March 15, 2010

Ariel's Risky Undersea Adventure

Just as it was in 1989 when this movie debuted to (thankfully) critical acclaim, The Little Mermaid plays a very significant and potentially fortune changing role for today's Walt Disney Company. This time, it's not the animation division needing some punch, it is a couple of the theme parks.

Between Ariel's attraction being the centerpiece of the new Fantasy Forest in Florida's Magic Kingdom and being the star of the first real new attraction at California Adventure since the billion dollar overhaul was announced, there's a lot riding on her poor little tail!

You wouldn't have to read the Disney blogworld for long to discover that many in Disney fandom believe the days of impressive "E" Tickets like the ones of the Golden Age of Imagineering are behind us. Disney's artists struggle to prove otherwise. Yet, to date, what has been produced that compares to the Marc Davis era? Not much, I say. Finally, here is their chance.

Certainly, the accounting folks at the Company are banking on the Little Mermaid to turn around the fortunes of California Adventure as well as fend off Harry Potter. It's a tall order.

Will it work or does it really matter in Florida? At Walt Disney World, tourists flock to second hand tripe like the Stitch disasters since they are placed in the Magic Kingdom alongside the true must-sees.

Not so at California Adventure. Without first rate attractions beyond Soarin' Over California, more is at risk. Will the first Audio-Animatronic extravaganza in Anaheim's second gate become a must see headliner? I hope so, but any way you view it, this is quite the task to accomplish. Disney put all their chips on the line for the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror to turn around the park. Unfortunately, a half-baked version of the terrific Florida original resulted in disappointment for fan and company alike. The same mistake cannot be made twice.

California theme park fans are giving the Walt Disney Company another chance to impress us. We'll be a forgiving bunch one more time as we not so patiently wait through a revamped Sun Wheel and Orange Stinger. But you cannot fool us twice. This time the company had better deliver the real deal or lose us for good. There's more fish in the sea beyond another pretty little mermaid.
(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)


Vintage Disneyland Tickets said...

"tourists flock to second hand tripe like the Stitch disasters" one of the many reason I love your blog...

I agree with the high hopes for this attraction, a tall order to fill indeed. The concept drawings I've seen don't exactly jump out and scream "E" Ticket- however the concept itself sure does. Let's hope Disney can deliver on the concept and not just the drawings...

Kevin said...

Agreed. I want to see Alien Encounter again, now that was the best. They got rid of it because it was too scary, well pardon me, people love a good scare, plus it was such a cool attraction. They originally were going to have the xenomorph from the Alien movies, now that I want to see. If Disney wants to combat the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, then build the Pirates Land planned for I think it was Hong Kong Disneyland, or give it to us at CA. I'd like to see them get rid of Innoventions and replace it with a bigger, better ride. CA Adventure is a real drag sometimes, there's only two attractions, four at the most that we go on, Toy Story Mania, Tower of Terror, Muppet Vision 3d and Monsters, Inc. That's not a good sign when there's only that many good attractions. The Little Mermaid ride will most likely be very popular, kids love that stuff, heck it's a favorite among the kids. I'll try it out when it's finished, but we need some new creative ideas for Disneyland and CA Adventure.

Mark Taft said...

Let's hope Mermaid is an instant classic and not an infamous instant classic! ;)

Creativity for DCA, Disneyland or any of the Disney parks stateside?
I hope to see more of it beyond character related attractions.

Building those types reflect the animators creativity, not that of WDI.