Mermaid Lagoon Theater is, for me, the highlight of the Mermaid Lagoon
area of DisneySea. Inside is a show called "Under the Sea" that
recreates scenes from the movie The Little Mermaid.
The show itself is hard to categorize (other than to call it a "musical"),
and is probably unlike anything you've see before. It's a combination of
live performers, large-scale puppets, and audio animatronics. The
theater itself is circular, which means every seat in the house is a
good one. Although there is a stage in the center of the theater, the
action happens around and above you, as Ariel (i.e., The Little
Mermaid) "swims" around the theater with the help of a flying-wire
device (think Peter Pan the Musical happening above your head).
The parts of Ariel's undersea companions (like Sebastian the crab) are
provided by large scale puppets, animated by puppeteers that practically
wear the puppets. It's a little odd at first (the puppeteers are fully
visible but wearing black garments to help them blend into the
background), but you quickly learn to ignore the puppeteers as the
puppets themselves seem to come alive.
I've always liked the music from The Little Mermaid, and the music here is
faithful to the original movie. Although the soundtrack is pre-recorded
(for obvious reasons), it's still wonderful to see it being presented in
a live setting.
Whether or not you are a Little Mermaid fan, this show is really something
special. The queue lines here can be long during the day, but tend to
get shorter at night, and as this is an indoor show it doesn't really
matter what time you see it. If the lines are long, come back later in
the day—it's worth it.