Wednesday, February 21, 2024

InPark Visits The Little Mermaid at Disney California Adventure

The new Little Mermaid attraction at Disney California Adventure is a delightful addition to the park, and harkens back to the “good old days” of Disney dark rides that bring their classic movies to life.

The clam shell vehicle loading area looks out directly onto the midway and is an appealing “sell” for the ride.

In the “Under the Sea” scene, Ariel dances while her hair, impressively animated, floats above her head as though submerged.

It’s hard not to tap your toe to the music, or even sing along a bit. The technology may be fairly “standard” but the emotional connection most people have to the music (and the story) is pretty intense.

Ursula is pretty intense herself.

Some people have complained that Ursula’s scene is too scary for some children, but I didn’t find it anymore threatening than any other Disney dark ride villain. It also is short and sandwiched between more upbeat scenes. 

The ride is short and moves quickly through the story of The Little Mermaid, but the narrative is easy to follow and has some memorable moments.

Proving once again that hi definition digital projection is here to stay, fireworks that might at one time have been created with fiber optics are now realistically projected into the scene. 

Naturally, there is a happy ending for The Little Mermaid, and the delightful journey comes to an end.

Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki
Martin Palicki owns and publishes InPark Magazine. Started in 2004, InPark Magazine provides owners and operators the perspective from "in"side the "park." Martin has also written for publications like Sound & Communications, Lighting & Sound America, Attractions Management and others. Martin has been featured in Time Magazine, and Folio. Martin lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA.

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