The theater that currently houses the Voyage of the Little Mermaid was originally the finale of the walking tour section of the Studio Backlot Tour. After taking the tour, guests would enter the theater and watch previews for upcoming Disney films . In 1990, the theater was separated from the tour and subsequently used to house a new attraction called Here Come the Muppets . Here Come the Muppets was the first part of Disney's plan to integrate the Mupppets into Disney-MGM Studios . In fact, the attraction was always viewed as a temporary attraction that would operate until MuppetVision 3D was completed . After running for eighteen months, Here Come the Muppets closed .
Following the run of Here Come the Muppets, Imagineers created a new stage show titled Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Created with a budget of only 5.5 million dollars , Imagineers initially thought that the new show would run for a year or two .
Finally, on January 7, 1992 Voyage of the Little Mermaid opened to guests . Since its creation the show has seen no major changes.
The Voyage of the Little Mermaid begins with guests traveling underwater as an instrumental version of "Part of Your World” plays. After a brief opening, Sebastian the Crab sings "Under the Sea" as various fish (including Flounder) dance around. As Sebastian sings, more and more fish join him, celebrating their life underwater.
After Under the Sea ends, guests see Ariel sitting in her treasure room. King Trident can be heard scolding his daughter for visiting the surface again. After the king leaves, Ariel sings "Part of Your World" as she shows off her treasures. As she sings, clips from the Little Mermaid film are shown.
Following the end of Ariel's song, Ursula appears. The villain tells Ariel that she can turn her into a human, granting her wish. Ursula tells the mermaid that in order to turn Ariel into a human; she will have to give up her voice. Furthermore if she is not kissed by Prince Eric by the third day of the spell, Ariel will turn back into a mermaid and belong to Ursula. She then sings her signature song- "Poor Unfortunate Souls".
When Poor Unfortunate Souls ends, a series of clips from the movie are shown. The clips show Ariel turning back into a mermaid and Ursula getting control of the trident before being killed by Prince Eric. The scene then shifts to Ariel singing Part of Your World (reprise) as King Trident and Sebastian agree that Ariel needs to be free to live her own life. King Trident then turns Ariel permanently into a human and Ariel and Eric are reunited. The show then ends with a curtain of water descending on the stage.