Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid Fun Facts

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Filed in: Fantasyland Expansion, Magic Kingdom

Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid opened in fall 2012 at Magic Kingdom park, located at Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. This whimsical underwater adventure begins when guests board pastel-colored clamshell vehicles and head “under the sea” to visit Ariel and her friends in a musical retelling of the classic motion picture. During this immersive experience, guests will see the Little Mermaid falling in love, getting her legs, losing her voice and winning the prince as the best-loved musical numbers bring the attraction to life all around them.

  • This is the first Walt Disney World Resort ride-through attraction that takes you “under the sea” with Ariel, Prince Eric, Sebastian and Ursula, with music and scenes from “The Little Mermaid” film.
  • Nearly 200 Audio-Animatronics figures perform in the attraction. The Under the Sea scene alone has 128 figures, including 50 spinning starfish.
  • Ursula is the largest Audio-Animatronics figure in the show at 7½-feet tall and 12-feet wide. She also has a squash-and-stretch function in her torso and flexible materials so she can bounce along with the music.
  • An 86-foot long, hand-painted mural greets guests in the loading area of the attraction. The mural depicts Ariel at dusk.
  • The attraction is being created by a team of talented Imagineers from Florida and California.
  • A special skin technology had to be incorporated into the Audio-Animatronics figures for Ariel, King Triton and Ursula since they have so much skin exposed.
  • The attraction features an Omnimover ride system pioneered by Walt Disney Imagineers in the 1960s and used for the “Doom Buggies” of the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland park.
  • Attraction vehicles are sculpted multi-colored, pastel clamshells.
  • The attraction experience is approximately 5½ minutes from the time guests load the clamshell to the time they exit the clamshell.
  • Music in the queue features an orchestral medley of songs from the film.
  • Songs from the original film written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken are featured in the attraction: “Part of Your World,” “Kiss the Girl,” “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” and the Academy Award winning “Under the Sea.” Guests will recognize the voices of Jodi Benson (Ariel) and Pat Carroll (Ursula).
  • The Little Mermaid feature film debuted November 15, 1989, and the film won Academy Awards for Best Song, “Under the Sea,” and Best Original Score.
  • The Little Mermaid was the first Disney film based on a classic fairy tale since Sleeping Beauty three decades earlier.
  • Each scene of the attraction was first built as a one-quarter-inch scale model and then as a one‑inch scale model, so Imagineers could “ride” through the attraction scene-by-scene before full construction began.
  • The attraction concludes with a surprise ending that takes us beyond the ending of the film.

About Walt Disney World Resort

Walt Disney World Resort is a contiguous, nearly 40-square-mile, world-class entertainment and recreation center featuring four theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom); two water adventure parks (Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon); 35 resort hotels (25 owned and operated by Walt Disney World, includes seven Disney Vacation Club resort properties); 81 holes of golf on five courses; two full-service spas; Disney’s Wedding Pavilion; ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex; and Downtown Disney, an entertainment-shopping-dining complex.  Walt Disney World Resort is also included in vacation packages of Disney Cruise Line. Located at Lake Buena Vista, Fla., 20 miles southwest of Orlando, Walt Disney World Resort opened Oct. 1, 1971.  Open daily, year-round.

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