World. I have heard so many good things about it from Disneyland, but have never been. I was wondering what type of program they are using to create the mural first. Is it an Adobe product or something newer? I’ve always wanted to be a Disney Imagineer and am working towards that dream. Thanks for the updates on the new Fantasyland!

    • I’m happy you like the updates. They’re a lot of fun to share.

  • I love this attraction!
    The attraction in California Adventure was not a “building takeover”, the building that was there was demolished and rebuilt for the attraction. The entry rotunda did exist and was kept. It was cool to watch it’s demolition and construction. They were limited by space available, however.

  • I can’t wait to compare this version to the California Disney version. It will be interesting to see how it differs since you are creating the area for this attraction and in California you took over an existing building that you beautifully transformed.

  • I saw this while riding the back lot tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios a few weeks ago. I was wondering why something that beautiful was left in the back of the building. I’m glad to hear it will be used, it’s beautiful.

  • That mural looks stunning! I love how it’s different from California’s version. It would also make a great wallpaper for a desktop background!

  • Carol, at what moment in the video are you seeing the hidden Mickey? I’ve watched it a couple times and I don’t see it! Anyway, I think the mural looks beautiful. Can’t wait to see it in person!

  • OMG!!!! I need to go and see that when it opens. I love the Little Mermaid. Going on thus ride is going to be a dream come true for me.

  • Is there a hidden Mickey on the mural?

    • Hmm…that’s a good question.

  • I want to work with you!! Hire me!!! :)

  • That is beautiful and amazing work! I cannot wait to see it in person. Great job artists. :)

  • OMG!!! It’s beautiful and amazing they could use a digital technology to see what it would look like first then painted from there. I can’t wait to see it in person.

  • This is my 81 1/2 year old Mom’s favorite ride at California Adventures … so glad Florida is getting one as well!

    • I’m glad you like it! We’re looking forward to it.

  • Wow it looks great! I find it fascinating that some of the work is painted right there at Hollywood Studios! Can’t wait for this expansion to be put into place, and that mural truly looks larger than life just like the rest of the expansion! Awesome work!

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