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Disney debuts major Blue Sky Cellar update with animated park map, Carsland overlook, and new details for The Little Mermaid dark ride

Disney debuts major Blue Sky Cellar update with animated park map, Carsland overlook, and new details for The Little Mermaid dark ride

Today updates to the “Blue Sky Cellar” preview center at the Disney California Adventure unveiled to the media including additional details surrounding the park’s upcoming dark ride, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. The updated Blue Sky Cellar will open to park guests beginning tomorrow, Jan. 27, 2011.

The Little Mermaid ride, which will be duplicated at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida, will feature a clamshell journey through The Little Mermaid with advanced audio-animatronics and the feeling of being “under the sea.”

The ride had already been previewed in extensive detail within the Blue Sky Cellar, including an overall track layout model and animatronic sketches, but now additional information about its duration and characters have been revealed.

Imagineers estimate The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure ride will last around 6 and a half minutes. Since it will be continuously-moving Omnimover-based attraction, there will be no Fastpass available, nor will it be needed.

No specific opening date has been set yet for the attraction, though Imagineers say it will be open for Summer 2011.

The Blue Sky Cellar update also features a new video showing off behind-the-scenes previews of both The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and Radiator Springs Racers, coming to the park’s Carsland expansion, including John Lasseter and Tom Staggs taking a test run around the track.

The exterior of the building for The Little Mermaid ride will now sport an Asian/Egyptian flair:

The entrance will feature an art glass marquee:

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure

The mural at the top of this article will line the loading area, also seen at the top of this photo:

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Inside, one scene will contain an animated Ursula figure, which will stand at a massive 8 feet tall and 12 feet wide. The Blue Sky Cellar is now home to a model of Ursula:

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure

Many ride layouts and tracks were considered during the attractions design:

The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure

  • Another new feature within the Blue Sky Cellar is an animated map, depicting the ongoing $1 billion+ expansion/enhancement to the theme park.
  • Below is a video of the map in motion. The map features 30 animations plus one hidden efffect.

  • New attraction posters for Mickey’s Fun Wheel, California Screamin’, and Silly Symphony Swings are now featured in the Blue Sky Cellar as well.


  • Outside, to monitor progress of Carsland, a new overlook has been added, allowing guests to watch as the addition to the park is being built.
  • The Blue Sky Cellar also offers a new overview aerial look at the park:
  • Photos of Disney’s Imagineers hard at work have been added to the Blue Sky Cellar:
  • Elsewhere in the park, Playhouse Disney is becoming Disney Jr. but the attraction won’t have any contemporary signage, instead staying with the period-specific look of the rest of the park:
  • Disney also recently released a behind-the-scenes video of some of the ride’s scenes, still under development:

    And back in June, during Disneyland’s “What’s New, What’s Next?” presentation, Disney showed a few more show elements including an “underwater” lighting effect and a quick listen to Scuttle setting the story:

    The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure will open at Disney California Adventure … and at the Magic Kingdom as part of the New Fantasyland expansion some time in 2012.

    More photos from the recent Blue Sky Cellar update:

    And photos of The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure from the previous June update of the Blue Sky Cellar:

    (All photos by Jeremiah Daws)


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