On the heels of our Josh Sharpes amazing interview with The Little Mermaid herself Jodi Benson. I figured it would be a great time to take a look at the attraction that shares the same name. So let us take a trip under the sea and dive into the history of The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure at Disneys California Adventure Park.
On November 14th,1989, The Little Mermaid swam her way onto our lives. This was also the first film of Disney Renassaince Era. Because of the overwhelming success, Ariel was soon to get her ride at a Disney park. Or at least that was the plan. A Little Mermaid dark ride was supposed to open at Disneyland Paris and The Magic Kingdom in the early to mid-1990s. The ideas were scrapped, but the Imagineers did not give up. It would take over 10 years for the idea to be brought up again.
On February 8th, 2001, Disneys California Adventure opened at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim California. With the underwhelming success of DCA, Disney decided that the park need to have some big changes. In 200, Disney announced that DCA would be getting a major expansion that would cost over a billion dollars. This expansion would be done in phases. The first phase would include Toy Story Mania, World of Color, and Ariels Undersea Adventure.
Construction on phase one began in December of 2007. It would be the last attraction as part of phase one. In order to make room for the Little Ride, Disney had to tear down the theater that housed Golden Dreams starring Whoopi Goldberg. Ariels adventure is an Omni Mover ride similar to the Haunted Mansion. This was done to give it a huge capacity and a great place to take your family on a hot day and not wait long and cool off.
Ariels is considered to be one of the next generations in dark rides for Disney Parks. At its time it had the most advanced Audio-Animatronics anywhere which include Eric, Ariel, King Triton and Ursula the Sea Witch. The Little Mermaid: Ariels Undersea Adventure opened on June 3rd, 2011. It was a star-studded event that even included Jodi Benson singing songs from the movie. On December 6th, 2012 the same attraction opened at The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. The ride in Orland has a different facade and a different queue but the insides are the same. So make sure, when you visit a Disney Park on either coast you take the time to visit and all of her friends under the sea.