Three Hidden Secrets along the Journey of the Little Mermaid at Disney World

Journey of the Little Mermaid
Go from the beach in front of Prince Eric’s Castle through a sea cave and then, Under the Sea with Ariel and her friends in Journey of the Little Mermaid. (Photo by Hayley Nystrom)

By Sue Rodman
New Fantasyland at Walt Disney World isn’t just about rides and seeing your favorite characters, but actually entering their world. From the moment you step off the pathway to the Journey of the Little Mermaid, you being your own journey under the sea.

During an adventure into Ariel’s world on Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, guests are welcomed “Under the Sea” by a dazzling musical extravaganza where “the newt play the flute, the carp play the harp” and dozens of singing marine creatures dance.

The ride itself takes you through the story of the Little Mermaid. The best part is at the very beginning where a wave comes up and carries you down under the sea. But The Journey of the Little Mermaid is more than just the ride, here are three secrets you don’t want to miss.

FIND THE BLUE CRABS: Your journey begins on the beach at a shipwreck. Here you can choose either the fast pass or standby line. The standby line winds you through the beach and you can see the seashells and bird prints at your feet. Stop to enjoy the beautiful cascading waterfall or get a photo at a sand dune. At one point you’ll enter a sea cave and begin descending to the sea. Among the ship wrecks, things get interactive. Little blue crabs carry treasure to a pile, find a piece that doesn’t go and tell the crab to take it away – and he does!

Can you see the Hidden Steamboat Willie? (photo by Hayley Nystrom)

HIDDEN MICKEY TIP: When you come off the ride, just as you are leaving the area, look to the right. The outcrop of rocks makes a Steamboat Willie. It’s easy to see the one foot and the buttons, but it’s a bit harder to see Mickey’s face since it is flat on top of the rocks.

FIND THE NAUTILUS: The area that is now Journey of the Little Mermaid was once home to 20,000 Leagues under the Sea. As a nod to the past, the ship from the story, the Nautilus, is carved into the stone along the standby line path. You can find it on the left side of the water fountains between two rocks.

Fast Pass vs. Standby Line
Similar to Test Track in EPCOT, guests want to go through the standby line at ‘the Ariel ride’ as we began to call it, because this is where you can play with the interactive crabs, find the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and enjoy the beach and sea caves. If you do want to bypass the standby line and just head to the ride, the fast pass ticket booth is at Mickey’s Philharmagic, which is on the OTHER side of the Carousel, quite a way from the actual attraction.

What:  Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid
Where: New Fantasyland Magic Kingdom Walt Disney World
When: Now open
Cost: Included in park admission
Photos: Visit our New Fantasyland Virtual Tour or Field Trips with Sue on Facebook
Video: For video visit New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom on Youtube

I love how Disney gives a nod to the past. Can you find the Nautilus from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a ride in Fantasyland up until 1994.











Arriving at the shoreline of Prince Eric’s castle, Magic Kingdom guests encounter playful sea life as they they descend through the grottos and caverns to Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid. The latest example of Walt Disney Imagineers using technology to create interactive queues, these mischievous little crabs engage guests in games of ‘trash’ or ‘treasure’ to help the crabs fill their treasure chest. (Matt Stroshane, photographer)



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