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All in the Details: The First Photos from Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

Today we’re thrilled to share the very first photos from inside the Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid attraction, which will open at Magic Kingdom Park this December.

Housed in the grottos below Prince Eric’s Castle, this New Fantasyland attraction invites guests to follow Ariel on her remarkable journey as she meets Prince Eric, falls in love, and makes a deal with Ursula, the evil Sea Witch.
A Scene in Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

These photos, supplied by Walt Disney Imagineering, are some of my favorite that we’ve shared in our “All in the Details” series so far. I love this shot, which is obviously inspired by the “Kiss the Girl” scene from the film.

A Scene in Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park A Scene in Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom Park

And check out some of Sebastian’s friends above – sure looks like they’re having fun “Under the Sea.”

Many of you have asked about the differences between this attraction and The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction at Disney California Adventure park. For that answer, you can’t miss our previous posts and photos of the attraction’s impressive exterior, which includes Prince Eric’s Castle, and its queue, which leads through shipwrecks and rocky cliffs below.

Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and follow @WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter for the latest on the New Fantasyland expansion. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtag #NewFantasyland.


  • We’re going after Thanksgiving and we’re ‘Wishing on a Star’ that we can go on this new attraction (and we’re staying in the AoA’s new LM section! So excited!

  • SOOO can’t wait!!! I will be there the day of the preview and the day after in November. I know you are checking into if this will be open then or not, I’m really really hoping it is!!!!! can not WAIT!

  • Seriously, settle a bet for me. Did you just take a photo of the California Adventure ride and pass it off as the one in Florida, or have you really, down to the leaves on the trees, identically cloned the Kiss the Girl scene in the ride?

  • Hi, I am new to the blog. do you know when seven drawfs mine will open? planning to take grandsons in 6 /13 Thank you

  • There are two F&B locations in New Fantasyland – Be Our Guest Restaurant and Gaston’s Tavern. Both are Beauty & The Beast themed.

  • can you tell me if there will be a food place for the new ariel grotto? ANd if so when will it open?

  • I just can’t wait to see this!!!!! Amazing pics, amazing ride, amazing New Fantasyland. I’m crossing my fingers to see Jodi Benson singing there on Dec. 6 🙂

  • Do we have any idea when they will be giving us more information about the preview period? It won’t be open the same as the park? All rides not open for preview? Any information would be greatly appreciated!!!

    • New Fantasyland opens in Preview Phase beginning Nov. 19. This means attractions in this area may experience limited operating hours.

  • Cannot wait to ride this new attraction!!

  • Very exciting!! It seems like both of the new castles will make great photo opportunities. Will there be Photo Pass photographers nearby for these great backdrops?

  • Hi Jenn…. I know that you dont comment on the splits ville but i have left a few questions for the gentalmen a few months ago and i still havent recived no feed back … i was wondering if we need reservation when it does open and if there is a release date as of yet ??

    • No opening date has been announced yet – keep checking back. Also, reservations will be offered for both dining and bowling.

  • Will have to wait until next August to see The Little Mermaid but we all loved riding the new DUMBO!

  • It appears the photo of the Kiss The Girl scene is actually a photo from the Disney Parks Blog that appeared here in 2011 and taken inside the California Adventure of the ride. Is this a borrowed photo from California Adventure, or did WDI really create a scene that is minutely identical to the California version, right down to the small leaves hanging exactly the same way in front of the moon?

    It’s been stated that the interiors of the two Mermaid rides will be identical, but are they really that identical?

  • It’s absolutely amazing how the Imagineers got the WDW version of this ride to identically match the California Adventure version of this ride! Right down to the exact way the tiny leaves drape over the moon in the Kiss The Girl scene; they must have worked for hours to get those leaves to drape exactly like the ones in California. Disney magic at its best!

  • Will Ariel have her “updo” in this version or the “new” hair that was installed at DCA recently???

    • Hmm, not sure. I’ll look into it.

  • Jennifer,

    Will there be any grand opening ceremonies associated with this version of the attraction as there was out in DCA? My father and I were there for the grand opening and the performance by Jodi Benson was fantastic. Also, will there be any special grand opening celebrations associated with the other attractions?

    Be prepared for lines people! This ride was so popular opening day in DCA. The line got up to just below 6 hours.

    • There will be a grand opening on Dec. 6, but plans are yet-to-be announced. Keep checking back.

  • It’s… So… Beautiful!! *starts bawling* You guys just keep making my dreams come true.

    My sister and I would get the DVD out just for the ride!

  • The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney princess film (Mary Poppins is my favorite of all time and we get to see her in The Great Movie Ride!), so my sister bought me the DVD when it came out 5-6 years ago. On the DVD was a special “ride through” of the proposed attraction, before anything was announced on either coast, so I have been waiting for a really long time to get to finally ride a Little Mermaid ride at a park! I was lucky enough to ride it at Disney California Adventure last year and fell head over heels in love with it. I am SO EXCITED to have it at my home park, though! I can’t wait! It looks AMAZING!

  • The Kiss the Girl image appears to be from California not Florida. Everything from lighting down to the length of the leaves appears to match California exactly.

  • Can’t wait. We won’t be there until March, but already I’m thinking we don’t have enough days planned to be at Disney!

  • What is preview period and when is it set to start in November?

    • The preview period begins Nov. 19. This means that the new attractions in New Fantasyland may be open to guests, but will have limited operating hours.

  • These photos look like a carbon copy of the same attraction at DCA.

  • Hi Jennifer…. I’ve never seen the castle on the West coast, so I have to ask you: Will the castle’s exterior here in Florida be more spectacular than the one in CA?

    • There is no castle exterior to the attraction in California. Our attraction will be housed in this:

  • I do hope this will be open the nights of Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party – maybe then the lines will be just a little bit shorter.

    • That sounds like a great plan, Elaine. You’ll have a great time at the event, too.

  • This looks so amazing. We will be at the MK on December 7 so we will be able to experience this ride. I haven’t been to WDW in 6 years so am so looking forward to all the new attractions. And very glad that we will be there when all these new attractions will be open.

  • We will be in Disney November 9th through the 16th celebrating two birthdays, we can’t wait! Is there any way the preview dates might move up a few days?

  • OMG! My daughter is going to be so excited to ride this in Dec on our next trip. We LOVE WDW! There is no place as wonderful on earth as WDW! I will now be all smiles for the rest of the day! 🙂

  • It looks just like the one at Disney’s California Adventure! (: It’s cool that now Magic Kingdom gets one of their own to experience. °o°

    • Inside, yes. I can’t stress enough how different the attraction is on the outside. It will be a favorite background for photos for sure!

  • Visiting from the UK later this month, can’t wait to see all that has happened since our last visit in February.It is so exciting!!

    • You’ll notice a BIG difference, Christine. I hope you have a blast.

  • 109 days and we are there! Hope there is all the great music from the movie throughout the ride too 🙂

  • My family and I try to make it to WDW every couple of years. Our next trip is next year. I’m amazed (but starting to realize I shouldn’t be)of how hard Disney works to keep things fresh and exciting year after year. The things that we love about the parks are always there, and there are always new things to fall in love with on each trip. It’s the Happiest Place On Earth!

  • I will be there for the week of 12/1-12/7 cant wait to see it!!!

    • That’s a great time to visit. New Fantasyland + holidays = FUN!

  • I’m so stoked!! Any news on the Passholder Preview?

  • SO Bummed out that this won’t be open at the end of October. Seems like everything is planned for Christmas.

  • I’m getting so EXCITED!!!! Can next June get here please. Wahoo!

  • My maiden name means “Guardian of the Sea Horse” is it any wonder Ariel has always been my favorite.
    When is the passholder preview?

  • Yay!!! So excited!!

  • Jennifer, this attraction is quite the same of that one at Disney’s California Adventure, right?

    If it’s right, little girls will love that, as my daughter loves! 🙂

    • The interior is the same, but the exterior is completely different (and amazing).

  • This looks great! We’ll be there next September and have two days planned for Magic Kingdom so we can be sure to see all the great new additions. Is this going to be a ride that takes you through the story, similar to Pirates of the Carribean? Or is it more of a walking tour or the story?

  • Can you please tell us if the Ariel ride will be open tfor he preview days starting Nov.19. Please say yes! We will be there till Nov. 21 and are sooooo excited. Have rev for Be Our Guest!!! I think I’m as excited as my 3 grandchildren. 🙂 Thanks , Granny Sandra

    • The preview period begins then, but I have no specific information on what attractions will be open at what times on those days.

  • We are coming next month. Super bummed I’m going to miss this!! I love the Little Mermaid.

  • The article says this ride will be open this December. My husband and I will be celebrating our 14th wedding anniversary at Disney World the first week of December. We’re already terribly disappointed that we have been unable to get reservations to eat at the Be Our Guest Restaurant. I’d hate to not get to experience The Little Mermaid too. Has a specific December opening date been decided yet? Thanks in advance.

    • Dec. 6 is the grand opening of the attraction. The attraction will be in preview phase beginning in November.

  • looks great, i think it will make for great experiences for years to come!

  • Is there a height requirement on this ride?

    • There is no height requirement.

  • Will passholders be able to see the new fantasyland in November? I have reservations for Be Our Guest Nov. 22!! Will I be able to go on Ariel’s new ride as well?? 😀

  • Can’t wait to ride this!!!

  • SPECTACULAR. We cannot wait to see this when we are there at the end of November! That first picture looks so much like the movie I thought it was just a still at first.

    • That’s great to hear, Meredith.

  • It is going to be hard to get a kid to leave Fantasyland after everything is open! I imagine my little girl will want to ride this and see Belle and Ariel as many times as she now likes to ride Dumbo and the Carousel!

    • Sounds like she’s in for a real treat. 🙂

  • Lovely! Cannot wait to see it in person! The last day of our trip is the frist preview day…so exciting!!! Do you know if FastPasses will be available during the previews?

    • Let me look into it.

  • Love Love Love!! Can’t wait for this attraction to open!! 🙂

    • I’m happy you’re excited, Susan.

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