Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Sub Rehab and Skull Rock, October 1972

I always love photos of the Sub Lagoon when the water has been drained; it give us Disney geeks a little peek "behind the scenes" so to speak. In this example (from a slightly-damaged slide), the whole lagoon looks like it's been scrubbed clean... there's no trace of corals or sea stars, clams or seaweed. Who gets to keep all of the spare change that has been dropped by Skyway riders? All 8 subs (Nautilus, Sea Wolf, Skate, Skipjack, Triton, George Washington, Patrick Henry, Ethan Allen) can be seen at rest at the docks, where they are having audio-animatronic barnacles removed I guess. Hello, HoJo's.

King Kong and Captain Hook have to share Skull Rock; it leads to some wacky situations. Soon to be a prime-time sitcom on ABC.


Nancy said...

Cool image of the sub lagoon. Like taking the Peoplemover at Walt Disney World inside Space Mountain when the lights are on!

Such a pretty smile on Skull Rock in this one. :-D I have never noticed the canoe before, tho.

Alonzo P Hawk said...

Nancy is right. Skull Rock is kinda hamming it up for the camera. You wouldn't think such an excessive drooler would be so photogenic.

The lagoon could be empty for routine PM's or they could have been still searching for the leaks. According to David Koenig's behind the scenes books the lagoon(even with a concrete bottom) used to leak water. For years they had to keep topping off the water and it wasn't just evaporating.

I always thought that the tomorrowland drinking fountains were drawing water straight out of the lagoon.

Melissa said...

My theory is that Skull Rock has the drool turned down to a 9 because he's cot company over in the mint striped canoe. He's also got a necktie hanging on his outcropping so nosy neighbor Monstro doesn't interrupt an an inopportune moment, if you know what I mean.

The sub name "Skipjack" took me aback for a second, because my uncle Skip's real name is Jack. Well, his real middle name, but first names don't count with the men in our family, because most of them are the same.

All the coins in the sub lagoon get melted down to make replacement hands for Captain Hook. Of course, now he has to duke it out with R2-D2, who is constantly in need of new Whistly Beepy Bits (WBB's).

Anonymous said...

Love the sub repair pictures. That was always such a favorite, pre-Nemo.

Fascinating bit about the leaks. I often wonder about leaks, so much of Disneyland depends on untraditional design and details. I saw some product data the other day for a company advertising a waterproofing coating. Their example was "a Southern California Amusement Park", the location was evident (to me) the upper reaches of Splash Mountain flumes, but they didn't credit Disneyland. I bet they had to stay quiet, can't use Disney as an endorsement.

Sorry, but I can't see a canoe in the Skull Rock picture?

The striped element to the left is one of the "sailcloth" canopies over the dining area. Is that what is meant? There were several of these over the patio, in different colors over the years. You can see them better in the Skyway shots.


K. Martinez said...

I've seen the Sub Lagoon drained twice in person in all my visits, but have never the Rivers of America or Jungle Cruise drained. It's amazing how it can effect the feel of a whole area when drained.

Chuck said...

The canoe is floating in the lagoon behind the rock in the foreground.

Snow White Archive said...

Great shot of the subs with no water! Very cool seeing them this way.

Unknown said...

As a naval enthusiast from a young age, I always loved the 1950s era atomic submarines used in the ride! Not sure exactly when the Submarine ride was opened (1959?), but the names Walt used were sure a "who's who" of our early atomic subs.

Nautilus was, of course, the first atomic vessel in the world, and also the first sub to go "under" (more like "thru") the North Pole, under the ice pack. Sea Wolf was the second, and early on used an experimental liquid sodium cooling plant for the atomic reactor. After early cruises, the conventional water cooled system proved as efficient, and required much less maintenance. The Sea Wolf went into drydock and had her sodium reactor changed out for a water one.

The Skate was lead-ship of the first standardized class of atomic attack subs, and became the first sub to surface at the North Pole. The Triton was a research and test-bed model, and when built was the largest submarine in the world. Her fame rests on her being the first submarine to circumnavigate (there's that word again!) the globe submerged.

The Skipjack was the first sub to use a new "teardrop" shaped hull which greatly increased speed when submerged. The George Washington was basically an enlarged Skipjack, and became America's first Fleet Ballistic Missile Submarine (FBMS). The Patrick Henry and Ethan Allen were two early FBMS's, and I have to believe their names were used due to Walt's love of American history.

The only other "submarine of accomplishment" of that time was the USS Seadragon, which became the first sub to circumnavigate the Northwest Passage underwater in 1960. Had the Disneyland Navy subs been named after that event, I'll bet the Seadragon name would have been used!

Major Pepperidge said...

Unknown, I think it's safe to say that the Imagineers (and sponsor General Dynamics) did their research when it came to naming the submarine fleet. Thanks for all of your great information, it was really fascinating!!