“The Little Mermaid” Animators Tour The Little Mermaid~Ariel’s Undersea Adventure Attraction at Disney California Adventure Park

I know “The Little Mermaid” fans have been eagerly awaiting the opening of The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at Disney California Adventure park. I’ve been waiting since I first saw the movie back in 1989! There are three other people who’ve also been hoping that someday a Little Mermaid attraction would open at Disney Parks: legendary Disney animators Glen Keane, Mark Henn and Andreas Deja. These three talented men are some of the creative minds behind all those lovable characters in the movie.

Recently, Walt Disney Imagineers Larry Nikolai and Chris Crump gave the animators a tour of the new attraction. I was lucky enough to also be on this tour, along with a crew from D23’s magazine, Disney twenty-three . You can read their extensive article in this month’s issue and here.

In this video you get to see a rare Disney moment: animators seeing their work come to life in a Disney Parks attraction. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. And remember, The Little Mermaid~Ariel’s Undersea Adventure opens at Disney California Adventure park on June 3.


  • I can’t wait to ride this in September, we are so excited! I think I spotted a Hidden Mickey in the “pores” of the newt’s flute during the video. Does anybody else see it in the closeup towards the end of the video?

  • I agree that this will be a great addition at Walt Disney World!! I can’t wait to sing along with Sebastian!!

  • I can’t wait until it comes to Walt Disney World!

  • Theresa–
    Yes, it is scheduled to open in late 2012 in Walt Disney World.

  • Will there be The Little Mermaid ride in Disney World? I am really hoping there will be because Ariel is my favorite princess.

  • Will this ride have a “preview” type contest like the Star Tours ride?? I’m bummed I didn’t sign up for Star Tours but I’m super excited about The Littler Mermaid!

  • This ride will probably become one of my Disneyland Resort favorites (currently my favorites are: Indiana Jones and the Best Ride Ever (I mean, Indiana Jones Adventure), Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Haunted Mansion Holiday (seasonal), Peter Pan’s Flight, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Monsters Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Splash Mountain (it would rank higher for me if you didn’t get wet), “it’s a small world,” Space Mountain, Pirates of the Caribbean, Haunted Mansion, Jungle Cruise (at night), Soarin’ Over California, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad)!

    The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure looks like it’s got the music, the animatronics, the creative touches, the ability to immerse guests in a story, and no stomach-churning motion simulation. I’m really looking forward to it!

  • I, too, saw this in theaters when I was a little girl, and I am so excited to get to experience this beautiful new ride! It looks awesome! I’m so thankful for the hardwork and innovative ideas from the Imagineers. 🙂

  • WOW………..

  • What a great opportunity to listen to these cool imagineers and animators this evening at the Grand Californian! Being able to behold ‘Ariel’ animator Mark Henn beholding his own artistry projected onto the water screens at World of Color personified the word ‘inspiring’. Thank you!

  • Is there any chance they will have some soft openings? I so want to go on this, but I will be at the parks May 19-23! I am keeping my fingers crossed!

  • After decades from the movie premiering, it must have been incredibly surreal for those 3 to be able to see the ride brought to life! Amazing.

  • I can’t wait to bring my daughter to Disneyland. Her favourite Princess is Ariel.I know that this new ride will be her favourite. It’s been 11 years since I was last there & I can’t wait to see the changes. It’s going to be worth the 14hour flight from Australia.

  • Can’t wait……..excited…counting down…

  • Just wish it was opening a week earlier, that’s when i’ll be there on my honeymoon. I was super bummed it opens the week after i’ll be there. Guess i’ll just have to catch it the next time i can go

  • These men are indeed legends! Animators Glen Keane, Mark Henn and Andreas Deja shaped Disney animation into what it is today. I’ve watched them and others many times on the DVD extras of the films they worked on. They are so inspirational to me, so much so that it makes me want to make a career change and join the team at Disney! I want to be part of the team that makes so much happiness for others. If WDI isn’t already planning a “Beauty and the Beast” ride, maybe I could plant a seed for that.

  • Awe I love it!!!! Too bad I live on the other side of the country and have to wait until the one at WDW opens. 🙁 Oh well I can try to wait! 🙂

  • wow way to go disney withe the lastest and greatest animation ever
    cant wait for this ride we travel from the eat coast to the west coast just to experience whats new at disneyland… hope this ride comes to disneyworld in orlando……….way to go and keep up the great work,….walt would be estatic at your accomplishments

  • This ride looks amazing!

    Its been a long time since the Disneyland Resort has gotten an attraction with such advanced audio-animatronics!

    I’m also excited about Star Tours, and the new parade at Disneyland.

    I know I keep saying this, but its going to be a very exciting summer at the Disneyland Resort!

  • Oh, thank you for sharing! It is fantastic to hear what the animators think of the ride! Now I really can’t wait until the 3rd!

  • I read these blog entries all the time, but never comment. I have to come out of the woodworks to say that I am SO VERY excited for this ride!!!! I saw The Little Mermaid in the theater as a little girl, and I am beyond happy that I will now be able to experience the magic of the movie in Ariel’s very own ride! It looks great and I can’t wait!

  • Well done WDI! This attraction looks amazing! Can’t wait to take my voyage under the sea!

  • This video just made me so much more excited to ride this opening day! Amazing job! KEEP up the AMAZING work!! 😀

  • OOOOOOOOOO I cannot wait!!!!! 35 more days until we leave and get to see this ride for ourselves! 😀

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