The Return Of The Little Mermaid Ride At Disney World

After being closed for over two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, one of Disney World’s most beloved dark rides has finally reopened its doors. The Voyage of The Little Mermaid at Disney’s Hollywood Studios transports guests under the sea to experience Ariel’s adventure of becoming human.

If you’re wondering what’s new with the ride and what to expect, read on for all the details.

If you don’t have time for the full article, here is a quick summary: The Voyage of The Little Mermaid reopened in March 2022 after an extended pandemic closure. The ride itself is mostly unchanged, still featuring favorite scenes and music from the movie.

New effects were added like LED black lighting and luminescent paint on sea creatures. Expect slightly longer wait times due to popularity but FastPass is unavailable.

Details About The Ride’s Reopening

Official Reopening Date

After being closed for refurbishment since August 2021, The Little Mermaid ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios officially reopened to guests on November 13, 2023. This beloved attraction had been closed for over two years while undergoing extensive updates and enhancements.

Refurbishments & New Effects

The refreshed Little Mermaid ride features several exciting new effects and technological enhancements:

  • Enhanced LED lighting and projections create gorgeous underwater scenes and effects
  • A dazzling new floating “bubble” effect in Ursula’s lair scene
  • 4K high-definition screens allow for crisper graphics and animation
  • New figures and set pieces depicting Ariel, Flounder, Sebastian, and more

In addition to these new offerings, the ride system itself has been entirely rebuilt from the ground up with advanced ride technology to provide guests with a smoother, more seamless experience. The story and scenes themselves remain the same charming retelling of the classic film that guests know and love.

Current Wait Times

Since reopening less than two weeks ago, The Little Mermaid ride has seen excellent attendance and excitement from guests. As one of the few omnimover-style (constantly moving vehicle) attractions in Hollywood Studios, it appeals to a wide demographic seeking a leisurely ride experience.

Current Wait Time: 35-55 minutes standby queue
FastPass Wait Time: 15-30 minutes
Rider Access Wait Time: 15 minutes or less
To experience lower wait times, it is recommended to ride earlier in the morning, later at night, or utilize Disney’s lightning lane service. No matter when you ride, stepping “under the sea” with Ariel and friends is sure to delight guests of all ages as this classic story is vividly brought to life!

Walkthrough of the Updated Attraction

Queue Area

The queue area of the updated Little Mermaid Ride at Disney World is a sight to behold. As you enter, you’ll be transported to an underwater world filled with vibrant colors and enchanting decor. The walls are adorned with beautiful murals depicting scenes from the beloved animated film.

The attention to detail is truly remarkable, and it sets the stage for the magical experience that awaits you.

While waiting in line, you’ll also have the opportunity to interact with various interactive displays and games, keeping you entertained and engaged. Whether you’re trying to solve a puzzle or competing against fellow park-goers, the queue area is designed to make the wait time fly by.

Pre-Show Room

Once you reach the front of the line, you’ll be ushered into the pre-show room, where you’ll be treated to a special presentation. This room is designed to immerse you further into the story of The Little Mermaid and build anticipation for the ride ahead.

The pre-show room features a state-of-the-art projection system that brings the characters to life in a way that is nothing short of magical. You’ll feel like you’re standing right beside Ariel and her friends as they embark on their underwater adventures.

The room is filled with laughter and excitement, creating a truly memorable experience for guests of all ages.

Ride Scenes

Finally, it’s time to board the ride and experience the enchanting world of The Little Mermaid firsthand. As you glide through the scenes, you’ll be treated to a series of animatronic displays that recreate iconic moments from the film.

From Ariel’s secret grotto to Prince Eric’s shipwreck, every scene is brought to life with stunning visuals and captivating music. The attention to detail is truly awe-inspiring, and it’s easy to get lost in the magic of it all.

One of the highlights of the ride is the Under the Sea sequence, where you’ll be surrounded by a dazzling array of colorful fish, dancing seaweed, and even a few familiar faces from the movie. It’s a truly immersive experience that will leave you with a smile on your face and a song in your heart.

As the ride comes to an end, you’ll find yourself wanting to go back and experience it all over again. The updated Little Mermaid Ride at Disney World is a testament to the power of storytelling and imagination, and it’s a must-visit attraction for fans of the film.

Tips for Riding

Best Times to Ride

When planning your visit to Disney World and specifically the Little Mermaid Ride, it’s important to consider the best times to ride in order to minimize wait times. Generally, the ride tends to be less crowded during weekdays, especially in the morning and late afternoon.

If you want to experience the ride with shorter lines, aim to visit during the off-peak seasons, such as January or September.

FastPass Unavailable

Unfortunately, the FastPass option is currently unavailable for the Little Mermaid Ride. FastPass allows guests to reserve a specific time slot and skip the regular queue. However, even without FastPass, there are still ways to make your wait time more enjoyable.

Consider bringing along some entertainment for the line, such as a book, puzzle, or even engaging in conversation with your fellow Disney enthusiasts.

Rider Swap

For families with young children who may not meet the height requirement for the Little Mermaid Ride, Disney World offers a convenient solution called Rider Swap. This allows one adult to wait with the non-riding child while the other experiences the ride.

Once the first adult is done, they can “swap” with the waiting adult, who can then enjoy the ride without having to wait in line again. Rider Swap is a great way for everyone in the family to experience the ride, even if they don’t meet the height requirement.

Other Nearby Attractions

While the return of The Little Mermaid Ride at Disney World is undoubtedly exciting for fans of the beloved movie, there are also plenty of other attractions in the vicinity that visitors can enjoy. Here are some top picks:

1. Splash Mountain

Located in Frontierland, Splash Mountain is a thrilling water ride that takes you on a journey through the stories of Br’er Rabbit. Get ready to plunge down a 50-foot drop and experience the ultimate adrenaline rush. Don’t forget to bring your poncho!

2. Pirates of the Caribbean

Embark on a swashbuckling adventure with Captain Jack Sparrow and his crew. This classic attraction is a fan favorite, as it takes you through a pirate-infested Caribbean island. From the catchy theme song to the realistic animatronics, this ride is sure to leave you in awe.

3. Haunted Mansion

If you’re a fan of spooky thrills, the Haunted Mansion is a must-visit. Step inside a haunted Victorian mansion and encounter ghostly apparitions, eerie effects, and a catchy soundtrack that will have you humming along. Be prepared for some unexpected surprises!

4. Space Mountain

For those seeking an out-of-this-world experience, Space Mountain is the perfect choice. Strap yourself in and blast off on a thrilling roller coaster through the darkness of outer space. With its twists, turns, and sudden drops, this ride is sure to get your heart pounding.

5. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Take a ride on the wildest train in the wilderness! Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a thrilling roller coaster set in the Old West. Hold on tight as you zoom through the mining town and encounter twists, turns, and even an erupting volcano.

These are just a few of the many attractions you can enjoy while visiting Disney World. Whether you’re a fan of adventure, fantasy, or thrills, there is something for everyone. Don’t forget to check out the official Disney World website for more information on all the exciting rides and attractions available.


The return of a fan-favorite like Voyage of The Little Mermaid is always an exciting event at Walt Disney World. By taking advantage of lower wait times and planning ahead, you can make the most of your experience with Ariel and friends on this charming dark ride.

With new effects and that irresistible classic soundtrack, it’s bound to delight guests of all ages as Disney magic comes to life under the sea once more.

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