Disney California Adventure’s The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure has been closed since March 30, 2014, for refurbishment. Rumors circulated online about new lighting in the Under the Sea section of the ride. The attraction soft opened to guests earlier today, and we were there to confirm the changes and capture video of the newly updated ride.
For those unfamiliar with the ride in its previous form, here are some comparison pictures. The original version of the ride is on the top and the updated version is on the bottom.
The first change that can be seen on the ride is after the you go “under water” and see Ariel above your clam. Previously the rocks around the screen where empty, now there are a number of seahorses and fish looking down at you.
This change is very subtle, but I noticed Ariel’s hair is a bit more shiny in the new version of the ride. Other than that, this part of the attraction looks unchanged.
Right before you enter the Under the Sea scene, it’s easy to notice the lighting differences. Notice before how the fish where shiny and even reflect the overhead lighting. Now the fish are painted and lit with a black light. Also notice King Triton’s castle has been added to the wall above.
Entering Under the Sea you can see where the bulk of changes took place. The colors in this entire room have a nice pop to them.
Sebastian and his lobster friends. I think the new lighting gives the ride a more classic Disney dark ride feel than it had before.
You can really see the difference in lighting and colors here.
Forgive the darkness of the bottom picture but this is roughly the same spot as the top. You can see that some random fish have been added. Fish like these little guys have been added throughout the Under the Sea scene.
The Kiss the Girl section of the ride has remained mostly unchanged but Ariel now has “real” hair as opposed to the previous molded rubber (that is rubber, right?).
Another shot of Ariel with her new hair.
The rest of the ride remains unchanged. I think overall the entire attraction looks great, and the new additions add a lot to the experience. Leave a comment in the section below and let us know what you think about the changes. Walt Disney World fans, do you want these changes to appear in the Magic Kingdom version of the ride?