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The official Disneyland press releases reveals a storyline that puts the guests as
members of the Finding Nemo sub crew. Guests will embark on an expedition to
observe an active undersea volcano. But soon after departure, they will be delighted
to discover their favorite fish friends from the Disney/Pixar movie Finding Nemo. Dory
the Blue Tang fish, Marlin the Clown fish, Crush the Turtle, Bruce the Great White
Shark and the members of the Finding Nemo "tank gang", are getting into the swim of
things right alongside their submarine! Nemo and his friends are able to go along for
the ride thanks to Disneyland's new projection technology.
With new use of the subs' vintage "sonar hydrophones," Guests will hear fish talk with
the same personalities and humor established in the Finding Nemo film. Guests will get
to eavesdrop on the exploits of their favorite Finding Nemo characters: Dory, Marlin,
Crush, Bruce, and of course, Nemo! Disneyland guests will get to take part in an ever
changing adventure of trying to "find" Nemo throughout the Submarine Voyage. Along
the way guests catch glimpses of Nemo in a variety of colorful undersea environments
while joining Crush, Dory, Bruce and Marlin in the undersea search. There will be
several moments when Guests aboard their submarine will be able to see Nemo while
the other guests won't! After surviving a sub-shaking volcanic eruption, the subs dive
alongside a beautiful coral reef where Marlin, Nemo and all their friends gather to
celebrate finding Nemo at last!
Above: The Disneyland Monorail looks
like a Submarine! Below: A look INSIDE
one of the Finding Nemo Submarines
(Above) In August there was a tarp covering a
large portion of the Finding Nemo construction
site at Disneyland.
(Above) Below the tarp you can see that
Disneyland has all eight submarines painted and
prepared for their maiden voyage!
Visit our Photo Gallery page for a much more
complete photo tour of the construction of
Disneyland's Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
WestCoaster.net and DisneyGeek.com for
sharing their pictures!
Disneyland Submarine Voyage
The very first Submarine Voyage ride opened in Disneyland in June of 1959, the same
day that The Matterhorn and The Monorail opened. The Submarine Voyage was a
replacement for the less popular Phantom Boat Ride at
Disneyland, which consisted of gasoline powered boats
that often stalled, leaving visitors stuck in the middle
of the lagoon. Walt Disney believed that the earth’s
oceans were the "Last Frontier" so he proposed the
idea of a voyage through liquid space at Disneyland.
What started as an "innocent" journey through an
underwater field of fish and ocean vegetation quickly
turned into an adventurous encounter with sea
serpents and giant squids. Guests on Disneyland's
Submarine Voyage would pass over an underwater
volcano, lost treasure, a "graveyard of lost ships," and
the legendary Lost Continent of Atlantis. As the subs
went "deeper", you'd see bubbles traveling diagonally
upwards, starting at the bottom right hand corner of
each submarine's porthole to simulate the effect of
going deeper into the ocean at each turn.
track through an ocean with hundreds of animatronic plants and sea creatures. In 1965
Disneyland had real women in mermaid costumes floating around the submarine
portholes, but the "mermaids" started getting sick from the chemicals in the water, so in
1967 Disneyland had to rely solely on it's animatronics to give guests the thrill of seeing
The eight submarines in Disneyland’s fleet were
originally named after the U.S. Navy's atomic
submarines: The Nautilus, The Seawolf, The Skate,
The Triton, The Ethan Allan, The Patrick Henry, The
Skipjack, and the George Washington. The submarines
were each 52 feet long and weighed 94,000 pounds.
They could seat 38 guests at a time and traveled at a
maximum speed of 1.7 miles per hour.
The Submarines cost Disneyland $80,000 each to
build, but that was in the 1950's. In 2006 dollars that
would be almost a half a million dollars! Not to mention
that it takes nine million gallons of water to fill up the
Lagoon that houses the ride, and the Lagoon had to
be drained occasionally for cleaning. Besides wreaking
havoc on Disneyland’s water bill, the Lagoon was also
difficult to maintain because divers had to be sent
underwater every night to clean up debris and fix the
audio-animatronics whenever they broke down.
In 1980 each of the Submarines was re-painted yellow and, except for the Nautilus
Submarine, they were also re-named: The Triton became the Neptune; The Seawolf
became the Sea Star; The Skate became the Explorer; The Skipjack became the
Seeker; The George Washington became the Argonaut; The Patrick Henry became the
Triton; and the Ethan Allen became theDisneyland Auction Sea Wolf. The new yellow
submarines were to look more like research vessels than war machines.
In 1998 the Submarine Voyage closed
and many of the underwater artifacts
from the ride were sold at auction:
the sea serpent (which sold for
$3,000), the divers fighting over the
treasure chest, and the octopus.
The Submarine Voyage was not gone
for good though! Disneyland recently
re-opened the Finding Nemo
Submarine ride (which you can read
more about below). The Finding Nemo
Submarine Voyage opened in
Disneyland in the June of 2007!
Visit the Submarine Stories page for some interesting stories about the Disneyland
Submarine Voyage. DisneySubmarines.com would like to thank Theme Parks 360 for
providing us with the video ride-through of the original Submarine Voyage that you can
watch on our Disney Submarines Video Page.
Disney World's 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea
Disney World's version of the Submarine Voyage, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea,
opened with Disney World in 1971. 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea was very similar to
the Submarine Voyage at Disneyland, except all the submarine's were near-exact
replica's of the Nautilus Submarine from the Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under The
Sea, and the submarine's audio soundtrack was read by Captain Nemo himself. Disney
World's version of the Submarine Voyage also featured a slightly different rendition of
the underwater sea serpent.
The site 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea has some excellent video footage from the
Submarine Voyage at Walt Disney World.
Disneyland Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
Although the Submarine Lagoon at Disney World has been torn down, replaced by an
attraction for small children called "Pooh’s Playful Spot," the Lagoon at Disneyland has
been refurbished and construction has been completed on the Disney/Pixar Finding
Nemo Submarine Voyage! As Disney fans plans their vacations, the presence of the
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland may be a factor in helping people decide
whether to visit Disney World in Florida or Disneyland in California.
When Submarine Voyage closed, Disneyland announced plans
to build a submarine ride based on the Lost Continent of
Atlantis, but that never materialized. In 2004, not long after
Matt Ouimet became the president of Disneyland, one of the
eight submarines in the original fleet, The Neptune, was
spotted in the Submarine Lagoon at Disneyland being used to
test some special effects for the Finding Nemo Submarine
Voyage. (See the Finding Nemo ride construction pics on our
Photo Gallery page for photos of the Neptune being tested.)
On July 15 of 2005 the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage was
New technology is being used in the Finding Nemo ride at
Disneyland to create the illusion of an undersea journey:
Instead of underwater plastic fish on strings, guests will gaze
through the submarine portholes at projected images that
appear to be moving through the water outside the boat.
Some have suggested that each porthole may have it's own
effects box, similar to a small aquarium tank, that is in fact
dry inside, keeping the projection equipment, set pieces, and
Audio-Animatronics dry. Because there will be a space
between the glass walls of these dry tanks and the
submarines, from the rider's perspective, are below the water
level, the effect will appear as if the scenes are underwater
as the guests look through the water to the scenes in the
The Seagulls who yelp "Mine Mine" in the Disney/Pixar movie
Finding Nemo also appear in the outside queue area as brand
new audio-animatronics. (You can see the Finding Nemo
Seagulls in action on our Video Page.) In addition to a
brand-new loading station, there is an area for guests who
have wheelchairs and cannot ride the Finding Nemo
Submarine Voyage at Disneyland. Due to the configuration of
the subs (they are grandfathered as they were built before
ADA requirements), a video booth has been built at
Disneyland allowing those who cannot ride the Finding Nemo
Submarine Voyage a place to view a video presentation of
As with the old Submarine Voyage, the
Finding Nemo submarines do not
completely submerge; they are boats in
which the passenger seating area is below
the water level. For the Finding Nemo
version of the attraction, two seats have
been added to each submarine, bringing
each sub's capacity up to 40 guests. The
subs have been repainted yellow and
renamed Nautilus, Scout, Voyager,
Mariner, Seafarer, Explorer, Neptune and
The diesel fuel that powered the original Submarine Voyage has been scrapped and
the subs are now electrically powered. DisneySubmarines.com offers you a Photo
Gallery that follows progress of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage construction site
dating all the way back to October of 2004!
A similar ride, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, opened recently at Disney’s Epcot
Center at Disney World in Orlando, Florida. This ride employs the same technology as
the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will, except in this case, animated fish from the
Disney/Pixar movie Finding Nemo swim around in tanks with REAL fish! Visit the Disney
Submarines Video Page to view a view full video ride-through of Disney’s Finding Nemo
Seas with Nemo and Friends underwater adventure at Disney World! You can also view
video of Disney’s Finding Nemo seagulls that sit outside the Finding Nemo Submarine
Voyage at Disneyland!
Click Here to read an interview with the Disney Imagineers who created the Finding
Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland. The interview originally appeared in the
Disneyland Backstage Pass Magazine for annual passholders.
Lately there has been talk of the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage being shut down,
though Disneyland has not yet confirmed or denied these rumors. Possible reasons
cited for the closure of the Submarine Voyage are the high cost of operation (the
Submarine Voyage allegedly has the highest operation costs of any ride at Disneyland
Park), and Disney's desire to further refurbish Tomorrowland.
Where applicable, photos and videos that appear on DisneySubmarines.com have been used with permission. Use of any
multimedia on this site, including photos and videos may NOT be used without the express prior written permission of
DisneySubmarines.com or the originator of the multimedia in question, such as the Extinct Attractions Club, DisneyGeek.com, or
WestCoaster.net. The text on this web site is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Some articles use material
from the Wikipedia site "Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage". More legal stuff.
Newly revised & updated site!
Walt Disney's Submarine Voyage featured diesel
powered submarines that followed an underwater
Get information about all your favorite Disneyland
& Disney World Submarine Voyage rides including the
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage!
(Above) The control panel that is used to load
and launch Disneyland's Submarine Voyage.
(Courtesy of TheTurnStileTribune.com)