Look at this stuff! Isn’t it neat? With the slow return of character meet and greets, and the unfortunate continuing closure of Voyage of The Little Mermaid in Hollywood Studios, fans of The Little Mermaid like myself may be wondering what’s left for them at the parks.
Here are 5 magical must-do The Little Mermaid attractions and experiences you should make part of your world on your next Walt Disney World vacation.
1. Under The Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid
I have ridden this ride at Magic Kingdom more than any ride at Walt Disney World. In fact, I make it a goal to ride it at least 2-3 times per visit due to its memorable music, ocean ambiance and nostalgic scenes.
The second you hop in your seashell, you’re brought through the movie’s classic scenes, the characters coming to life and singing your favorite songs with the story told to you by the seagull who was there for it all, Scuttle.
This ride hardly ever has a wait longer than 15-20 minutes and is a great break from the Florida heat, cooling you off and making you feel like you’re under the sea with Ariel and her friends.
2. Art of Animation Resort
Disney’s Art of Animation Resort themes around four of the most brilliantly-animated Disney movies, including an entire section centered around The Little Mermaid.
The second you arrive, you’ll be greeted with a large picture of Ariel outside the resort. Once you walk into the lobby, you’ll be surrounded by various sketches of your favorite The Little Mermaid characters while plenty of songs from the movie play in the background as you check in.
Once you swim by the ocean of Nemo and his friends in the Finding Nemo section and make your way past Scar atop Pride Rock in The Lion King section, you will soon find yourself going under the sea as you walk by treasures untold sat along the pathway. The Little Mermaid section of the resort offers standard rooms, the Flippin’ Fins Pool, and brings your favorite characters to life with statues of Ariel and Flounder, Sebastian, Ursula and more!
And if you really want to be part of her world, book a standard room in The Little Mermaid section where you’ll find sea green walls and decor full of familiar fish.
3. Prince Eric’s Castle
Since Magic Kingdom is home to many of the famous princess’ castles, a must-do for every The Little Mermaid fan is to snap a selfie in front of Prince Eric’s castle in Fantasyland.
Located atop Under The Sea – Journey of The Little Mermaid, it’s a can’t-miss photo opportunity.
4. Festival of Fantasy
The Festival of Fantasy parade runs every day through Magic Kingdom, and smack-dab in the middle of Belle and Beast’s entrance and Mickey and Minnie’s exit, you’ll spot Ariel on her seashell float with Flounder and Sebastian.
With the return of Fantasmic! in Hollywood Studios this year, our poor unfortunate souls can once again be filled by this magical show and fireworks display that features Ariel and her friends not once, not twice, but three times.
You’ll first get hit with nostalgia as scenes from classic Disney films are projected in the form of bubbles, ending with a magical rendition of “Under The Sea,” along with memorable scenes from the movie.
You’ll then spot your favorite mermaid swimming by on her own float accompanied by Prince Eric while “Part of Your World” plays.
During the show’s grand finale, while characters ride by on a ferry boat with Steamboat Willie, you can catch Ariel waving her fin beside Eric on the back of the boat.
Ashley Amber is a former Disney cast member who rediscovered her love of writing when the 2020 pandemic ended her time making magic. When she's not bringing the magic to The DIS articles, Ashley works as a writer for Happy Productions and a live-blogger at MJ's Big Blog, and previously published over 300 articles with Collider. Ashley also authored a self-published fantasy/romance series of novelettes, and made her poetry debut in 2021's LGBTQIA+ anthology Deviant: Chronicles of Pride by InkFeathers Publishing. As a former pro ballroom dancer, when she's not writing, you can find Ashley on Youtube and TikTok where she posts dance videos featuring her own choreography and tutorials.