|©Walt Disney Company|
Guests experiencing Under The Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom park will relive the romance and excitement of the classic “Little Mermaid” story through scenic design, Audio-Animatronics characters, special effects and, of course, the award-winning songs written by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken for the Disney animated motion picture.
The musical aspects of the experience begin in the Little Mermaid queue area, where guests waiting to board will hear an extended medley of songs from the original film, like the overture to a Broadway show.
Then, as they travel through the attraction, guests will see the familiar characters performing beloved musical numbers in exquisitely designed animated scenes, including “Part of Your World,” a rousing, spectacular “Under the Sea,” “Kiss the Girl,” and Ursula the Sea Witch’s darkly persuasive “Poor Unfortunate Souls.” Some original voice artists from “The Little Mermaid,” including Jodi Benson (Ariel) and Pat Carroll (Ursula), are featured on the attraction’s soundtrack.
The score for Under The Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid was recorded by a 65-piece orchestra under the direction of Arranger and Orchestrator, Danny Troob, who has collaborated on many theatrical scores with Alan Menken, composer of the film score for “The Little Mermaid.” Troob’s arrangements were specially created for the Little Mermaid attraction.
“In film, the music withdraws and is supposed to be in the background,” Troob explains. “In a theme park (attraction), the music is supposed to be consistently entertaining, so your approach has to be a lot more proactive and even aggressive.”
Of the several musical highlights in Under The Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid, the largest scene is a full-scale musical “extravaganza” featuring 129 different characters performing “Under the Sea.” The sequence takes up approximately one-third of the area inside the attraction and has a scope similar to that of the final scene in “it’s a small world.”
As in the motion picture, songs like “Part of Your World” and “Poor Unfortunate Souls” illuminate key “Little Mermaid” characters and drive the emotional content of the show. “The attraction is really built around those classic songs from the film and we chose the ‘greatest hits’ to help guide our guests through the story—so as you dive under the sea, Ariel’s singing ‘Part of Your World’ and we get to swim with her in her grotto. The music really creates the energy for the entire attraction and is your guide on this wonderful journey.” – Chris Beatty, Creative Director, New Fantasyland