OpEd: It is Time to Close “Voyage of the Little Mermaid”

in Walt Disney World

voyage of the little mermaid

Credit: Disney

Recently there was concern across the internet surrounding Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ long-established stage show, Voyage of the Little Mermaid. The temporary closure and removal of signs and marquee seemed to signal to fans that one of the theme park’s original attractions was finally going belly-up.

Unfortunately, that is not the case. We at Inside the Magic shared the news that Disney has responded to the speculation, denouncing any intention of closing and that the signs are being returned to their places.

Yes, I said unfortunately because I strongly believe that it is time that the Voyage of the Little Mermaid reached its end and gave way for a new show to step in and entertain Guests.

An Aged Redundancy

Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

For most of its tenure, Voyage of the Little Mermaid enjoyed a position of being the only Little Mermaid themed attraction at the Walt Disney World Resort (not counting Ariel’s Grotto meet and greet at Magic Kingdom). Those who loved Ariel, Prince Eric, or even Ursula would be able to get their fix at Disney’s Hollywood Studios by watching a fun, lively show that incorporated blacklight, puppetry, and other fun tricks.

But then Disney built New Fantasyland and Guests could go “under the sea” like never before! Guests could now not only visit Ariel in her grotto, but take pictures in front of Prince Eric’s Castle walk through the surrounding seaside, say hi to Scuttle, and do all of this before boarding a clamshell to go “under the sea” and experience The Little Mermaid in a whole new way.

"Kiss the Girl" Scene, Under the Sea - Journey of the Little Mermaid
Credit: Disney

Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid retells Ariel’s story far better than Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ stage show ever could. Aging puppets are replaced by state-of-the-art animatronics and projections. Rather than watching hits like “Under the Sea” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” performed on a stage, Guests are now immersed in the scenes, surrounded by all of the dancing fish and coming face-to-face with the evil sea-witch at her cauldron. One of my favorite parts, personally, is when the clam rotates backward and it appears that we are literally diving under the sea and then we appear to rise above the water.

The entire attraction also features a far smoother transition and just carries a more immersive experience overall.

Time for a New Show

The one thing the Little Mermaid stage show has going for it, is the theater. It’s beautiful and a prime location for another show based on another movie. But which one?

Personally, my vote goes to either Moana or Tangled.

Moana already takes place on and in the ocean so the nautical theming already makes sense. It also has tremendous potential as a stage show with an eerie Tamatoa and mischievous little kakamora. Moana already has an attraction scheduled to be included in EPCOT’s revamp, but that focuses on the nature of water. This stage show would let us relive the movie once again. Or, at the very least, give us a medley of the songs we’ve grown to love over the years.

moana attraction
Credit: Disney

As for Tangled, there is a wonderful show that performs on Disney Cruise Line ships simply called Tangled: The Musical. I would love to see this show brought to dry land and given a permanent home in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Besides, Rapunzel deserves so much more than the bathrooms.

Luckily, Disney Parks decided to upload the entire show as one of their #DisneyMagicMoments. So, I’m going to leave it here and let you decide for yourself.

Regardless, I think Voyage of the Little Mermaid has swum its course and it is time for something new at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

But what do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What show do you think, if any, belongs in that theater next? Let me know in the comments!

Editor’s Note: The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of Inside the Magic overall.

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