Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Tomorrowland Disneyland
Take an underwater voyage to the reefs and ocean off the coast of Australia where Nemo and the rest of the gang just keep swimming in the Big Blue. Join the search as Marlin and Dory again go looking for Nemo, who is off surfing the EAC with his turtle pal Squirt.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is located under the monorail station in Tomorrowland. The queue winds around under the monorail track, and is largely shaded. Notice the vegetation, which resembles underwater coral reefs and creatures such as sea anemones.
Four subs at a time can pull up to the loading dock, where Cast Members will lower a boarding ramp. The sub loads from the front and the back. There is a steep, narrow circular staircase down into the sub – be sure to hold onto the handrails. The seats fold down – follow the person in front of you as far as possible and pull down on the seat and sit down. Each seat has its own porthole. There are twenty seats on each side of the sub, and although each seat will have a slightly different viewing experience, all will have an equal view of the attraction (and see Nemo the same number of times). There’s nothing visible on one side of the sub that isn’t visible on the other and no particular location in the sub is better or worse.
As the sub pulls away from the dock the captain’s voice provides information on what the sub is doing and what can be viewed outside the portholes. To “hear” the fish, the sonar hydrophones are turned on, and Nemo and friends can not only be heard, but are also visible swimming around outside. After some adventure and a few surprises the sub returns back to the dock where guests disembark by going back up the steep staircase and out. The voyage takes approximately 12 minutes.
Aboard the Institute of Nautical Exploration and Marine Observation submarine the captain orders hatches secured and after pulling away from the dock the submarine dives as bubbles obscure the view out of the porthole. When it clears the view is of a reef with colorful fish, coral, and plants, as well as some divers and snorkelers – including Darla (the braces-wearing niece from Finding Nemo). Moving away from the reef into deeper water brings the Lost City into view – stone columns and blocks from an ancient city recently unearthed by the volcanic activity caused by a new deepwater volcano, which is the submarine’s destination.
After cruising by part of the Great Barrier Reef the captain turns on the “sonar hydrophones”…but instead of the normal underwater sounds there are familiar voices – Nemo, Mr. Ray and his school, Marlin and Dory. Nemo is off on another adventure with Squirt, riding the EAC, and Marlin and Dory (who has again forgotten Nemo’s name) are off searching for him. Passing by a sunken ship the holes in the hull reveal all sorts of creatures, including Nemo and Marlin and Dory – and Bruce the shark, who expresses a liking for “canned food” as the submarine glides by.
The sub follows along with Dory and Marlin, who are still looking for Nemo, and everything goes very dark except for some small blue lights – but suddenly there’s a bright flash of light revealing a very scary looking creature that’s all mouth and teeth. Next they encounter a large group of beautiful jellyfish, which Marlin is nervous about, but they pass by without incident.
The submarine reaches the undersea volcano and its lava flow, and there’s Nemo, but everyone rides the lava flow and ends up safely back at Nemo’s reef. The whales are swimming by and someone comments on the whale that’s eating the “yellow whale.” The view of the reef disappears into blue nothingness, but not to fear – the whale sneezes and in a blast of blue bubbles the sub is freed. Dory says goodbye (in whale) to the “yellow whale” and the sub re-surfaces and proceeds back to the dock.
This is a very slow-loading attraction and Fastpass is NOT available. The shortest lines are at park opening or during Early Entry.
The stairway down into the submarine is steep and narrow. Hold onto the handrails and watch your step. Children may require some assistance from their parents.
The entire queue is accessible for wheelchairs and ECVs, but the attraction is not. For those not able to use the stairway into the submarine, the “Observation Outpost” is available. This room is off to the side of the loading area and holds two wheelchairs/ECVs and up to 10 people. There is a large high-definition screen on the wall where the same scenes that those aboard the submarine are seeing and hearing may be viewed. The “pre-boarding” narration is somewhat different, though, since the premise is that the room is a marine observation outpost with a remote live submarine camera. There is not a separate line for the Observation Outpost – entry is through the regular queue.
For the hearing impaired, closed-captioning is available via a hand-held device either on board the submarine or in the Observation Outpost.
The submarine is fairly narrow with seats that are very close together and a relatively low ceiling. Those who are claustrophobic or “plus-sized” might want to ask to experience the attraction from the Observation Outpost. Simply ask a Cast Member when you reach the loading area.
If you are borderline claustrophobic, then do not be the first one to board from either the front or the back – those seats are partially under the staircase and have less headroom.
The closest restrooms are located in the base of the Star Wars Launch Bay building, behind the Winner’s Circle shop.
There is no height requirement but smaller children may need to sit on a parent’s lap to see through the porthole.
There is one very dark scene with a big scary-looking fish that some children might find frightening.
There are no Disney characters associated with this attraction. There are other character Meet and Greet opportunities nearby – check the daily Times Guide for times and locations.
Tomorrowland Terrace offers burgers and sandwiches for lunch and dinner, and also serves a quick-service breakfast.
Redd Rockett’s Pizza Port – offering pizza, pasta, and salads, is on the far side of Tomorrowland next to Space Mountain.
Finding Nemo merchandise is available at most shops around the Disneyland Resort.
Winner’s Circle – located near the entrance to the Autopia, featuring Disney character hats and other small souvenirs.
The original submarine voyage, inspired by the movie “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”, opened on June 6, 1959 and closed on September 7, 1998. The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage uses the same track and the same 8 submarines, though they have been modified. Modifications include the addition of one additional seat and porthole on each side and conversion of the power source from diesel to electric engines.
The Disneyland submarine fleet is the 8th largest in the world. The names of the submarines are: Explorer, Scout, Voyager, Mariner, Seafarer, Nautilus, Neptune and Argonaut.
Projection technology developed by Walt Disney Imagineering allows Nemo and Friends to appear exactly as they do in the movie, but in a 3-D underwater setting.
To maintain the vibrancy of the bright colors of the coral and rockwork in the California sun, Imagineers developed a new “paint” made with recycled glass. There are more than 40 colors with names like Mango Mud, Phantom, Yamber, and Peritwinkle.
The lagoon holds approxmiately 6.3 million gallons of water.
Some references to the original Submarine Voyage exist in the new dialog – like the “sonar hydrophones”, and the captain’s comment about seeing sea serpents and mermaids.
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