More Behind the Scenes Stories

The Clam Shells Have Arrived at Disney California Adventure Park!

It’s always fun to see the evolution of an attraction. From renderings to construction to opening day – every step is Disney magic at its best. In the past, we couldn’t really take you along for the ride. But now, the Disney Parks Blog gives you a backstage pass. In this video, shot at Disney California Adventure park, we once again take you behind the scenes of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. By the way, the idea of a Little Mermaid attraction has been bantered about since the movie opened back in 1989.

Recently, the Mermaid ride vehicles – which look like clam shells – were installed on the attraction at Paradise Pier. There are more than 100 clam shells. Some are green. Some are orange. And some are marigold. They each hold 2-3 people. (The ADA vehicles are “chariots” and they’re styled after carved chariot seats from carousels of the early 20th century.)

This video is from the recent installation. It reminds me of the holidays as one of the clam shells is unwrapped before being installed in the attraction. I am happy to be able to share this behind-the-scenes peek with you as we take the journey from creation, construction and grand opening of this amazing attraction. Enjoy!


  • i hate just opening up normal boxes. can you imagine how long it will take them to install every single one

  • So my question is will Star Tours be open for my June 2nd Grad Night or do have to leave the park and come back two hours later?

  • PLEASE put in some nice cushions on those seats.

  • Sounds and looks awesome! Thanks for the enticing renderings and video of the arrival of the Clam Buggies! Job Well Done to the Imagineers and all their Disney Helpers!! Our family can’t wait to come this June and enjoy it all… U ROCK!!!

  • Hi Coach Val! Kassandra says hi! Can’t wait to go on this ride, it’ looks great!

  • It’s the undersea version of Doom Buggies, Shell Buggies! I can’t wait!

  • Thank you for sharing this! As a family we are SO excited for the opening of this ride!

  • #10 – I’ve been excited about this ride ever since I saw the ideas for one on the Little Mermaid DVD extras! Then when they announced it was coming to DCA, I was definitely ecstatic!

    Since I also have red hair, Ariel is my favorite princess, and the concept art for this attraction in the Blue Sky Cellar have looked phenomenal!

    I’m most interested in what the ADA “chariots” look like, since I’m in a wheelchair and can’t transfer. Maybe if these work out well enough here, they can add some to the Haunted Mansion!

  • I thoroughly enjoy when you post behind-the-scenes footage. Thanks for sharing this with us Disney folk.

  • I need to convince someone to take me to see this! I always wanted a little mermaid ride! This is going to be Epic!

  • So I assume the ride will be like Haunted Mansion? You board the ride on a moving walkway just like how on HM when you’re boarding the doom buggies? This will definitely help keep lines moving along quickly. When do we get to learn more about the lines of this ride, since you’ve already announced that it will have a “very good loading system”?

  • I am really excited about the ride.

    Thanks for this video peek. 🙂

  • My daughter is THE biggest Little Mermaid fan – and she’s 20! Since she was two years old she’s loved and collected Ariel things. When she went to college, her roommate also loved Ariel – what are the chances! They actually have a picture of Ariel in their room. My daughter is so excited for this ride she almost can’t wait! I’m excited just watching her! Hope she’s first in line!

  • I am SO excited for this ride! I am missing school just to go ride it on June 3rd!!! 😀

  • Can’t wait to ride in a clam shell under the sea ! California Adventure Park is really coming into it’s own. The additions and improvements such as, The World of Color, The Little Mermaid and Car’s Land, etc…makes it very entertaining. Will these new rides have a Fast Pass ? Toy Story Mania is in desperate need of one. It is always packed. I see the same lines forming in my head to get on this new ride. I’m gonna wish upon a star…for Fast Pass Tickets for ALL of the major park rides. We will see if dreams really come true ! …just joking around Disney…I love you no matter how crowded you are !…but Fast Passes would be really nice.

  • Thank you for the update Valerie! Will this be the first opportunity for guests to ride, or will there be soft openings leading up to June 3rd?

  • as a pass holder and lover of Disneyland …I am so excited for this ride…we don’t usually go to Disneyland or Cal adventure during the summer…but we will be so excited for this ride in the fall…It looks so amazing…my daughter just might have to dress as Ariel in honor of this opening up!…

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