Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is an attraction located in the Tomorrowland area of Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California, which opened on June 11, 2007. Based on the characters and settings of the 2003 Disney/Pixar film, Finding Nemo, the attraction is a re-theming of the classic Submarine Voyage attraction, which closed in 1998.
The original Submarine Voyage attraction was built as part of the "new" Tomorrowland in 1959, and closed on September 9th, 1998. At that time, Disneyland's president, Paul Pressler, promised the press and Disneyland fans that the attraction would re-open with a new theme by 2003. One of the first attempts to resurrect the subs was banked on the success of the 2001 Disney animated film, Atlantis: The Lost Empire. But when Atlantis failed at the box office, instead of creating a ride at the location based on the film, an "Atlantis" themed photo spot was put in front of the lagoon. However, the attraction remained untouched. Later, the entire lagoon was forgotten and became a scenic viewpoint. The submarines were stored inside the show building without maintenance. Unfortunately, Pressler left, and the attraction's announced 2003 return date passed without action.
When Matt Ouimet became the President of Disneyland Resort in 2003, many noticed new activity in the Submarine Lagoon. Neptune, one of the original eight submarines in the fleet, was moored at the old Submarine Voyage station dock for inspection by Walt Disney Imagineering in 2004. The submarines were being tested to see if new animated show scenes would be visible from the portholes. Rumors spread quickly over the Internet, saying that an attraction based on the Disney/Pixar animated film Finding Nemo was going to finally replace Submarine Voyage. After months of speculation, on July 15, 2005, two days before the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage was officially announced at the new Turtle Talk with Crush attraction at Disney's California Adventure by Walt Disney Parks and Resorts President Jay Rasulo. The attraction was a success with fans and queue line times for the ride stretched to nearly four hours when it opened, and even today, the attraction still has an average wait time of 45-90 minutes.The Ride
At the attraction's entrance, guests enter the Nautical Exploration and Marine Observation (NEMO) research center. There are three seagulls perched on a nearby buoy, bellowing out the phrase "Mine! Mine! Mine!" every few seconds.
The guests board one of NEMO's eight research submarines and set out in search of an active underwater volcano. Through their portholes, guests view a spectacular underwater environment. One of the first things guests see is Darla, the evil fish-killing niece of the dentist in Finding Nemo, freediving amid the coral, holding a bag with a fish in it. As we continue on, we see a giant sea bass swimming through a forest of seaweed. The submarines later enter the ruins of the ancient civilization of Easter Island, being explored by the dentist scuba diver P. Sherman. Among the stone ruins lies a gigantic tiki head embedded in the ocean floor. The scene soon changes as the subs are immersed in the setting of a coral reef in bright colors of orange, aqua, green, crimson, maize, and more. Giant clams slowly open and close their mouths as the submarines pass.
The captain commands the sub to dive much deeper to avoid a surface storm ahead. Shortly after passing into the caverns, the captain announces that due to amazing new marine technology called "sonar hydrophones", they can actually hear the fish talk (an homage to the original attraction). The subs then pass through a dark cavern where huge eels lunge toward the submarine and lobsters are fighting. The subs pass Marlin and Dory as they discover Nemo has become lost once again. Further along the reef, the guests come across Mr. Ray and his class swimming through the coral looking for Nemo as well.
The captain says they are approaching open water and the subs pass Crush, Squirt, and the other green turtles and enter the East Australian Current. The subs then exit the current and enter a spooky graveyard of sunken ships where Marlin and Dory continue their search for Nemo. Bruce, Anchor, and Chum swim inside a sunken U-Boat surrounded by World War II mines. The submarines hit one, shaking the sub and causing it to temporarily lose power. The sub goes dark and Marlin and Dory are suddenly surrounded by small glowing spots. Suddenly, a huge deep-sea anglerfish appears. After Marlin and Dory escape the monster, they go through a forest of jellyfish.
The submarine reaches the active deep-sea volcano. As lava flows down the edge of the volcano, the Tank Gang chant and Marlin finally finds Nemo. The volcano erupts just as the subs escape and enter the coral reef once again. The fish gather and celebrate finding Nemo once again.
Suddenly, a pod of humpback whales appear and one of them swallows both Dory and the submarine. As Dory swims about trying to speak whale, the whale shoots the submarine out through its blowhole. The sub captain tells the first mate and the passengers not to mention anything because "nobody would probably believe them anyway". He then says, "We better get out of here before we see a sea serpent or mermaid." (in reference to the prior attraction which featured four mermaids and a gigantic sea serpent.) Soon after he says this, we see two coral formations one shaped like the sea serpent's head the other shaped like a swimming mermaid. (hidden mermaid and sea serpent). The submarine then enters the harbor and view a pair of king crabs snapping at air bubbles atop a sewage pipe. The song "Beyond the Sea" (instrumental) plays as the captain thanks the passengers for riding.
The ride lasts approximately 15 minutes.The Submarines
The attraction uses the same submarine ride vehicles deployed in the original Submarine Voyage. The load/unload areas, however, are now themed as an Australian harbor, as in the movie. The submarines do not actually submerge; they are boats on underwater rails in which the passenger seating cabin is below the water level. The old submarines only allowed 38 guests, but with the removal of the diesel engines now has 40 seats each, but do allow lap sitting. There are however only 46 flotation devices on board, providing for a maximum of 45 guests and 1 driver. The subs have been repainted a new bright yellow above the water, with a light blue strip dividing a dark blue/black hull below the water. A wavy blue stripe is painted across the ceiling of each submarine, and a dark blue color lines the portholes in the interior of the cabin. Additionally, an alternate version of the ride, the Marine Observation Outpost, or "MOO" for short, has been provided for guests with physical disabilities who cannot navigate the submarine spiral staircases or who are claustrophobic. The observation outpost allows guests to experience the entire ride in high definition on a LCD screen.Nemo submarine names
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- 107 Nautilus
- 207 Scout, formerly Neptune, formerly Seawolf
- 307 Voyager, formerly Sea Star, formerly Skate
- 407 Mariner, formerly Explorer, formerly Skipjack
- 507 Seafarerer, formerly Seeker, formerly Triton
- 607 Explorer, formerly Argonaut, formerly George Washington
- 707 Neptune, formerly Triton, formerly Patrick Henry
- 807 Argonaut, formerly Sea Wolf, formerly Ethan Allen