Following on from yesterday's article about the exciting Imagineering bonus features on The Little Mermaid 2-Disc DVD, we've now got the chance to dive far deeper into this lost Euro Disney attraction. Kristof has had the chance to cap some incredible stills from the "Behind The Ride That Almost Was with Disney Imagineers" featurette, giving us a surprisingly detailed look at the attraction we thought we'd never see. If you're trying to keep the DVD a surprise, or you're likely to become enraged at how an attraction that looks as extraodinary as this was never built, you'd best stay on the shore...,
The Little Mermaid attraction would have utilised a ride system very similar to Peter Pan’s Flight, except rather than flying pirate ships, guests would have travelled in large “clamobiles”, programmed to give the sensation they were being pushed and guided by currents, rather than flight.
The most talked-about feature of the attraction, though, has always been the “dry for wet” technology featured on each clamobile to simulate the clam’s dive underwater. The attraction was to have started off on dry land, at Prince Eric’s castle, and then after a few initial scenes, as Sebastien sings the lyrics from “Under the Sea”, your vehicle would have dived downwards to a lower-level show scene. As this happened, water would have flooded between two panes of glass in your clamobile to simulate the dive. Then, just before the “Kiss the Girl” scene, your clam bobs back up to the surface and floats along, with the water draining from the glass at the same time.
And now, something many Disneyland Resort Paris fans waited countless years to see – extensive concept art from this lost attraction. For the full experience with Imagineer commentary, you should buy the DVD, but in most cases these astonishing concepts speak for themselves…
Thanks again to Kristof for these screencaps!
The first image is actually one of the most interesting, showing an exterior design that never made it past rough sketches, and appearing to resemble some kind of Dumbo-style ride. The later exterior design of Prince Eric’s castle, seen as a concept model in numerous images above, shows how perfectly this undersea attraction would have mixed with Fantasia Gelati and Pizzeria Bella Notte nearby.
Although this attraction is likely lost forever, not least because of the current slew of Nemo attractions filling the void for an “undersea” theme, we can at last – after 15 years – enjoy this full sneak peek and hope that perhaps a couple of the still yet-to-be-realised ideas seen here will be featured in some way at Crush’s Coaster in June 2007.
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