The Seas with Nemo & Friends
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|The Seas with Nemo & Friends|
Above: The Seas with Nemo & Friends logo
Below: Entrance to the pavilion
|Designer||Walt Disney Imagineering|
|Theme||Finding Nemo, Underwater exploration base|
|Site area||185,000 sq ft (17,200 m2)|
|Capacity||2,200 riders per hour|
|Vehicle type||Clam mobiles|
|Riders per vehicle||2|
|Tank size||5,700,000 US gallons (22,000 m3), 793,000 US gallons (3,000 m3) kept in storage|
|Number of creatures||8,500|
|Construction time||22 months|
Must transfer from wheelchair
Closed captioning available
|The Living Seas|
Above: The Living Seas logo, now shown on the door to The Living Seas Conference Center
Below: Entrance to The Living Seas pavilion
|Theme||Underwater exploration base|
Must transfer from wheelchair
Closed captioning available
The Seas with Nemo & Friends (formerly The Living Seas) is a saltwater aquarium and a dark ride in Future World at Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort. The attraction is themed as an underwater exploration base, with several exhibits devoted to oceanic study. The pavilion opened in 1986, but had been a planned part of the park since its opening in 1982.
The Living Seas
The Living Seas opened to the public on January 15, 1986. It housed the largest saltwater tank in the world at its completion, holding 5.7 million US gallons (22,000 m3) of water, but was surpassed in 2005 with the opening of the Georgia Aquarium. The concept of the building was to take visitors under the ocean to "Sea Base Alpha". Guests viewed a short movie about the formation of the oceans entitled The Sea, which was followed by an elevator ride to the ocean floor aboard a "Hydrolator" (in reality, the floor merely shook and effects in the walls simulated downward motion). Guests then boarded a "Seacab" and traveled along an underwater tunnel through the aquarium at the Caribbean Coral Reef Ride. From there, guests rode around Sea Base Alpha and got an up-close view of the marine life. They then disembarked into the main exhibit area where they could interact with various multimedia displays.
The Living Seas was sponsored by United Technologies from its opening until 1998 (The logos of UT were removed in 1999). After the departure of United Technologies as sponsor of The Living Seas, significant changes were made to the pavilion. All sponsorship references were removed from the pavilion. Additionally, one of the two preshow theaters was removed and was replaced with a walkway, allowing for guests to bypass the preshow if they wished to go directly to the Hydrolators.
In October 2001, the Seacabs closed down. The queue of the Seacab ride was left intact and the Seacabs were still visible to guests through the ocean tank windows. Reasons for their closure are not entirely known. After they closed, guests leaving the Hydrolators walked along a corridor to Sea Base Alpha. Now, guests had the option of viewing the preshow or going directly to the Hydrolators and simply walking to Sea Base Alpha.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (June 2009)|
In December 2003, Disney began to re-theme The Living Seas into a new pavilion based on the recently released Pixar film Finding Nemo. The majority of the transformation began with exterior elements, but in January 2004, the interior began to change as well. On November 16, 2004, Turtle Talk with Crush opened in what was once Module 1C, or the Earth Systems exhibit. The show's unexpected success overwhelmed the pavilion, causing the development of plans to move Turtle Talk with Crush to a larger area in the pavilion.
Turtle Talk with Crush was only the beginning of changes to The Living Seas. On August 21, 2005, The Living Seas closed for its transformation into The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Parts of the pavilion reopened in late November 2005. Outside the pavilion, the facade and mural were changed and depictions of sea life seen in Finding Nemo were added. The exit Hydrolators had been removed, and were replaced with glass doors that served as an exit and temporary entrance. Sea Base Alpha had been re-themed to Finding Nemo and the entire original preshow area was in the process of being rebuilt. Decor and signage was replaced and scientific displays were replaced by ones themed to Finding Nemo. Turtle Talk with Crush remained as popular as it was before the transformation.
Throughout 2006, construction walls hid the preshow area which was undergoing reconstruction. With the former Sea Base Alpha open, work progressed on the new queue areas and the Seacabs were being rebuilt as a new "Clamobile" attraction. The remaining Living Seas preshow theater, entrance Hydrolators, holding areas, and Seacabs queue were all completely removed and replaced by a new themed queue area which took the place of the former Hydrolator story. Hydrolator Three and Theater 1 were replaced by a number of new dark ride sets. The former Seacabs ride was lengthened by 280 feet (85 m), but the final section still took place inside the tank. A new projection technology was added to the tank and the new show scenes. The existing Seacabs were given a clamshell shape and renamed "Clamobiles". Three Audio-Animatronic seagulls were added to the entrance, which occasionally squawk "Mine! Mine! Mine!", just like the seagulls do in Finding Nemo.
On October 10, 2006, the construction walls in front of the entrance to The Living Seas, now The Seas with Nemo & Friends, were removed. The temporary entrance was removed from the exit. A corridor was constructed extending from the module into the second preshow theater, which had been unused since a bypass corridor was built so guests could choose to skip the preshow after United Technologies discontinued its sponsorship of The Living Seas. The Seas with Nemo & Friends was rededicated on January 24, 2007.
Consultants and advisers
- Dr. Robert Ballard, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Dr. Sylvia Earle, Vice President, Ocean Engineering, Inc.
- Mr. Gilbert Grosvenor, President, National Geographic Society
- Dr. Murray Newman, Director, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
- Professor William Nierenberg, Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
- Dr. David Potter, Vice President, Public Affairs, General Motors Corporation
- Dr. John Ryther, Director, Division of Applied Biology, Harbor Branch Foundation, Inc.
- Mr. Robert Wildman, Deputy Director, NOAA, Office of Sea Grants Program
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends — Guests board "Clamobiles" and venture into the sea to join Marlin, Dory, and other characters from the film Finding Nemo, as they search for Nemo who has gotten lost again. Guests first journey through a coral reef where they find Marlin, a clownfish, searching for Nemo. Farther along the reef, they come across Mr. Ray and his students, setting out to explore and look for Nemo. Dory soon joins Marlin in the search and they come upon a group of jellyfish. An anglerfish comes out of the darkness and begins to chase them frantically. Guests dive deeper and come upon the wreck of a massive submarine that sits in the center of a deadly minefield. Peeking out from the wreck is Bruce, a great white shark, and Chum, a mako shark, trying to coax Nemo out from his hiding spot. (Anchor, a hammerhead shark is not included in the ride.) They assure him in their sneaky voices that fish are friends, not food. The Clamobiles are then swept up into the East Australian Current with Nemo, Crush, and Squirt. The current empties the guests out into a massive aquarium where Nemo is reunited once again with his friends. As they sing a closing song, "In the Big Blue World" (although the ride opened first, this song was adapted from the Disney's Animal Kingdom show Finding Nemo - The Musical), these animated Pixar characters swim in the actual aquarium with real fish through the use of special effect glass. The Clamobiles then return to the surface.
- Sea Base — Main viewing area of the aquarium.
- Turtle Talk with Crush — An interactive show with the sea turtle from Finding Nemo who answers children's questions about the sea.
- Coral Reef Restaurant — A table service restaurant. One wall is made of glass and offers views into the aquarium.
- Gift Shop
- Epcot DiveQuest — A little-known attraction, certified SCUBA divers have the ability to experience a 40-minute underwater tour of the 5.7 million US gallons (22,000 m3) tank of the Caribbean Coral Reef Aquarium. The entire experience lasts about three hours, and includes a guided underwater tour, a "free-play" time, and a backstage tour of the aquarium's inner works. Guests also have the ability to purchase a video or photos of the dive.
- Epcot Seas Aqua Tour — The Epcot Seas Aqua Tour is an experience which debuted in late 2002 at The Seas with Nemo & Friends where guests can swim in the aquarium with the assistance of a SAS (SCUBA Assisted Snorkel) System.
- Dolphins in Depth — Dolphins in Depth is an experience where guests go on a tour mostly concentrated on the dolphins in The Seas aquarium. Guests can interact with the dolphins in waist deep water.
This pavilion has a backstage VIP room that is used for private events, such as weddings and conventions. The room is long and curved with wood paneled walls. One side has floor-to-ceiling windows into the aquarium. The room also has an acrylic glass see-through piano.
- Epcot attraction and entertainment history
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, a loosely related attraction at Disneyland.
- Beard, Richard R. (1982). Lory Frankel, ed. Walt Disney's EPCOT. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc. p. 119. ISBN 0-8109-0819-0.
- Kurtti, Jeff (1996). Since the World Began: Walt Disney World, The First 25 Years. New York, New York: Hyperion. p. 105. ISBN 0-7868-6248-3.
- "Aquarium sets Guinness record". Associated Press (Atlanta Journal-Constitution). 2010-08-23. Retrieved 2010-09-09.
- Epcot DiveQuest | Walt Disney World Resort