Since this seems to be the de facto thread for reviews and observations based on the video, I'm putting my DCA tracker post here:
Just watched the full ride through of Mermaid. I'm not sure what people were expecting, but I think it's fantastic. Of course that's just going by the video (but the quality is pretty good). Anyway, my speculation is that people were SO intent on being blown away that they are completely overlooking the little details and beautiful "art" (both audio and visual) within the ride.
I mean, in the very beginning alone you have a beautifully painted shipwreck that you pass through, and a gorgeous sunset behind Scuttle. Then you have the absolutely gorgeous "travel under the sea" effects along with the mystical music and the projection of Ariel and Flounder. They sold me in those first 30 seconds or so.
It has the perfect amount of whimsy. There's so many elements of the beautiful, sweeping melodies from the film. There's energy. There's just something emotional about it that is like literally no dark ride like it in the entire DLR, including Fantasyland. It reminded me a lot of some of the omnimover attractions at Epcot, and believe me, that's a very good thing. I think they squeezed more musical grandeur and diversity into this attraction than any other single attraction in the resort - PotC and HM included (and I love the music in both of those).
The cons? Too short. It's honestly amazing that they squeezed that much into that tiny building. Unfortunately, size was a limitation I don't think they could overcome. Maybe they could have stolen some real estate from the nearby area towards Corn Dog Castle. That might have helped. And the ending was only slightly iffy for me. To be honest, I found it rather fitting and appropriate.
I'm not saying people don't have a right to be displeased. But just going by the video, this attraction turned out to be far more captivating and emotionally engrossing than I expected. It's very intimate and personal, as opposed to the colder and more haphazard romps that take place in the typical "classic" Fantasyland dark rides. I really love it, and I'm really jazzed about riding it in person when I get the chance.
Just a guess, but I think people were anticipating the AA main characters so much that they simply didn't absorb everything about the ride. This was clearly more about giving you some of the color, flavor, and textures of the film than trying to "retell" the story. And to me, that's what I vastly prefer in a Disney theme park attraction. Don't retell the story of the movie. Please, don't do that. If I want the story of the film, I'll go home and watch the movie. I want an attraction like this to evoke the flair, whimsy, and drama of the film, and from a personal standpoint, they did that more than I expected.
ETA: Also, with regard to not showing Ursala's demise - they don't need it. It's a whimsical ride. Having a "death scene" is too morbid. Yes, I said it. Everyone who's seen the movie knows that Ursala gets it. There's no need to show it on the attraction. I've said this before, but you can't boil 90 minutes of film down to 6 minutes of an attraction. Leave out the stuff that doesn't contribute to the emotional tone you're trying to set. Death is too incongruent with the tone of the rest of the attraction (yes, even the Ursala scene). It works in Snow White - the entire ride is dark in tone. Mermaid is roughly equivalent in tone to Splash Mountain.