Friday, March 7, 2014

Day 431: FAF: Journey of the Little Mermaid

And so begins another month of Featured Attraction Friday, with a whole new theme: Princess March Madness! Now, I don't know if there's a bracket out there for voting for who is your favorite Disney Princess, but for me it's like not even a toss up: RAPUNZEL. I love Rapunzel. But maybe we'll have another post on that later this month: (hint hint, wink wink, nod nod, nudge nudge).

To start things out, let's head into New Fantasyland, where there's plenty of new stuff going on when it comes to the Princesses! In fact, all of the Featured Attractions this month come from New Fantasyland, since I had plenty of time to check out a couple of new additions recently! To begin, let's go for a swim with Ariel in her Undersea Adventure!

What's On The Map: 

Descend below the waves for a splashy musical adventure (WDW Park Maps)! Relive the tale of how one lucky Little Mermaid found true love - and legs! Enter Prince Eric's castle through an underground cavern at low tide, board a colorful clamshell and take the plunge. You'll become part of a world where mermaids dream of dancing, fish form a conga line, evil sea witches ensnare souls and unlikely pairs fall in love...and live happily ever after (WDW Website).

A Brief History Lesson: 

Once again, today's history comes from the Disney Wikia!

Back in the 1990's, a dark ride based on The Little Mermaid was plan for Disneyland Paris and the Magic Kingdom park, as well as Hong Kong Disneyland. However, the ride was scrapped except for a concept design and virtual recreation featured on the 2006 DVD version of The Little Mermaid.

In 2011, at Disney California Adventure, a different version of the attraction was created, and in 2009 plans to recreate Fantasyland at Disney World's Magic Kingdom were released, including a Little Mermaid attraction. Several modifications were made from the California edition.

Fun Facts: 

Considering the fact that this ride is pretty new, I honestly don't really have any for the attraction. My book only goes up to 2007. So I guess for the rest of the month we'll just skip this portion of the Featured Attraction Friday, since everything else here is also brand new (and some of it I haven't even seen!)

My Thoughts: 

I first saw this attraction at Disneyland not long after it opened there, since I went in 2011. I had some high expectations for the attraction, and as I went through the opening scenes I was really impressed (other than that ice cream hair that's been changed for Disney World). The Ursula portion is brilliantly done, and the entire thing features super bright colors and everything. Plus, the part where you go "under the sea" has a beautiful effect. In other words, I loved it...up until Kiss the Girl. I've never been a huge Little Mermaid fan (Sorry Benny!), but this part really just lost the magic for me. They cut out the entire climax of the film, a portion I have felt that previously Disney did a great job with in the Dark Rides. Peter Pan, for instance, has Hook and Pan up fighting at the top of the Jolly, and back in Snow White they had the rock and the dwarves and the witch. It was all great.

But with Little Mermaid it fell flat. It's like "Kiss the Girl" straight to "Happily Ever After." Now, after further inspection on the Disney World edition, you CAN see Ursula off in the distance in the final scene before the "Wedding," but other than that it skips so much of the storyline.

Overall, you don't hear me say it often, but this is one attraction I feel Disney just LOST it on. I really am hoping for more from the Mine Train, because the Beauty and the Beast section (which we'll take a look at next week) is well put together and very creative, with the entire idea of storytime with Belle. More on that later though. But with Little Mermaid I was just lost. It doesn't tell the story at all, and I understand that they were really focusing on the musical numbers of the film, and that's fine, but where's the story? Where's the climax? HOW did Ursula lose the battle? I DON'T KNOW!

I actually had to rewatch the movie after returning from Disneyland to remember how it ended because I had that little of an idea. Either way, that's my rant on that.

On the bright side, I think the theme they have in New Fantasyland, with the castle and the low tide and running right into the Mine Train and everything is wonderful. Much improved from the queue at California Adventure. Plus, I think the meet and greet area with Ariel is great too. She's certainly one of my favorite Princesses to meet because she really talks with you and is just adorable.

Have a magical day!

(Note: This blog post was written on March 25 due to Midterms and Travel).