Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid ride
If Disney was to ever change the Haunted Mansion to some more modern animatronic it would be something like the Under the Sea ride. The animatronic and special effects are very cool. Instead of riding in a Doom buggy, you ride in a clamshell vehicle.
The Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid ride is part of the New Fantasyland that officially opened on December 6, 2012. (Disney started previewing attractions on November 19.) Other attractions opened during the first phase of the New Fantasyland include Be Our Guest Restaurant, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Ariels Grotto, Gaston Tavern and Bonjour! Village Gifts.
The ride takes you through the journey of Arial from Mermaid to Wife. It's slightly different than the 1989 movie as it doesn't go through much of the struggle that Arial had an encounter with Ursula and her father. Basically, the ride keeps the story upbeat.
Total actual ride time: 6 minutes.
Some of my notes on this ride:
This is a very popular ride, with daytime wait times around 35-40 minutes. You should certainly include it as part of any early Fast Pass reservations.
The ride wait queue has some entertaining effects with an electronic crab. Basically, you wave you hand in front of a monitor when you want the crab to do something, such as fetch a hat. It's quick to learn and the crab will make people laugh. So when you hear laughter in line, you know it probably has to do with the crab.
Fast Pass users will miss this part of the electronic crab. The crab "wait queue" entertainment is worth checking out when the wait is at least 30 minutes. Shorter wait times means that you walk by the entertainment section and won't get to appreciate the humor the Imagineers put in the "wait queue."
There are shells strategically placed in the waiting queue. Look carefully there are several intentionally placed to form a hidden Mickey.
Arial animatronic is a bit weird looking when you experience the ride than in pictures. For some reason, all the pictures that I have taken of Arial have a weird scary look. (In particular the animatronic in the 'Part of Your World' room.)
The area where Arial sings 'Part of Your World' has some interesting gizmos and gadgets. Sebastian pops his head out from one of the treasure chests every once in a while.
There is a "Magdalene with the Smoking Flame" picture in Arial's collection. This is an oil-on-canvas depiction of Mary Magdalene by French Baroque painter Georges de La Tour, painted in 1640.
You may be able to see a book with the initials 'MM.' Perhaps for Mermaid or is it Mary Magdalene? Note that an oil lamp separates the frame picture from the book. (Similar to the painting.)
When you enter the "Under the Sea" song area check out the eyes on the lobsters, just below Sebastian. The fifth lobster eyes look different than the others. This is the only place where the lobster eyes don't match up. (Could it be a hint to look someplace else?)
Your half way through the ride when you see the green fish blowing the saxophone. This happens just as you leave the "Under the Sea" area.
The "Kiss the Girl" scene looks very familiar. I don't know if its to reference the Pirates of the Caribbean ride going by the Blue Bayou restaurant in Disneyland.
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