You can also watch our video where we talk about this and more!
When EuroDisneyland opened there was a fun map being sold that contained several attractions that never came to be, some of these we’ve actually discussed like Discovery Mountain, the Indiana Jones mini-land and the Beauty and the Beast show. Another attraction that was somewhat present was the Little Mermaid attraction.
The movie was a huge success in 1989 when it came out and it almost became a real experience at EuroDisneyland. It was planned to be placed between Discoveryland and Fantasyland and would welcome guests with a similar entrance to the one you can now find in Orlando.
The original idea was brought by Tony Baxter, one of the most important imagineers when it comes to Disneyland Paris, he wanted to tell the story of Ariel in a new way, with Audio-Animatronics and beautifully hand-painted backgrounds with many props. The concept was already so far in development that a completely digital on-ride video was produced to showcase the future attraction.
This virtual on-ride video, allows us to gather so many details from what could’ve been. Unlike most dark rides, this one would use a similar ride system as Peter Pan’s Flight, where guests are in an elevated car secured by the top. After boarding the shell vehicle, guests would “dive” into several famous scenes of the movie. The highlight of the ride would be a 4.5 meter tall Ursula that then turns into a giant skeleton, with the help of black light, after Eric defeats her. With the glorious finale guests then return to the loading and unloading area, ready to go back into the park.
As Imagineers say, no idea disappears in Imagineering and so the concept was later brought to the United States where a new version would be built in both California Adventure and the Magic Kingdom, unfortunately with a much smaller budget which lead to a less impressive ride.
The area where the ride would’ve been built is still available as nothing has changed so one day we might still get to see it in the Disneyland Park. Would you like to see this come to the park?