When preparing to visit Walt Disney World Resort, do you watch your favorite Disney films to refresh your memory? The Walt Disney Company is banking on the idea that you won’t, especially regarding this Magic Kingdom attraction.
Magic Kingdom is home to classic attractions, such as Peter Pan’s Flight, Space Mountain, the Haunted Mansion, and “it’s a small world.”
The theme park’s Fantasyland area is easily the most whimsical place in all of Walt Disney World, and the expansion of New Fantasyland only makes it even greater!
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New Fantasyland is home to Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, a slow-moving attraction telling the enchanted tale of the beloved Disney film. However, this attraction tells a different version of the story of the Little Mermaid, one that moves rather quickly.
This isn’t uncommon for dark-ride attractions which retell a beloved story. Take Peter Pan’s Flight, which condenses a full-length film into a two-minute ride. But Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid cuts out significant events to rush the ride along.
A fan recently posted the track layout for Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, showing each scene in the attraction. Scenes 2 and 3 introduce the Guest to the attraction, in which Scuttle announces that he will tell us the enchanted tale of the Little Mermaid, and the Guests venture beneath the waves to live in Ariel’s world.
Track layout for ‘Under The Sea – Journey Of The Little Mermaid’ from WaltDisneyWorld
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Scene 4 treats Guests to the beloved “Part of Your World” scene in Ariel’s Grotto. Scene 5, the most extensive and most impressive room in the entire attraction, is the “Under the Sea” sequence. Scene 6 takes Guests into Ursula’s lair, where she sings “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”
Scene 7 brings Guests back onto land, and scene 8 shows the beloved “Kiss the Girl” sequence. Scene 9 is concise as it shows Ursula’s defeat and the true love’s kiss Ariel and Prince Eric share. Scene 10 is the happy ending, in which Guests get to see Ariel and Eric’s iconic wedding on their ship.
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After unpacking the attraction, you may notice that many major plot points are missing, such as King Triton destroying Ariel’s beloved grotto, Ursula stealing Ariel’s voice to impersonate her, Ariel’s frightening transformation, and most important of all, Ariel and Eric teaming up to defeat the Sea Witch after King Triton signs away his power. Due to how rushed this attraction is, Guests also miss out on King Triton’s selfless act of love: granting Ariel her legs so she can be with Prince Eric.
Although this beloved attraction is a fan favorite, it’s incredibly rushed, which is a bummer!
Princess Ariel is easily one of the most popular Disney Princesses, and The Little Mermaid (1989) not only kicked off the Disney Renaissance but it also revitalized Disney Animated Musicals as a genre. If it weren’t for the success of The Little Mermaid, we likely wouldn’t have gotten other classics such as Beauty and the Beast (1991), Aladdin (1992), The Lion King (1994), or other Disney Renaissance films.
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Riding Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid after recently watching the film will easily make you feel as if they’ve done the movie a disservice with this attraction. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that Disney would ever revamp this attraction to give it more scenes, as that’s just unfeasible.
But on the bright side, at least The Little Mermaid has an attraction for fans to enjoy!