Thursday, June 16, 2011
Earlier this month I had the privilege of attending the opening ceremony of The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure at Disney's California Adventure. Right after the ceremony I joined the rest of the media guests and got to ride the attraction before it opened to the general public the next day.
Here's the boarding area. Guests step on a moving "sidewalk" and board a pastel clam shell for their journey under the sea.
Here I am in my rockin' pink clam shell. I guess I should have worn my seashell bra!
The clam shells swivel and turn in order to draw guests' attention to the best parts of the scene they are going through (kind of like the Doom Buggies in the Haunted Mansion).
Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure is a classic "dark ride" in the tradition of Peter Pan, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Alice in Wonderland and the Haunted Mansion. The ride lets visitors relive their favorite scenes from The Little Mermaid movie: Ariel's grotto, Ursula's lair, the lake where Ariel and Eric (almost) kiss and more. As you go through each scene you get to enjoy the music associated with that scene ("Part of Your World" in the grotto, "Poor Unfortunate Souls" in Ursula's Lair, etc.... ). My favorite scenes on the ride are Ursula's grotto (I love the crystal ball with images of Ariel swirling inside it) and the big Under the Sea scene, with Sebastian the Crab and hundreds of cute little sea creatures.
Little girls will be absolutely transfixed, but everyone is going to enjoy this ride because it brings back so many memories from the film. It's the new must-do ride at Disney's California Adventure!
I had the opportunity to speak with Lisa Girolami and Larry Nikolai, two Disney Imagineers who worked on the Little Mermaid ride, and they shared some fun facts:
* the ride is 5 1/2 minutes long
* Disney Imagineers began thinking about a Little Mermaid attraction soon after the film opened, but the planning for the ride in its latest form began about 4 years ago.
* Their biggest challenge was how to animate Ariel's hair in the grotto -- yup, Ariel's not just a mannequin with moving arms and fishtail! The Imagineers wanted to make Ariel's hair move and swirl around like she's underwater, just the way it did in the movie. They really went all out with the latest animatronic and special effects technology to give riders a great experience.
* Their favorite parts of the ride? Lisa loves Ursula's lair and the little kissing frogs in the Kiss the Girl scene. Larry loves the Under the Sea scene and Ariel's Grotto.
Hot tip: how to beat the line at The Little Mermaid Ride
Unfortunately, The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure is not a FASTPASS attraction, so like any new Disneyland Resort ride, expect long wait times throughout the summer. However, I'll let you in on a little secret: there is a way to beat the queue. Just stay at one of the 3 Disneyland Resort Hotels from June 3 to September 5, 2011 and receive 2 FASTPASS tickets* for each person in your travel party, per stay. You can use it at any FASTPASS attraction -- or you can use it in the special, limited-time FASTPASS return line they are creating for the The Little Mermaid ride during this period!
Win a summer fun pack with a Little Mermaid mini speaker and Disney Junior beach ball
One of the fun items we received during the Disney media event was a commemorative Little Mermaid mini speaker. I've decided to share the fun and give it away to one lucky Bonggamom Finds reader! And since it's summer, I'll also throw in a Disney Junior inflatable beach ball, so you'll be all set for the poolside :)
Leave a comment on this post and tell me your favorite Little Mermaid character. This entry must be completed before extra entries qualify.
For extra entries, you can do any or all of the following. Please leave a separate comment for each extra entry with a way to verify the entry (i.e. tweet link, blog post link, Facebook id, Twitter id, etc.).
1) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Networked Blogs (1 entry).
2) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Blogger(1 entry).
3) Write this on the Bonggamom Finds Facebook page (1 entry):
I entered the Little Mermaid giveaway! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes
4) Follow Bonggamom Finds on Twitter and tweet this, up to once per day (1 entry per day, leave a comment with the tweet link for each tweet):
Tell @bonggafinds your fave Little Mermaid character and u could win a Little Mermaid mini iPod/mp3 speaker! http://tinyurl.com/bonggaprizes #giveaways
5) Leave a comment on my Little Mermaid opening ceremony post, telling me which of the songs in the Little Mermaid is your favorite (1 entry).
6) Leave a comment on my Star Tours opening ceremony post, telling me your favorite Star Wars character (1 entry).
This giveaway ends at 11:59PM PST on July 5, 2011; I will draw a winner at random on July 6 and post the winner's name after the winner confirms acceptance. Continental US residents only. For additional giveaway rules, click here. Good luck!
Disclosure: I received a media invitation to attend the opening of Star Tours and other events. Transportation, lodging and park tickets were provided by Disneyland Resort Public Relations. This giveaway is neither administered nor endorsed nor sponsored by Disney or the Disneyland Resort; any questions or comments regarding this giveaway must be sent to bonggamom and not to Disney. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.