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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage was an attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Located in Fantasyland, it was the Magic Kingdom’s incarnation of the Submarine Voyage attraction at Disneyland, themed to the 1954 Disney film 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and inspired by the Disneyland attraction Submarine Voyage.

History[]

When the Submarine Voyage was brought to the Magic Kingdom, it was decided that the attraction would be completely themed around 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. That had been the intention at Disneyland, but the attraction’s sponsor, General Dynamics, asked that the submarines be modeled after theirs. The Magic Kingdom didn’t have that sponsorship, so they pushed forward with the new theme[1].

The attraction lasted until 1994, when it was closed for a supposed refurbishment. The lagoon sat unused for years and in 1996, it was announced that the attraction had closed for good. Reasons for the closure ranged from being too expensive to operate, being too labor intensive, leaks in the lagoon, outdated special effects, and the lack of relevance from the IP. The lagoon became a meet and greet area until it was drained and paved over in 2004. The land is currently home to The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Attraction Experience[]

Guests boarded the Nautilus at the dock of Vulcania, while the queue played sea shanties. When the vessels departed, a crew member gave the safety instructions before they ‘dived’ into the water. Captain Nemo welcomed guests, telling them about the journey ahead.

The Nautilus passed by several sea creatures, like fish, turtles, and eels. The hydrophone was turned on to allow visitors to listen to the fish ‘talk’. After that, guests passed by members of Nemo’s crew, harvesting food. They cultivated kelp to hide their ‘livestock’ of fish from underwater predators. Two of the crew members wrangled a sea turtle away from a shark and a squid.

The Nautilus ‘dived’ deeper, due to weather, and entered the graveyard of ships, guarded by sharks. The vessel reached the polar ice caps, as an aurora borealis shined overhead. Descending into dark depths, they passed by luminescent fish and jellyfish. The ship rose, once more, and Nemo remarked that they almost went too deep.

The vessel reached a series of man-made ruins, which Nemo speculated to be from the lost contitent of Atlantis. When the Nautilus reached an underwater volcano, he confirmed his theory. They passed by a sea serpent and mermaids. A crew member pointed them out, but Nemo dismissed it, telling him that he’d been underwater for too long.

They passed another submarine, being attacked by a giant squid. The squid attacked the Nautilus, which repelled its tentacles with electricity. The vessel escaped just in time, returning safely to Vulcania. Nemo thanked the guests for coming, and they disembarked back into Fantasyland.

Connections[]

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea[]

This dark ride at Tokyo DisneySea is a spiritual successor to the original ride. Many of the scenes and vignettes in the attraction are lifted from the Submarine Voyage, such as a ship graveyard, an encounter with a giant squid, and the ruins of Atlantis.

Castaway Cay[]

Two of the ride vehicles were placed in Castaway Cay in the snorkeling area. One of them was lost and the other retained damage from the sea currents.

Skipper Canteen[]

A book by Nemo can be found at the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, titled The Polar Voyage. The North Pole was one of the places visited on the Submarine Voyage.

An illustration of the Nautilus can be seenon the wall there is a map created by one Captain Mary Oceaneer which details the Legendary Beasts of the Mediterranean. On the map there is the Giant Squid which is shown with its arms wrapped around the Nautilus, homaging the submarine's fate.

Trader Sam's Grog Grotto[]

At Trader Sam's Grog Grotto in Disney's Polynesian Resort, the Nautilus is a drink which is served within a mug shaped as the famous submarine. When it is ordered, the lights in the grotto turn blue as the cast-members equip snorkels and goggles while audio from the attraction plays. A large severed giant squid's tentacle comes to life and lowers a bottle of alcohol for the bartender. During this time, a portrait of the Nautilus from the Magic Kingdom begins glowing and an antique diving helmet starts bubbling with water.

Trivia[]

  • The crew member who discussed the mermaids was named Mr. Baxter, a reference to Imagineer Tony Baxter.
  • The ride vehicles weren’t real submarines - they were boats. Guests were seated in the area below the water.
  • Tributes to the attraction can be found in Fantasyland, today -
    • Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid contains several references: the Nautilus is carved into the rockwork of the queue, the “Whale of a Tale” song from the film plays in the queue, and a bottle of water from the lagoon was poured into the water in front of Prince Eric’s castle.
    • The Disney Vacation Club building across from the Little Mermaid ride has a weather vane of a giant squid.
    • A knothole resembling the Nautilus was found in a tree at Pooh’s Playful Spot, which occupied the area that the Submarine Voyage used to be. After the land was cleared for The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the tree was moved to the queue of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.

References[]

  1. Magic Kingdom: Imagineering the Magic
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