Journey of the Little Mermaid is now open in soft openings at WDW Magic Kingdom New Fantasyland and guests can now discover why this new version is the best one, thanks to its amazing exterior decor and queue theming. No one is to blame to don't have done the same queue at the DCA version, for two very simple reasons: they didn't had the room at DCA to build a queue of the same size and, two, it wouldn't have fit with the Paradise Pier theme. That said, WDI Imagineers outdone themselves once again and created what is probably the best themed queue since the one for Indiana Jones Adventure at DL or TDS.
As usual, WDI renderings released last year were very accurate with the final result, and in some scenes, like the entrance, the real thing is even better than the one designed on the artwork. As you can see below on the artwork Ariel was just standing on a rock and now she is a figurehead of a ship.
including a great audio-animatronic of Scuttle and plenty of visual effects with fun crabs that appear here and there in different decor elements.
s you will see in the embedded video below, the boarding room is also very faithful to the original artwork, with a wrecked galleon and a great giant mural painting.
- Prince Eric's english sheepdog - with, close to him, fishes inside baskets and "captive" lobsters - some of them probably animated too. And, up the stairs leading to the castle kitchen, you would have seen the cook's shadow apparently ready to cut in half one of these lobsters.
Although Max, the fishes and the captive lobsters have disappeared, the room with the staircase and plenty of props and barrels is still part of the queue decor as you can see on the picture below coming from the excellent review of Disney at Works. And you can even always hear voices coming from the kitchen, not sure though that it's still the cook voice.
Now, why Max and the lobsters have been cancelled? There can be many reasons for this, and the first one, as usual, might be a budget reason. May be the visual effects with the crabs were added to the original project and may be WDI Imagineers had to make a choice to stay in the budget allowed for the attraction. Or may be a WDC corporate thought that the animals defense association would have been outraged with the captive lobsters and the cook shadow? I know, it would be stupid as the lobsters would have been fake or audio-animatronics but corporate people can think like this. They are thinking in terms of image for the company, and they're quick to become paranoid with anything that could eventually bring a bad image. Most of the time it's over exaggerated but considering the number of people also always fast to sue Disney for any reason, i can understand that the corporate guys try to be cautious. That said, it's probably not the right reason here as the scene was more funny than cruel, and i would rather bet on a budget reason for the disappearing of Max and the lobsters. Nevermind, as even without this scene the queue theming is literally amazing and WDI Imagineers deserves our congrats for the fantastic work they did, and i mean it, really!
If you haven't seen yet a video showing this wonderfully themed queue, and the ride itself, there is already a few of them on Youtube and one of the best, embedded below, is coming from Inside the Magic. The video is very intelligently filmed and you will see everything including the crabs visual effects, and of course Scutlle AA. Oh, and the ride itself, you ask? Well, it's exactly the same version than at DCA - and i still miss a big scene at the end with the defeat of Ursula - but it seems that the lighting has been improved. And this time they got right from the start Ariel's hairs in the "Under the Sea" sequence!
So, go ahead, watch the video, and make sure to visit Inside the Magic for more great reports on WDW New Fantasyland.
Artwork: copyright Disney
Video: copyright Inside the Magic