Friday, May 22, 2015

60th Anniversary Trip, Pt. 8

Part Eight…yes, I am dragging this trip out post-by-post! Today's installment focuses on the Little Mermaid attraction at Disney California Adventure. It's an enjoyable ride that rarely has a wait and is filled with all your favorite tunes from the movie.

And yet for me, it's a bit of a snoozer. I know I know…it's great for kids. Not every attraction has to be an "E" ticket.

Still, Peter Pan in Fantasyland is for kids and it packs a wallop, which is exactly what this attraction is missing.

See…even Ariel is falling asleep in her own attraction.

The effects, which have been fine-tuned a few times since the attraction's 2011 opening, are on point.

The splashy "Under the Sea" room feels like it should be the big finale, even though the song occurs early in the movie.

When the attraction opened, Ariel's up-do was the biggest squawk among the discussion boards, earning her the nickname of "Dole-Whip Ariel." Her locks have since been tamed.

Here's where the attraction picks up a bit…

I love this little scene with Ursula.

And yet I feel it could have been so much more. Scary can be good. Doesn't everyone love to have the crap scared out of them?

It makes the happy ending that much more fun.

This is what happens to those who don't drink the Disney Kool-Aid.

I feel a happy ending coming soon…

Brought to you by the stork:

The weird phallic water emitting from the fish is still there:

Ariel is now ready to be on "The Voice."

The big finale, which is not as memorable as "Under the Sea."

I love this little homage to author Hans Christian Anderssn at the end of the ride:

We headed back to Disneyland after visting Ariel. Here's the revamped Town Square overflow corridor:

A nice little nod to some of the Main Street vehicles:

Looking forward to a photo opp at the Snow White Wishing Well I was disappointed that it looked like it had been abandoned. Hopefully it has been cleaned up.

It seemed like it was time to head out of the park and take a little siesta back at the hotel. Boarding the Monorail in Tomorrowland, it was apparent that Disney was pushing their new George Looney movie, "Tomorrowland." Oops…I mean Clooney.

The movie's logo can be found throughout Tomorrowland.

If the movie is a hit, that might convince execs to pour some money (and hopefully creativity) into the forgotten land.

Workers were busy getting Downtown Disney ready for the movie's premiere:

I hope all who are at the Park today and having a blast with the Diamond Celebration kickoff!

Next up: Toon Town at night!

MUCH more Disneyland Resort goodness at my main website.

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Anonymous said...

The Little Mermaid is a nice ride, very reminiscent of the old dark rides. Like Winnie-the-Pooh, I'm glad there are some things for little kids to do.

So many Disney things have been whizz-banged and "plused" all out of proportion. (Thinking of Mine Train becoming Big Thunder), shows there's still a place for being a tiny kid.

Also, I know it's trite to say it, but I'm glad that the Disney version of LM has a happy ending, unlike most of Andersen's fables.

I had a book of the original tales from Denmark as a boy, and they are sad, dark, violent stories, hard and harsh to read. I'm sure that stories like the Little Match Girl were true-life then, and probably in some places, are so now, but really bitter to read as a youngster.

Disney proves the core moral of the story can be transmitted without everyone dying a miserable bloody death of unrequited love at the end.


Anonymous said...

I agree with Dave completely on the Little Mermaid attraction. Such a missed opportunity. It's called "Under Sea Adventure" but there is not an ounce of real water in the entire ride. Instead of the "weird phallic water emitting from the fish" why don't the fish spout real water? Why isn't this a boat ride? Why don't we go under the sea with a 40ft drop a la Pirates of the Carribean? (I know purists will argue that then you'd be riding in a boat under water. But this would be better than the tilt back and blast of air conditioning that now signifies going under the sea. At least you'd be connected to water in some way) Except for the great Ursula figure why is the majority of the animation spinning star fish and poorly animated (and overused) dancing turtles? I could go on and on.
I have 4 daughters, ages 12 and under, and none of them scramble to ride this one.

Fifthrider said...

I'm grateful for the Little Mermaid because it tells me in this current Disney era the management is still okay with even making dark rides. I sort of feared it would be a forgotten thing. Good, bad or mediocre, I'm just grateful they made it. Over at Knott's it seems to be "Make it a new rollercoaster or don't even bother." Dark rides are a forgotten attraction. I would agree it needs help and can't help but to think that original Imagineers might have made the finale an "Under the Sea" redux to make sure it ends on a high note.

As for Tomorrowland ( the area ) that place has needed something to reinvigorate it for some time now. Godspeed to this Brad Bird love note to Walt's ideals of the future. It sure can't hurt the land any.

TokyoMagic! said...

I agree, the ending to the L.M. dark ride is very anti-climactic. Have you noticed how the final three scenes are all thrown together onto the one side of the track and the outer wall of the attraction building is on the other side. This feels to me like those last scenes were just crammed together into the space that was remaining after they had planned out the rest of the ride. They could have at least snaked the track into an "S" shape so that the vehicles wove their way around those last scenes. And I agree with Anonymous about the limited motion and in some cases, completely static fish throughout the ride. Okay, maybe some kids like it, but come on....what happened to making it pleasing for children AND adults alike?

BetsyDrake said...

I was at the park about a month before you and I too was saddened by the state of Snow White's Wishing Well. It looked terrible. I sincerely hope they aren't about to tear it out!