After a couple weeks of refurbishment, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure attraction at Disney California Adventure quietly reopened a few days ago with several major changes and additions. This isn’t the first time the attraction has undergone changes since opening in 2011; in 2012 new hand-drawn animation sequences were added to the ride as a copy of the attraction was prepared for Walt Disney World. Now, as Shanghai Disneyland prepares to open their version of the Mermaid attraction, Walt Disney Imagineering has once again decided to make changes to what they felt were problem areas in this new-age dark ride:
For those unfamiliar with the attraction here’s what’s new:
- A number of static fish figures were added surrounding the first screen with Ariel and as well in the tunnel heading towards the Under the Sea sequence.
- A picture of King Triton’s Castle now adorns the small ocean scrim before the Under the Sea sequence.
- The Under the Sea sequence received the most major changes as it now relies heavily on black light like a traditional Disney dark ride (for example, like Peter Pan’s Flight). This was done to make the scene darker and to hide the very visible lighting rigs that more frequent park visitors have complained about.
- Several other scenes are now relying on black light as well, though it isn’t as noticeable as in Under the Sea. Again, this was to hide infrastructure visible to guests during the ride.
For those of you more interested with Walt Disney World happenings, we fully expect these changes to be made to Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid at the Magic Kingdom. When those changes might happen, well, we don’t know just yet…