Are you a fan of the Disney animated classic The Little Mermaid? Here’s how to get your fill of Ariel, Eric and the rest of the gang with 17 things all Little Mermaid fans need to do in Disney World.
Things all little mermaid fans need to do in Magic Kingdom
Let’s start with the most popular park in Disney World. There’s plenty to do here if you’re a little mermaid fan including…
1. Ride Journey of the little mermaid
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid is a dark ride located in the Fantasyland section of Magic Kingdom. Going below the water in your very own clamshell, this ride tells the tale of The Little Mermaid through great animatronics, big set pieces and that unmistakable soundtrack.
This is actually one of my favourite Disney dark rides of all time – definitely one you won’t want to miss. FASTPASS+ is available for Journey of the Little Mermaid.
2. Take pictures in front of Prince Eric’s castle
If you have access to Memory Maker with your Disney park ticket (it’s free with most UK packages) you’ll want to make the most of the Photopass photographers dotted around the Disney Parks.
One of my favourite Photopass spots is in front of Prince Eric’s castle. This is actually my favourite Disney castle (yep, I even prefer it to Cinderella castle), it’s just so beautiful. If you’re a massive Little Mermaid fan, you need to add this to the list of pictures you want to get while you’re in Disney World.
3. Meet Ariel at her Grotto
Located right next to Journey of the Little Mermaid is Ariel’s Grotto, the only permanent Ariel meet and greet in the Magic Kingdom. This is actually a really gorgeous character meet with a fantastic set piece. There’s a Photopass photographer here to capture some of the special in-action moments too. FASTPASS+ is available to book for Ariel’s Grotto.
4. Eat at Cinderella’s Royal Table
Although we named this as one of the most overrated things in Magic Kingdom, Cinderella’s Royal Table – the restaurant located in Cinderella Castle – is a great option of you’re keen on getting as much Little Mermaid into your holiday as possible.
A signature experience, the thing that sets this place apart is the opportunity to dine with the princesses. Cinderella is the only one guaranteed though, so it can be pot-luck if Ariel turns up.
We would personally choose to meet Ariel in her Grotto, as Cinderella’s Royal Table is more of a family experience than an adult one. But, the option’s there if you fancy ticking a load of princesses off your list at once. This is a tough-to-get reservation, so make sure you book it as soon as you can once your 180 day dining window has opened.
5. Catch Festival of Fantasy Parade
The Festival of Fantasy Parade is the daily parade that runs from Frontierland to Main Street USA in Magic Kingdom. Ariel, Sebastian and flounder make an appearance on a dedicated, and beautiful, float.
6. Watch Mickey’s Philharmagic
A great spot to get a quick rest and some air conditioning, Mickey’s Philharmagic is located in Fantasyland and is a 3D movie featuring some of the best music from Disney animated classics. Naturally, The Little Mermaid is included here, and there’s the added bonus of some cool physical effects too.
7. Browse the window’s Of the Emporium
The windows of The Emporium, the biggest shop on Main Street USA, are pretty magical. And that’s especially so if you’re a fan of The Little Mermaid.
There’s a great re-creation of the ‘under the sea’ scene from the Journey of the Little Mermaid in the window that’s intricate and beautiful. Well worth a look when you’re passing through.
THINGS ALL LITTLE MERMAID FANS NEED TO DO IN EPCOT
There’s not much on offer for fans of The Little Mermaid in Epcot. But you can still get a little fix of mermaid magic…
8. Dine at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Another princess themed dining experience, Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is situated in the Noway pavilion in World Showcase in Epcot.
Like Cinderella’s Royal Table, Ariel appears in human form but she doesn’t appear every day so it’s another one you’ll need to take a gamble on.
The food is Norwegian-style so it doesn’t suit everyone but unlike Cinderella’s Royal Table it’s only one table service credit on the Disney Dining Plan.
THINGS LITTLE MERMAID FANS NEED TO DO IN Hollywood Studios
9. Watch Voyage of the Little Mermaid
This super-fun show in Animation Courtyard in Hollywood Studios is jam-packed with great songs, fantastic puppets, bright colours and special effects.
All your favourite Little Mermaid characters are out in force for this show and every time we’ve seen it the actress playing Ariel has been fantastic. A bit of a hidden gem in Hollywood Studios that we’d more than recommend you check out. FASTPASS+ is available for this attraction but you really don’t need to use one, you can always get a seat at the next showing.
10. Catch Fantasmic! one evening
Fantasmic! is the spectacular night time show at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Ariel and Prince Eric appear in the show, and there are some great projections from the film involved too.
The Little Mermaid certainly isn’t the main draw of this one, but it’s well, well worth seeing anyway.
Things Little Mermaid fans need to do in Disney World Resorts
11. Stay at Art of Animation
Art of Animation is one of Disney’s value resorts, and it’s an absolute must for any Little Mermaid fans. Why? Because you can stay in an Ariel-themed room for the duration of your stay. The rooms can fit four-people and are the perfect place to stay if you’re a massive fan of the film.
12. Visit Art of Animation
If you don’t fancy staying at Art of Animation, or your budget won’t stretch to it, then don’t let that stop you from taking in all the mermaid-y goodness.
You can catch a cab or hop on a Disney bus to the resort and browse the grounds which feature massive statues of all the main characters from the film.
We did this one morning during our last trip and loved grabbing pictures with some of our favourite characters. Art of Animation is also now on the Disney Skyliner route, making it even easier to visit from other parts of the resort.
13. Dine at Sebastian’s Bistro
Located at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Sebastian’s Bistro is a gorgeously themed table service restaurant with a Caribbean-inspired menu. Named after my personal favourite character in The Little Mermaid, Sebastian, this is an adult-friendly venue that’s easily accessible on the Disney Skyliner.
Jerk chicken, beef empanadas and coconut shrimp are just a few of the delicious meals on offer here. If you’re on the Disney Dining Plan, this is one we’d suggest you consider adding to your list of advanced dining reservations.
14. Visit Ariel statues at various Disney Resort Hotels
It’s not just at the more obvious Disney World resorts that Ariel pops up, you can also find statues of her at All Star Movies and Disney’s Beach Club. So, if you’re staying at either of these, or are just passing through, it’s worth stopping to snap a little pic.
Things Little Mermaid fans need to do in the rest of Disney World
Finally, we’ve reached the end of the things all Little Mermaid fans need to do in Disney World. Here you’ll find some of the places outside the parks and resorts where you can get your Ariel fix.
15. Dine at trattoria al forno
Another fantastic dining experience this time located at Disney’s Boardwalk. The Bon Voyage Breakfast at Trattoria al Forno is a great character dining experience where you can meet Ariel, Prince Eric, Rapunzel and Flynn Rider.
We’ve not eaten here before but have heard great things, and unlike Cinderella’s Royal Table and Akershus Royal Banquet, a meet and greet with Ariel and Eric is guaranteed. Disney’s Boardwalk is close to Hollywood Studios and Epcot, so is probably best booked for the days you’re heading to either one of these parks.
16. Shop at The World of Disney
Along with a great variety of Little Mermaid merchandise, there’s a lovely Ariel statue here for you to snap a picture of too.
17. Watch the Electric water Pageant
Sailing across the Seven Seas Lagoon, the Electrical water Pageant is an enchanting musical pageant that sails nightly to a melody of beautiful songs. King Triton is featured here along with some of the music from The Little Mermaid.
Some of the perfect places to view this spectacular are:
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort – beginning at 8.50pm
- Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort – beginning at 9pm
- Disney’s Wilderness Lodge – beginning at 9.30pm
- Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground – beginning at 9.45pm
- Disney’s Contemporary Resort – beginning at 10pm
- Entrance to Magic Kingdom – beginning at 10.35pm during extended theme park hours
Phew… there we have it. All the things fans of The Little Mermaid need to do in Walt Disney World. Have you done all of these? Or is there any we’ve missed? Let us know in the comments.