One staple of Disney Imagineering is they always look for ways to re-use old items. After all, recycling parts of old attractions for new attractions saves money and also means less stuff that has to be thrown away. We've documented some of that in the past, but this week we look at another example. If you've seen the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, then you have noticed the rock that Ariel sits on for most of the show, which transports her onto the stage and takes her away before her transformation. The rock isn't by any means a marvel of engineering, but it is a recycled piece of Disney history.
The rock is a piece of machinery that was recycled from the attraction that came before Voyage of the Little Mermaid, named "Here come the Muppets". The show was a live action stage show featuring the Muppets in full costumes that had a variety of skits. One of the gags involved some of the Muppets crashing a monorail onto the stage to make their entrance.
It made for a fun joke and when Here Come the Muppets ended its' run in 1991, Imagineers began working on the attraction to replace it in the theater, Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Instead of building a new mechanism to move Ariel's rock back and forth, they simply re-used the machinery that brought the monorail into and out of the theater. In fact, backstage on the rock, you will still find it labeled "monorail"! Just goes to show you that Imagineers never let anything go to waste.
Special thanks to Daniel and Tony for providing information for this week's entry!