8 Cool Things About Voyage of the Little Mermaid at Walt Disney World

Voyage of the Little Mermaid is a long running attraction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios located within the Animation Courtyard Theater.  There are constant shows all day long each day at the park and it continues to be an extremely popular show.  Here are 8 totally cool things to learn about Voyage of the Little Mermaid:

8. The attraction was only meant to be a temporary attraction.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid was never meant to be a long-term attraction.  The plan was to replace the attraction after a brief run of around 18 months.  The attraction has been running since January 1992 and continues to be a very popular show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with shows running constantly all day long.

7. The Muppets were at the theater before Ariel and her friends.

Voyage of the Little Mermaid wasn’t the first show that debuted in the Animation Courtyard Theater.  The first show that was there was a Muppets show called Here Comes the Muppets.  It was a show that was created as part of the introduction for the Muppets to the Disney parks and then was replaced by Ariel and her friends.

6. Ursula is huge and requires multiple puppeteers.

The Ursula puppet in the show is very large, coming in at 12 feet tall and 10 feet wide.  We would expect her to be large, given all of her tentacles and how much bigger she is than the other characters in the film.  Due to the size of the puppet and the complexity of her movements, she requires multiple puppeteers to create her movements and presence during the show.


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5. The show has been shortened in length over the years.

The current version of Voyage of the Little Mermaid has around a 17 minute run time.  The show’s run time used to be longer, but was shortened in order to fit more shows into a day due to the popularity.  The unnecessary dialogue was cut and more total shows were added to the daily line-up so more guests can see the show.  The theater is usually pretty full, so the additional shows definitely help!

4. You may not be able to see some of the puppeteers.

Many of the puppets for the show, especially during the “Under the Sea” portion, are on stage the entire time, but you can’t see them.  The puppets are illuminated by black lights, making their colors extremely vibrant and beautiful.  Their puppeteers are dressed in all black from head to toe in front of a black backdrop so that you can’t see them.  It makes the puppets appear to be floating effortlessly through the “water” during the scene.

3. One of the actresses who portrayed Ariel was crowned Miss America.

Leanza Cornett was an actress who played Ariel when it opened in 1992.  That same year she participated in the Miss Florida pageant and was crowned Miss Florida.  Then she went on to the Miss America pageant and was crowned Miss America in 1993.  It just shows that talent that it takes to play such an iconic princess at Walt Disney World!

2. Watch for the Hidden Mickey’s.

If you are a Hidden Mickey hunter, then you won’t be disappointed.  There are a few for you to find within the attraction.  If you look around the lobby for the framed map, you will find that the bottom globe in the map is a Hidden Mickey.  Then, at the beginning of the show the laser lights at the beginning of the show create a Hidden Mickey, so you have to pay attention and watch closely.  Also, there is a subtle Hidden Mickey on the rock that Ariel is sitting on when she enters the show.  It is to the right from where she is sitting.  It is a little darker than the rest of the rock formation and is horizontal to her calf/ankle area.  Happy hunting!

1. The attraction is rumored to be replaced.

Even though the attraction is very popular and Ariel is still a very popular princess, with all of the changes to Disney’s Hollywood Studios the show is constantly discussed for a possible replacement.  Since the show has been running for so long and it is located extremely close to Toy Story Land, there has been a lot of speculation that the show’s days are numbered.  We recommend checking it out while you still can, just in case we learn about an official closure.

About Christy Caby

I am a diehard Disney fanatic! I fell in love with all things Disney from an early age and that only increased once I first visited Walt Disney World! It led me to complete a yearlong Disney College Program working at merchandise locations within Disney’s Hollywood Studios (Disney-MGM Studios at that time) and I worked for Disney Parks & Resorts Technology in Project/Program Management. Now I get to write about Disney and help others plan their magical vacations! Disney holds a special place in the hearts of my entire family as my husband proposed there, we honeymooned there, took trips while pregnant with each of my boys and have visited with them many, many times from 8 weeks old through now. One of my favorite memories from each trip is always the look on my kids’ faces the first time they see the castle. I’d love to help you plan your magical vacation! Request a free quote at or look for me on Facebook at Have a magical day!