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Even more info about Disneyland-Paris' "Little Mermaid" attraction

Even more info about Disneyland-Paris' "Little Mermaid" attraction

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This website got so much mail about last week's photo essay, I thought that the least I should do is answer some of JHM readers questions about this proposed Disneyland - Paris attraction.

First and foremost, people wanted to know where those pictures had come from. Well, to be honest, they weren't pictures. They were image captures off of the "Grand Opening of Euro Disney" TV special, which aired here in the U.S. on April 11, 1992.

As part of this two-hour-long broadcast, the Walt Disney Company did a lot of talking about what was supposed to happen next at the Parisian resort. And among the items that Melanie Griffith & Don Johnson (I.E. The two performers who served as co-hosts of the United States version of this show) talked up was Disney-MGM Studios Europe.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Yep, if all had gone according to plan, Euro Disney would have been home to a studio theme park that was an improvement in all ways on the Orlando original. With a bigger & better backlot ...


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Not to mention a much more ambitious version of "The Great Movie Ride." Which -- as you might expect -- was to have been housed inside yet another recreation of Hollywood's famous Chinese Theater.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Of course, the Euro Disney resort's financial difficulties quickly put the kibosh on this bigger, grander version of Disney-MGM. But -- at the same time -- they also pulled the plug on Euro Disneyland's "Phase II." Which called for a sit-down theater show version of "Beauty and the Beast" that was to have combined live actors and Audio Animantronics. As well as a "Little Mermaid" dark ride ...


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Which was to have been built at the outermost edge of Fantasyland near Discoveryland ...


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.

This proposed attraction was actually pretty far along the development track when it got cancelled. The Imagineers had already moved from a paper cut-out version of the dark ride ...


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.

... to a fully dimensional model. One that was to have replicated what this attraction actually looked like on a one-inch-equals-one foot scale.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.

So -- when you look at this sculpt of Ursula's head -- what you really need to do is imagine it being 15 feet tall. Looming over you and laughing manically. Until -- of course (through the magic of black light and luminescent paint) the sea witch's face turns into a giant glow-in-the-dark skull. Which signals that Prince Eric has defeated Ursula and that it's now time to move on to this attraction's happy ending.


Copyright Disney Enterprises, Inc.

Speaking of happy endings ... As you know, no good idea ever dies at WDI. Which is why the Imagineers have recently been talking about possibly reviving this "Little Mermaid" dark ride concept and building it right next door to the "Ariel's Grotto" meet-and-greet area at WDW's Magic Kingdom. Thereby creating a "Little Mermaid" mini-land, in much the same way that the proximity of "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" and "Pooh's Playful Spot" creates a "Pooh" -themed mini-land in that same theme park.

Of course, given that the proposed construction site of this "Little Mermaid" dark ride is where Disney World's old "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea" ride used to be located ... I think that it's kind of appropriate that Magic Kingdom visitors may soon be able to go "Under the Sea" in this very same spot.

Here's hoping that -- this time around -- that things goes swimmingly for Ariel & her friends. And that this particular version of the "Little Mermaid" dark ride actually does make it off the drawing board.

Jeff Lange is the staff photographer / archivist here at JHM. He recently released his very first DVD, "Jeff Lange's Trick or Treat." Which offers full coverage of last year's "Mickey's Not-so-Scary Halloween Party" at WDW's Magic Kingdom. If you'd like to learn more about this entertaining recording, we suggest that you follow this link.

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