little mermaid ride

We spent most of the afternoon walking around Disney’s California Adventure. We wanted to check out the new Little Mermaid ride. I must say I was disappointed overall.

It began with the line. We expected there to be a wait. But this line was just mean. It starts off in front of attraction, then when you think you are almost there, it winds around and even farther away. You suddenly find yourself out in the sun (the trees are too new to provide much shade). I don’t know why they didn’t put up umbrellas. Oddly there are umbrellas across the way where people watch World of Color – after the sun goes down.

Once you are inside, you are guided to a walking sidewalk where you climb aboard a clam shell shaped car. I noticed that they have cars of a different shape designed so people in wheelchairs, can enter with their wheelchairs. The really odd thing is that there didn’t appear to be a separate line for people who needed assistance.

As you enter the ride, the first thing I noticed was a cast member at the control booth. He wasn’t hidden at all. This was distracting. It is hard to suspend disbelief where you are confronted with a computer display of the ride layout.

For part of the ride, you are supposed to be underwater. I was surprised they didn’t use bubbles along with the effects. Or maybe make it smell like the ocean. I think that might have helped.

Overall some things felt rushed, and others too long. There was just something off with the timing. I think part of it may have to do with slowing/stopping when someone with a wheelchair gets on or off. Don’t get me wrong, I think it is great that everyone has access, but it would seem there should be some way to keep things better synchronized.

As for the story, not even Cliff Notes would have done such a choppy job. Maybe they should have asked those bunnies that do movies in 30 seconds for their take on things. If you hadn’t seen the movie, I don’t think the ride would have made much sense. Where was the sheepdog?

Honestly, this ride really belongs over in Fantasyland. I think it is a stretch thinking that it fits because Paradise Pier has water. The park is called California Adventure, right? Then again, I heard they were going to make Soaring Over California into Soaring Across America.

p.s. Right now California Adventure is one giant construction zone. Everyone must go through the fork up towards Soaring to get anywhere on that side of the park.

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