|Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage|
|Opening date||June 11, 2007|
|Vehicle names||Nautilus, Scout, Voyager, Mariner, Seafarer, Explorer, Neptune, Argonaut|
The original Submarine Voyage was built in 1959 as part of the "new" Tomorrowland. It closed on September 9, 1998. At that time, it was reported that the attraction would reopen with a new theme by 2003.
On the final day of the attraction's operation, Imagineer Tony Baxter told then-Disneyland president Paul Pressler "This is one of the worst days of my life." Baxter was one of many Imagineers who championed to bring the attraction back with a new theme. One of the first attempts to resurrect the subs was to create an attraction based on the 2001 Disney animated film Atlantis: The Lost Empire, and a mock-up was built to test the concept. However, when the film under-performed at the box office, plans for anAtlantis re-theming were shelved. The next year, an attempt was made to re-theme the attraction based on Disney's animated film Treasure Planet, but it too under-performed. At one point, Disneyland executives considered getting rid of the submarines, feeling that they took up too much storage space. In response to this, then-Imagineering creative chief Marty Sklar hired a naval engineering firm to inspect the subs, and it was discovered that they had forty to fifty years of life left in them. Thus, saving the submarines from destruction. Eventually, the special effects team at Walt Disney Imagineering developed new projection technology, and around the same time the Disney·Pixar animated film Finding Nemo was in development, which had potential for a Submarine Voyage re-theme. Matt Ouimet became the President of Disneyland Resort in 2003, and in 2004 there was new activity in the Submarine lagoon. One of the original eight submarines in the fleet was moored at the old Submarine Voyage station dock for inspection by Imagineering. Rumors quickly spread over the Internet that an attraction based on Finding Nemo would finally replace Submarine Voyage. The submarines were tested to see if new animated show scenes would be visible from the portholes. A mock-up of the new technology was created and a presentation was staged for Ouimet. In spite of the enormous price tag, Ouimet was impressed and the Nemo theme for the Submarine Voyage was given the green light. This was the first major theme park project for Bob Iger, who became CEO of Disney in 2005, as well as the first major project for John Lasseter (chief creative officer of Pixar and Disney Animation, and executive producer of Finding Nemo) in his role as Principal Creative Advisor for Imagineering.
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 California Adventure by then-Walt Disney Parks and Resorts President, Jay Rasulo.
The attraction was a huge success when it opened in 2007, with queue-line times sometimes reaching four hours.
In 2008, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage received an award for outstanding achievement from the Themed Entertainment Association.
In 2010, line times had fallen to around 45 minutes. Wait times have, since then, decreased a bit further due to the new adjacent Tomorrowland attraction, Star Tours: The Adventures Continue.
On January 6, 2014, the attraction closed for an extended refurbishment to make improvements to the rockwork and coral. During this time, the lagoon will be drained. The attraction is scheduled to reopen on September 27, 2014.
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. Amongst the stone ruins lay 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.