Monday, August 08, 2011

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Walt Disney World - May 1972

As much as I loved Disneyland's original Submarine Voyage - and I loved it a lot - the version at Walt Disney World was much cooler. Check out those subs! Harper Goff's design for the Nautilus is hard to beat, looking like some scaly prehistoric monster from the deep. I've always been especially fond of the "hull ripper". As for the lagoon, the many palm trees and wonderful rock work make me think of the many uncharted tropical isles that Captain Nemo must have visited.

As far as I can tell, the subs are really very similar to Disneyland's gray versions... you can see the basic elongated tube shape underneath all the Victorian doo-dads. But those doo-dads make all the difference, don't they?


Chiana_Chat said...

Excellent shots of a fantastic looking attraction. In fact the first is so good, the photographer became seasick and the second lists a bit, but he was a trouper and still managed an evocative shot.

If one fancies the 20,000 Leagues angle (which includes me!) France's Nautilus attraction is stunningly awesome. You must see it. In pics at least; alas a trip to France is beyond me.

Still, compared to Sub Voyage, WDW's looks more lavishly decked out. But of course the original had a different conception as a (mid-century) modern Sub Voyage and inherently the theming and styling was more utilitarian and spare.

Unfortunately WDW lost this attraction years ago, with no compensation (insert apt joke about how the top management doesn't comprehend what compensation means except for their own financial arrangements). Praise to the people at Disneyland for sort of restoring the Sub Voyage.

*looks again @ top pic* That's cool.

bloefeld said...

I'm so bummed I never got a chance to ride this. I loved my Disneyland subs with a love that was pure and true, but I was always a bit jealous that WDW had these babies!

Nancy said...

i got to ride this awesome attraction on only 2 visits, but i know that i am lucky to have b/c it closed the same year that i made my second visit to WDW. glad that Rachel also got to ride it, even tho she was only 4 and really doesnt remember it.

happily, we are also getting a new undersea adventure at WDW based on the Ariel story. when we were there last September, they were already in progress with lots of construction, and the new areas in Fantasyland are slated to begin opening in late 2012 per the Disney Parks Blog that we follow. its a good place for info...

Pegleg Pete said...

I miss this attraction so much! It really added an element of exotic fantasy to WDW's Fantasyland just as the Pirate Ship and Skull Rock did at Disneyland. Now it's just all about Pooh and princesses.

Thufer said...

I seldom if ever comment on WDW post. However, this is one of those times and one of those attractions.
I am a real lover of the DL Gray fleet. That said, I agree with you and must admit that the 20K motif at the 'Florida Project' is one of my most favorite. On my very first visit to WDW, I proceeded to the rear of the park and took my position in que for this attraction. Right down Main Street, right past the hub, into the castle and back by the palm trees and rocky lagoon. No stores, no nothing, just a direct path. I was not disappointed. I kept a keen out out for Captain Nemo but he must have been busy.

Major Pepperidge said...

It is almost unimaginable to me that this attraction was removed, the lagoon filled in, the subs destroyed (I know a few bits and pieces survived)... aieeeee! The "cool factor" on this attraction is gone forever.

Bloefeld, I'm with you; I've never been to Florida, and wish I'd been able to enjoy those subs at least once.

Nancy, you probably know that the Little Mermaid ride has opened at Disney California Adventure, to generally favorable reviews. Still, the "under the sea" effect is just not the same!

Thufer, I would have LOVED to have seen WDW in its early days. When you describe your direct walk from the park entrance right to the subs, I somehow picture the Terminator!

Connie Moreno said...

Wow, love that first pic!

stu29573 said...

I was able to ride this attraction a few times on a couple of trips before it went away. It was, other than the Haunted Mansion, my favorite. I STILL have not forgiven the bean counters who took this away from us and gave us nothing in return!

JG said...

What bloefeld said.


TokyoMagic! said...

Unfortunately by the time I finally made it to WDW, this attraction had already closed, but the lagoon was still there. By my next visit, it had been completely removed. I almost couldn't fathom it (no pun intended). I'm glad the Subs at DL did not meet the same fate....I just wish there had been a happier ending for WDW's attraction.....and I wish I had gotten to ride it at least once!

As Chiana stated, DL Paris has a Nautilus that you can go aboard and tour. I have some interior and exterior pics of it that I need to post. Tokyo DisneySea has a Nautilus docked in the water, but it is just there for isn't an actual attraction. I've posted a couple photos of it in the past. Those can be seen here: Tokyo DisneySea's Nautilus

Nancy said...

i seem to remember when going there back in 1996 after it had closed that it was said how hard the lagoon was to deal with in the heat with all the critters that would grow in there from the water baking in the sun all day. not a good enough reason for me, but it will be nice to at least have a sub kind of ride there again; just like Nemo isnt the same, ppl seem to enjoy the adventure from what i have read.

thank heaven for Polaroid!! :-)

Orange Co Native said...

Yes. As Major wrote. The subs at Disney World was filled in and paved over with concrete for some kind of meet and greet from what i understand.

It is akin to bulldozing down an orange grove and paving it over to make a parking a lot. Oh wait a minute, they did do that everywhere in Orange County, California. You can't really call it Orange Co anymore. Oh to smell the sweet orange blossoms of April, May and June that faintly scented the spring air of Orange Co in the 1950's and 1960's. I loved it as a kid. That is why I have 20 orange trees in my backyard now so my kids can experience it.

Anyway, back to the subs.

I must have taken Disney quite a bit of money for demolition of lagoon and the attraction building. They should have done a refurbishment instead. Not Nemo again, but the original Jules Verne.

Anyway that is my 2 cents.

Nancy said...

^^ Orange Co Native, i so agree!

it seems to me that if they ever did that they would be inundated from every side about why cant you bring back this if you brought back that...which is a totally great idea for my money!!

Major Pepperidge said...

Connie, how's things with you? Glad you like the first pic.

stu29573, is that area still an empty lot? I thought that the Fantasyland expansion might use some of the area.

JG, amen!

TokyoMagic!, for some reason I was sure you had been on the Florida subs. Not sure why. Your pics of Tokyo DisneySea are fantastic - wow I'd love to go there.

Nancy, if you are referring to the Little Mermaid Ride, it is unfortunately not really much like the submarine attraction. Fun, but pretty different.

O.C. Native, my grandparents lived on an acre lot in the San Fernando Valley, and they had over 40 citrus trees (navel and valencia oranges, tangelos, tangerines, grapefruit, and lemons, as well as persimmons, peaches, apricots, figs, and more). The scent of orange blossoms is one of the fond memories from my childhood - not to mention the tall glasses of fresh orange juice every morning.

Nancy said...

i actually meant the Nemo subs....supposed to be the same but we know its different :(

Anonymous said...

That entire area will now be part of the new Fantasyland expansion.