The latest attraction at Disney’s Californian Adventure park tells the story of everyone’s favorite Little Mermaid. Ariel’s Undersea Adventure debuted on 2nd June 2011 and has already proved to be very popular with park guests.
Ariel and her friends are to be found in the Paradise Pier area of the park where the Golden Dreams attraction used to be. The line is in the shade and moves pretty quickly – which is fortunate as there is not much to entertain you whilst waiting. Although one very welcome feature of the line is the soundtrack which was created using the original songs from the movie but creating a whole new orchestral medley.
As you approach the ride boarding area you will see the beautiful 86 foot long hand painted mural designed by Larry Nikolai with scenes from the Little Mermaid movie.
Each guest boards a brightly colored clam shell and takes a 5 1/2 minute journey under the sea with Ariel. There are almost 200 audio animatronic figures included in the ride. Each new attraction has it’s own particular challenges and Ariels ride was no exception. Working out how Ariels hair should move was a particular problem. Another challenge was the fact Ariel, King Triton and Ursula have so much skin exposed a new skin technology needed to be introduced for them.
Your clam shell moves through different scenes which all tell the Little Mermaid story. The most spectacular of these is the Under The Sea scene which features 120 animatronic figures. Look out and see what you think of Ariel’s hair in this scene – it certainly seems to have a strange life of it’s own!
Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is a welcome addition to Disney’s California Adventure but I have to confess being slightly disappointed. Everything is very well done but it just didn’t seem to take anything to a new level. We expect so much from Disney and usually they over perform. The other new attraction Star Tours The Adventure Continues is amazing and takes the experience to a whole new level. With Star Tours you are part of the experience. In Ariel you just never seem to really be very involved. With the exception of the Under The Sea scene there just isn’t quite enough to immerse you in the whole underwater journey. Perhaps we just want too much these days, but Ariel’s Undersea Adventure somehow left me wanting more.