Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

June 2007

In 2007, after a brief hiatus of not even a decade, the submarines returned to the Disneyland Resort. This time with an overlay tying the attraction to the hit Pixar film, Finding Nemo. This overlay, it was hoped, would prove far more popular than previous overlays (Atlantis, The Computer Wore a Diving Helmet, Pearl Harbor) and breathe life into what was one of Walt Disney's favorite maritime Tomorrowland attractions.

The attraction overlay is extensive, with elements visible both above and below water. The submarines themselves are painted bright yellow (to help avoid tragic hunting accidents) and their efficient but politically incorrect nuclear power plants have been replaced by solar motors (a first for submarines). In the lagoon floats a buoy on which stands a trio of seagulls that occasionally shout "Mine! Mine!", foreshadowing one of the attraction's more thrilling scenes.

The revived attraction begins much as the original did, with a long line and descent down a spiral staircase into what is essentially a giant steel cigar (but with portholes and without the smell). But from there nothing is the same, save for the murky water, mild claustrophobia, and fish that mysteriously hover in place.

The captain and crew's accents make clear that these submarines are part of the Australian navy, ready to take passengers on on a voyage to the "ocean's underbelly" where if you "go walkabout" to "throw some shrimp on the barbie" you'll "die." They describe notable passing sites such as glass coral, ancient graffiti, and a fish kidnapping in progress. Then, to escape a storm, the submarine dives into deeper water where an imbalance in the oxygen mix makes passengers believe that they are seeing talking fish. The fish are disoriented by the updated Submarine Voyage and dash about searching for "Nemo,' the previous subs' captain.

Other exciting events (explosions, volcanic eruptions, and a mildly strong current) follow, and the submarine eventually finds its way back to the dock at Disneyland without even once encountering any of the mermaids and sea monsters that we all got on the attraction to see in the first place. But other that that, the attraction is really incredible. Try it!

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage submarine voyager
The new submarines are spiffy and cool, but could have used a little more creativity in the name department.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attack scene
One of the new attraction's many thrilling action sequences.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage advertising
In order to offset massive budget overruns, sponsors were brought on board,
and unfortunately some of the on-attraction advertising is, shall we say, less than subtle.
We thought that Nemo wearing an iPod was particularly gratuitous.

Original Submarine Voyage

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