“Voyage of the Little Mermaid” is one of Hollywood Studio’s fabulous shows. It tells an abridged version of The Little Mermaid story and uses songs from the 1989 Disney classic. Special effects make the performance interesting to watch, and a strong storyline and memorable characters keep people coming back time and time again. Knowing a bit of backstory for any given attraction helps make the whole experience more exciting, and “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” is certainly no exception. For this reason, we’ve taken the time to compile a few fun facts about this show for your reading pleasure.
1. Replacement Show
“Voyage of the Little Mermaid” isn’t the only show to have occupied the theater it calls home. Before the show’s opening in 1992, the theater played host to a Muppets show titled “Here Comes the Muppets”. This was a temporary show meant to welcome the Muppets to the Disney parks and pave the way for Muppet*Vision 3D.
2. Temporary Attraction
Actually, “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” was supposed to be a temporary attraction as well. However, the show was so popular that Disney’s Imagineers decided to keep it around for a bit longer than planned. This year the show will be 26 years old, but it’s still filling seats day after day.
3. Crowning a Princess
Leanza Cornett was one of the few actresses who had the privilege of playing Ariel when “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” opened in 1992. This wasn’t the only time she was treated like royalty though. During the very same year, this lovely princess was crowned Miss Florida, going on to become Miss America in 1993. That’s a lot of crowns!
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4. Giant Villain
In every Disney version of the Little Mermaid story, Ursula the sea witch is enormous and intimidating. She’s especially large in this performance though. In fact, the puppet playing Ursula clocks in at a massive 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide! As you might imagine, a puppet this big requires multiple puppeteers to keep her under control.
5. Invisible Performers
During the “Under the Sea” scene of the show, fish of all shapes, sizes, and colors seem to appear out of nowhere. The reality however, is that these fish are onstage the entire time. They are simply hidden by a covering of black which their black-clad puppeteers remove when the time comes for them to enter the scene.
6. Tightening It Up
“Voyage of the Little Mermaid” runs about 17 minutes long. However, this wasn’t always the case. When the show opened, it ran a few minutes longer, meaning fewer shows could fit into a day. The producers quickly realized that by tightening the show up, they could allow more guests to view the show. They removed all unnecessary dialogue, leaving us with the 17-minute show we know today, and thus adding some extra showings into the day.
7. Hidden Mickey
If you watch carefully at the beginning of the show, you might just be treated to a hidden Mickey. The lasers that grace the theater right as the show begins actually create a Mickey Mouse head. All you have to do is watch for it, and a little extra magic will be added to your day.
8. One of a Kind
An enormous number of Disney attractions have duplicates—or near duplicates—in other parks. If you’re looking for another chance to ride the teacups or Soarin’, for instance, you’ll find other opportunities easily. This isn’t the case for “Voyage of the Little Mermaid” though. This attraction is one of a kind, making it especially…well, special.
9. Sad Rumors
Despite the fact that this show entertains hundreds of guests each day, it is rumored that it will be leaving us soon. The show was definitely cutting edge for its time, but the innovative and future-focused Disney company is likely easily able to see that it will soon become obsolete. This fact, in addition to the need for space to expand upon the Pixar additions to the park, does make us think the attraction’s end could be near.
These 9 awesome facts are great for sharing among friends and family as you wait to see this wonderful show. Don’t wait too long though, or you may miss your opportunity altogether.