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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!
June 2007
Above: The Disneyland Monorail looks like a Submarine! Below: A look INSIDE one of the Finding Nemo Submarines at Disneyland!
February 2007
December 2006
August 2006
(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!
April 2006
Visit our Photo Gallery page for a much more complete photo tour of the construction of Disneyland's Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. DisneySubmarines.com thanks 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 mermaids.
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 officially announced.

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 tanks.

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 the experience.
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 Argonaut.
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.
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*Exclusive Article on the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage from Disney's Backstage Pass Magazine!
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Walt Disney's Submarine Voyage featured diesel powered submarines that followed an underwater
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(Above) The control panel that is used to load and launch Disneyland's Submarine Voyage. (Courtesy of TheTurnStileTribune.com)