The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure has undergone a "soft opening" period at Disney California Adventure, with videos and reviews of the new dark ride beginning to emerge.
The $100 million attraction uses an OmniMover ride system similar to that employed by Disneyland's Haunted Mansion ride, and is due to open officially on June 3, 2011. In advance of this, the park has opened The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure for several preview periods, enabling Cast Members to get up-to-speed with how to operate the attraction.
A full video showing a complete circuit in Disney California Adventure's new dark ride is embedded belowk, courtesy of YouTube user Asianjma123. Spoiler warning: this video contains plot spoilers for The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure.
The first in-depth review of The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure has been posted to the LA Times Funland blog. Writer Brady MacDonald describes the ride as "neither groundbreaking nor awe-inspiring", but praises it as comparing favorably with classic Disney attractions such as Pirates of the Caribbean and Peter Pan's Flight.
Disney and More has also shared its thoughts on the Little Mermaid ride, describing it as a "really charming dark ride in the grand Disney dark ride tradition". It was reserves particular praise for the quality of the advanced Audio-Animatronic figures seen in the attraction, although it does point to the lack of a big final scene as a slight downside.
Several members of the LaughingPlace.com forums were on hand to try out The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure, with comments including "this is a truly modern dark ride in the tradition of Fantasyland".
Disney California Adventure's new attraction will share a grand opening date with Star Tours: The Adventures Continue at neighboring Disneyland. A near-identical version of the attraction is due to open as part of an expanded Fantasyland at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom in 2012, under the name Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid.
You can find out more about Disney's latest headline attraction in our in-depth preview of The Little Mermaid: Ariel's Undersea Adventure. We'll be posting a full review of the ride shortly.
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