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The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Adventure will be a Disney dark ride for the 21st century

The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Adventure will be a Disney dark ride for the 21st century

With Disney’s new “World of Color” show now open, attention turns to their next big theme park project, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Adventure.

The upcoming attraction will bring guests into the world of The Little Mermaid for the first time in a Disney dark ride, initially premiering at the Disney California Adventure theme park in 2011 and later as part of the Fantasyland expansion at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in 2012.

On Friday, June 11, 2010, Disney revealed a number of new details, artwork, and even video tests surrounding The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Adventure. The Blue Sky Cellar preview center within the Disney California Adventure theme park was updated and additional sneak peeks at the attraction were delivered at Disneyland Resort’s “What’s Next?” presentation to the media.

At the presentation, Imagineer Lisa Girolami narrated a video shot within the walls of Walt Disney Imagineering featuring some of the dancing figures that will be installed into the attraction as well as a water submerging effect and a first listen to the voice of Scuttle:

Inside the Blue Sky Cellar, artwork for the new ride most notably includes a scale model of the entire attraction along with a complete ride layout drawing:

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure model

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure model

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure ride vehicles

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure model

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure model

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure model

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure model

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure model

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure model

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure model

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure model

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure ride layout

Additional artwork and details from The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Adventure fill one of the Blue Sky Cellar’s walls, the most exciting of which show the range of movement that the advanced Audio-Animatronics within the ride will feature:

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure animatronic drawing

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure animatronic drawing

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure animatronic drawing

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure animatronic drawing

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure animatronic drawing

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Adventure artwork

These animatronic figures will be similar in capability as the recently-added Barack Obama figure in Walt Disney World’s Hall of Presidents and the Abraham Lincoln figure in Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln at Disneyland. That is, Ariel will be able to form words with her mouth, blink her eyes, and have many other motion capabilities.

With new effects and state-of-the-art Audio-Animatronic figures, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Adventure seems to be shaping up to become one of Disney’s most creative, immersive and impressive dark rides to date. But we’ll have to wait until next year to see it in person.

See more from the Blue Sky Cellar in our photo gallery.

Photos by Jeremiah Daws


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