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Star Tours and Little Mermaid Attractions Launch Soundsational Summer at Disneyland Resort

Jodi Benson, Tom Staggs, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman, and Sherie Rene Scott appear on stage during the grand opening ceremony for ‘The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure’ at Disney California Adventure park in Anaheim, Calif., on Thursday. In the all-new attraction, Ariel’s story unfolds in colorful scenes filled with Audio-Animatronics characters and memorable music from the hit Disney animated motion picture, ‘The Little Mermaid.’ (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland Resort) ©2011 Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Two New Attractions and a Jammin’ Parade Take Center Stage at the Happiest Place on Earth This Summer

ANAHEIM, Calif., June 3, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Music, magic and galactic adventures marked the premiere of Disney Soundsational Summer 2011 on Thursday and Friday, June 2 and 3, at the Disneyland Resort. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs invited media and VIP guests on a journey to “fathoms below” and then to “a galaxy far, far away” as new attractions opened in both Disney California Adventure and Disneyland parks.

“Combining great storytelling with innovative technology has been a hallmark of The Walt Disney Company since the very beginning, and that spirit continues today with the opening of these two incredible attractions,” Staggs said. “Whether we’re taking guests ‘under the sea’ or to the farthest reaches of the galaxy, these new experiences will take them on an adventure they will never forget.”

The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure premiered on Thursday, June 2, in a ceremony highlighted by the appearance of Jodi Benson, the original voice of Ariel from the hit Disney animated film, “The Little Mermaid,” singing a contemporary version of the award-winning song “Part of Your World.” Representing the “dark side” of the mermaid tale was Sherie Renee Scott, star of Broadway’s “The Little Mermaid,” singing the anthem of Ursula the Sea Witch, “Poor Unfortunate Souls.”

The new Little Mermaid attraction takes guests into the world of Ariel and the cast of characters from the classic tale, immersing guests in the story and songs of the motion picture with a combination of Audio-Animatronics technology, special effects and Disney magic.

On Friday, June 3, new interplanetary journeys made their debuts at Disneyland park with the premiere of Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. Dark denizens of the “Star Wars” universe, including Darth Vader himself, blocked the entrance of the attraction early Friday until they were expelled by a group of Jedi Masters. Then Tom Staggs, wielding a light saber, performed the ribbon-cutting that opened the attraction.

Guests will never know where the Force might take them as they embark on the thrilling new journeys of Star Tours – The Adventures Continue. Eager travelers board fully re-imagined Starspeeders for interstellar treks to Coruscant, Hoth, Naboo and other destinations in the “Star Wars” galaxy, encountering characters from the Star Wars movies, many of them making their first appearances in the attraction. Now in eye-popping Dolby 3-D, the new Star Tours journeys feature more than 50 different story combinations, bridging that “long time ago” between the two “Star Wars” trilogies.

The two new attractions – The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and Star Tours – The Adventures Continue – are only part of the fun and excitement of Disney Soundsational Summer, 2011. On Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland, the new “Mickey’s Soundsational Parade” gets park guests into the beat of a giant jam session as Mickey Mouse and his friends stomp and strut to the sound of dynamic rhythms and bold percussion, daily this summer at Disneyland.

After-dark summer entertainment at Disneyland includes the “Magical” fireworks spectacular, in which both Tinker Bell and Dumbo take to the air over Sleeping Beauty Castle in a pyrotechnic display inspired by Disney’s most magical characters. Along the Rivers of America in Frontierland and New Orleans Square, “Fantasmic!” celebrates imagination as Mickey Mouse conjures up favorite characters – including such colorful villains as the fire-breathing dragon from “Sleeping Beauty” – in a sensational live show featuring film, lasers, fireworks and water effects.

At Disney California Adventure, the award-winning “World of Color” water spectacular continues for a second summer of nightly performances on Paradise Bay. The show combines images and music from classic Disney films with nearly 1,200 versatile performing fountains and a kaleidoscope of audio and visual effects. In Hollywood Pictures Backlot, “ElecTRONica” is a nightly party inspired by the Disney movie “TRON: Legacy.” DJs keep the energy going with electronic party music while “Sirens” and “Programs” from the movie rock out at locations throughout the party.

On July 1, Disney California Adventure expansion continues with the debuts of Goofy’s Sky School, a zany coaster attraction, along with two dining locations, Paradise Garden Grill and Boardwalk Pizza & Pasta. With the new Little Mermaid attraction, these additions complete the transformation of the Paradise Pier area in Disney California Adventure.

About the Disneyland Resort
The Disneyland Resort features two spectacular theme parks – Disneyland (the original Disney theme park) and Disney California Adventure park – plus the Downtown Disney District comprised of unique dining, entertainment and shopping experiences. The Resort’s three hotels are the luxurious, 948-room Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel & Spa, which also features 50 two-bedroom equivalent DVC units; the magical 969-room Disneyland Hotel and the 481-room Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel with its “day-at-the-beach” fun. For information visit www.disneyland.com.

Judith Rubin
Judith Rubin ([email protected]) is a leading journalist, publicist, strategist, blogger, content marketing specialist and connector in the international attractions industry. She excels at writing about all aspects of design and technical design, production and project management. Areas of special interest include AV integration and show control, lighting design and acoustics, specialty cinema, digital video and world’s fairs. Judith has ties to numerous industry organizations. From 2005-2020 she ran communications, publications and social media for the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA). In 2013, she was honored with the TEA Service Award. She was development director of IMERSA, and co-chair of the 2014 IMERSA Summit. She was publicist for the Large Format Cinema Association in the 1990s, now part of the Giant Screen Cinema Association (GSCA) and has also contributed to the publications of PLASA, IAAPA and the International Planetarium Society. Already making her mark as a magazine and book editor, Judith joined World’s Fair magazine in 1987, which introduced her to the attractions industry. Launching as a freelancer in the mid 1990s she has contributed to dozens of publications and media outlets including Funworld, Lighting&Sound America, Sound & Communications, Urban Land, The Raconteur and The Planetarian. She joined InPark in 2010. Judith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She has lived in New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area, and now makes her home in Saint Louis, where she is active in the local arts and theater community.

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