The Little Mermaid picture of Ariel dancing to music

The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure Ride Review

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The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is a ride attraction based on the 1989 Disney animated film The Little Mermaid, located in Paradise Gardens Park at Disney California Adventure. This enchanting ride takes guests on a journey under the sea, where they can relive the classic story of Ariel and her adventures.


Wait Times and Height Requirements

On average, during peak season, wait times can range from 30 minutes to an hour. However, during off-peak periods or weekdays, you might find yourself waiting just 15-20 minutes. Historically, earlier in the morning and later in the evening tend to be the best times to experience this ride with shorter queues. There is no height requirement for this ride, making it suitable for guests of all ages.

Single Rider, Genie+, and Lightning Lane

There is no single rider option available for this attraction. Genie+ and Lightning Lane are not available for this ride.

The Little Mermaid Prince Eric and Ariel in a boat under the moon

Rider Switch and Disability Access Service (DAS)

Rider Switch, also known as Rider Swap, Baby Swap, or Child Swap, is available for this attraction. This service allows adult guests to take turns waiting with children or other guests who are unable to ride the attraction due to height requirements or other reasons. The second adult in the group receives a special pass, allowing them to ride without waiting in line again. Disneyland’s Disability Access Service (DAS) is also available for guests with disabilities that make waiting in line for extended periods difficult. Guests with physical or mental conditions that affect their ability to wait in a standard attraction line may qualify for a DAS Pass.

Location and Best Times to Ride

The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is located at the entrance to the Paradise Gardens area in Disney California Adventure. The building itself is an attraction, inspired by the Victorian Exposition style found in seaside amusement parks in the early 20th century. The best times to ride this attraction are typically during the early morning or late evening hours when the park is less crowded.

The Little Mermaid Ursula with her crystal ball

History, Design, and Architecture

The ride opened on June 3, 2011, at Disney California Adventure. The attraction was designed by Walt Disney Imagineering and features an 86-foot hand-painted mural depicting characters from the movie. The ride uses the Omnimover ride system, with guests boarding colorful clamshell vehicles for their trip “under the sea.”


Once aboard, the ride smoothly descends into Ariel’s undersea world. The narrative is cleverly retold using a combination of animatronics, digital projection, and music. You’ll first witness Ariel’s treasure trove, where she keeps her collection of human artifacts. Following the story, you’ll find yourself amidst the iconic “Under the Sea” sequence, a kaleidoscope of colors, movements, and sounds. Ursula, the villainous sea witch, is also not to be missed, with her massive animatronic making quite the impression. The ride continues to touch on other notable moments from the film, culminating in the happily ever after we all adore.

The Little Mermaid Sebastian directing music

Ride Experience, Queue, and Music

The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure takes guests on a journey through familiar scenes and characters from the beloved movie. The ride features advanced audio-animatronics and whimsical elements that appeal to both young children and nostalgic adults. The queue for the attraction is mostly shaded, with the entrance located under a rotunda. The loading area features the hand-painted mural, and guests board the clamshell vehicles to begin their undersea adventure. The music for the ride was composed by Alan Menken, with lyrics by Howard Ashman and transitional and queue arrangements by Danny Troob. The soundtrack includes iconic songs from the film, such as “Part of Your World,” “Under the Sea,” and “Kiss the Girl.”


In conclusion, The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure is a charming and enchanting ride that brings the timeless tale of Ariel to life. With its captivating design, immersive ride experience, and memorable music, this attraction is a must-visit for Disney Park guests of all ages.

The Little Mermaid picture of Ariel dancing to music
The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure Ride Review
The Final Word
"The Little Mermaid – Ariel's Undersea Adventure" is a shining jewel in Disneyland's crown. It offers a nostalgic trip for older fans and a magical introduction for newer generations.