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When Did the Little Mermaid Ride Open at Disney World?

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Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is home to many beloved attractions, but few are as enchanting as “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid.” This ride, which takes guests on a magical journey through the world of Disney’s classic animated film “The Little Mermaid,” opened on December 6, 2012.


The Little Mermaid ride, officially known as “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid,” opened at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom on December 6, 2012. This ride takes guests on a magical journey through the world of Disney’s classic animated film “The Little Mermaid.”

The Inspiration Behind the Ride

The concept of a Little Mermaid ride was first explored in the early-to-mid-1990s by Walt Disney Imagineering. The idea was to develop a Little Mermaid dark ride for Disneyland Paris and Magic Kingdom parks. However, these plans never came to fruition. The idea was revisited in 2009 when Disney announced the expansion of Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom. The ride became a reality with the opening of “The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure” at Disney California Adventure in 2011, followed by the Magic Kingdom version in 2012.

Unique Features of the Ride

“Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid” offers a unique and immersive experience for visitors. The ride features a beautifully designed queue with interactive elements, such as a game where little crabs gather trash or treasure, and an audio-animatronic Scuttle who serves as the narrator for the adventure. The ride vehicles are shaped like large, colorful clamshells that seat two people. The ride comprises immersive special effects and hand-drawn animation sequences that take guests “underwater”. The attraction also features nearly 200 Audio-Animatronics figures, with the “Under the Sea” scene alone featuring 128 figures, including 50 spinning starfish.

Public Response and Renovations

The initial public response to the Little Mermaid Ride was generally positive, with guests appreciating the audio-animatronic elements and family-friendly nature of the ride. Since its opening, the ride has undergone several changes and renovations to improve its overall appeal and keep it up-to-date.

Little Mermaid Ride Trivia

Despite being an underrated attraction, the Little Mermaid Ride has several interesting aspects. For instance, the building’s fa├žade at Disney California Adventure features a statue of King Triton and relief carvings of Ariel’s six older sisters. Ursula, the villainous sea witch, is a large animatronic measuring 7.5 feet tall and 12 feet wide.

The Little Mermaid Ride in Comparison

While the Little Mermaid Ride may not be as popular as some other Disney World attractions, it has received positive feedback for its immersive ambiance and classic songs from the movie. Some guests have described it as a relaxing and magical experience, with impressive animatronics and an iconic soundtrack.

In Conclusion

The Little Mermaid Ride at Disney World offers a unique and captivating experience for visitors of all ages. From its opening in 2012, it has continued to charm and enchant guests with its immersive storytelling, impressive animatronics, and iconic soundtrack. Whether you’re a fan of the classic Disney film or simply looking for a magical undersea adventure, “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid” is a ride you won’t want to miss.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid” ride last?

The ride lasts approximately 6 minutes, providing a brief but immersive experience of Ariel’s undersea world.

Is the “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid” ride suitable for all ages?

Yes, the ride is designed to be family-friendly and can be enjoyed by visitors of all ages. There are no height requirements to ride.

Is “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid” ride accessible for guests with disabilities?

Yes, the ride is accessible for guests with disabilities. For guests using a wheelchair or Electric Conveyance Vehicle (ECV), they must transfer to a standard wheelchair to experience the attraction.

What is the location of “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid” in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom?

The ride is located in the Fantasyland area of Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

Are there any FastPass options for “Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid”?

Yes, FastPass+ service is available for this attraction, allowing guests to skip the regular line by reserving access in advance.

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