First Look: The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, Goofy’s Flying School and More

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After a recent update, the Blue Sky Cellar at Disney California Adventure re-opened today and we got a first look before the park opened at some of the new and exciting attractions coming to the Disneyland Resort within the next couple of years and here’s what we have learned of the upcoming additions:

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Ariel’s Undersea Adventure – This attraction, which is slated to open in 2011 is also coming to the Magic Kingdom in 2012. Boarding what looks at first to be a clammobile from the Nemo & Friends attraction at Epcot (the vehicles here are simply called clamshells), guests actually enter the doorless vehicles from the sides (as the vehicle will be perpendicular to the guest at loading). A vehicle identified as Triton’s Chariot will be able to directly support a wheelchair. In the loading area will be a mural telling the story of The Little Mermaid and measuring in at an amazing 86 foot length and 12 foot height.

On display is a layout of the attraction at 1:96 scale and maps out all of the defined areas of the attraction. After boarding the vehicle (Scene 1): the guest will travel to see Scuttle and Sebastion (Scene 2); descend (Scene 3) into Ariel’s Grotto (Scene 4) where the guest will encounter an audio animatronic of Ariel holding a chest in her lap and a figure of a dancing couple as she sings ‘Part of Your World.’ According to the plans on display, Ariel will be capable of almost 30 separate functions including full control of her pupils (as well as blinking) and full mouth movement. Guests will then continue on to journey under the sea which includes new effects to enhance the sensation (Scene 5); Travel to Ursula’s Lair (Scene 6); ascend (Scene 7) to the ‘Kiss the Girl’ scene (Scene 8); journey on to Love’s First Kiss (Scene 9); and finally live Happily Ever After (Scene 10) before unloading (Scene 11).

Interestingly enough, the attraction’s ride system and vehicles are being constructed in Japan.

Goofy’s Sky School – A redo of Mulholland Madness and also expected to open in 2011, Goofy’s Sky School is based on the classic ‘how to’ cartoons featuring every one’s favorite talking dog. Although it looks like the billboards will remain (but re-themed), the facades will all be lowered to ground level, opening the attraction up. Guests will enter the queue through a ‘control tower’ designed to fit in with the early seaside attraction theming of Paradise Pier. The vehicles will also remain the same but will receive a paint and decal makeover as well as a hood ornament of sorts.

Red Car Trolley – Probably one of the more highly anticipated new attractions of the park makeover is the addition of the Red Car vehicle system for moving around the park. At a height of  10’4″ and approximate length of 26′, the ‘butterfly-wing’ grilled cars are reminiscent of their inspiration from the 1920s and 30s. They are battery powered despite the presence of overhead wires which exist only for show. As they are shown, the cars will seat 20 guests as well as one guest with a wheelchair/ECV in addition to the vehicle operator. There are four stops connecting Buena Vista Street with Hollywood (where tracks have already been embedded into the streets). A map shows proposed wig wag locations for the system: Buena Vista, Carthay Circle and Tower/Bugs. As a sidebar, concept art reveals that the vehicles (or perhaps specially designed ones) can serve as entertainment vehicles as the Omnibus has at Magic Kingdom for example.

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First Look: ‘Waking Sleeping Beauty’ Doc Looks at Rebirth of Disney Animation

020 Waking Sleeping Beauty, directed by Disney film producer Don Hahn and co-produced by Hahn and Peter Schneider, is an upcoming documentary that goes behind the scenes of the rebirth of Disney Animation with films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King.

Walt Disney Studios has provided us with these stills from the film which capture the essence of what went in to creating a series of films that defined an entire generation of new fans of Disney animation.

Click on any thumbnail to see the larger version or click on the PicLens link to start the slideshow.

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The Little Mermaid’s Broadway Run Loses Its Legs August 30

It’s being widely reported that Disney Theatrical has opted to close the show with August 30 being the final performance after an almost two year run in an effort to avoid losses during the ‘slowdown season.’ Tickets for performances sold beyond August 30 are eligible for a refund.

Sierra Boggess, who originated the role of Ariel, has recently left the show after extending her intial performances.

It is expected that there will be a touring production of the musical commencing late 2010.

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Celebrate Fifteen Years on Broadway with New Digital Compilation of Disney Broadway Hits

Disney on Broadway EssentialsOn Tuesday, June 9, Disney Theatrical will make a compilation of 19 tracks from the original cast recordings of all of its Broadway shows from the past fifteen years. That’s music from Beauty and the Beast, Aida, the Lion King, Tarzan, Mary Poppins and the Little Mermaid.

In addition, iTunes will have exclusive bonuses available such as a previously unreleased version of ‘Feed the Birds’ as performed by Ashley Brown, who originated the role of Mary Poppins. iTunes will also offer a video clip of a performance of ‘Step in Time’ from the show itself.

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The Little Mermaid Musical to Offer Performance at Book Signing Appearance in NYC

TLM BookCast members from Disney Theatrical’s The Little Mermaid will offer a discussion and performance at the Lincoln Triangle Barnes and Noble (1972 Broadway) in New York City on May 7 at 4 pm.  The appearance also features a book signing by Michael Lassell, author of the behind-the-scenes book ‘Little Mermaid: From the Deep Blue Sea to the Great White Way.’

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Disney Announces $15 Tickets to Celebrate Their 15 Years on Broadway

Disney Theatrical Productions is celebrating 15 years on Broadway by offering “$15 FOR 15″ – 15 days to purchase companion tickets for THE LITTLE MERMAID, Mary Poppins or THE LION KING for $15. Beginning at noon this Sunday, April 5 until 11:59 PM on Sunday April 19, theatre-goers will have the opportunity to buy a $15 companion ticket for all three popular Disney on Broadway shows with the purchase of a regular priced ticket to more than 125 performances throughout the spring.

“When I look back on our 15 year history, one achievement that continues to be a great source of pride is our ability to bring first-time theatre goers to Broadway,” said Thomas Schumacher, producer and president of Disney Theatrical Productions. “We’ve helped instill a love of theatre in adults and children alike, and being able to broaden that reach with an opportunity like this is profoundly gratifying.”

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Earn a Sea Plus With The Little Mermaid’s Sierra Boggess

The Little Mermaid's Sierra Boggess (Photo By Per Breiehagen)

The Little Mermaid's Sierra Boggess (Photo By Per Breiehagen)

A Class Act NY will be hosting a special class for children ages 7-16 in Manhattan on April 5. Instructors will be Sierra Boggess (who portrays Ariel in the Broadway production) and a casting director from Tara Rubin Casting, who cast the show. Registration, which can be done on A Class Act NY’s website, is $150. (more…)

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