In 2003, the show was updated: Ariel now sits on a rock instead of a shell, the scene where King Triton appoints Sebastian as Ariel's guardian was omitted, and the bubbles were also removed from the show.
The show also had some changes in costumes, lighting, effects or scenography in 1994, 1997, 2001, 2009, 2017, 2019 and 2020.
On July 15, 2020, when Walt Disney World reopened after being temporarily closed during the ongoing of the COVID-19 pandemic, it was permanently closed. However, following Walt Disney World's reopening, Disney's Hollywood Studios announced that the updated version of the live show would return in 2022, as part of Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary celebration.
The show started out with a preshow following artifacts such as King Triton's trident. Then you entered a theater made to look like an underwater sea grotto where the show began. It started with the Oscar-winning song "Under The Sea", featuring various "black light" puppets, then went into "Part of Your World", which was followed by Ursula singing "Poor Unfortunate Souls". It was performed by a gigantic puppet, 12 feet tall, and 10 feet wide. After Ursula stole Ariel's voice, a montage of the film leading up to her demise was shown. Then it went to the scene where King Triton lets Ariel go with Prince Eric. At the end, a curtain of falling water covered the stage.