Sunday, August 02, 2020

Sub Lagoon, July 1969

The old Skyway presented a kind of visual overload. So much to see, and it was all going by so fast! What should I take a picture of? Well, maybe that beautiful peacock-blue Submarine lagoon would be good. Especially if there's a sub gliding by. Plus you get the Autopia for only an additional $29.99. Order NOW.

Seeing photos of it today, I can really appreciate the care that went into creating the naturalistic shapes and patterns, especially on the shallower areas to our right (where mermaids used to rest), with the dark and light shapes, presumably based on aerial photos of real tropical atolls.


Nanook said...


These are awfully lovely images - and for a Sunday - even more so-! It's so relaxing to just simply stare into the deep blue waters, and let your mind wander...

Thanks, Major.

"Lou and Sue" said...

I agree with Nanook. I was expecting some dull "sleepy Sunday" pictures, but am pleasantly surprised. These are cool and refreshing for our hot summer days.

Speaking of mermaids, I don't personally ever remember seeing any at DL, but I clearly recall my mom pointing into those waters and telling me about them. I was awestruck. At the time, I watched "Diver Dan" on TV, and loved Ms. Minerva - the mermaid.

Being a mermaid at DL would've been a dream job!! If any Jr. Gorillas have any stories about the mermaids, please share them - I would love to hear them!


"Lou and Sue" said...

In that 2nd pic, the monorail track and the submarine track look identical. Oh wait, that's not the monorail track...that's the submarine track for the "20,000 Leagues Over The Sea" portion of this attraction.


The Submarine Lagoon Live mermaids were done away within the early 1960’s and returned again for a very short time in 1967. The stories of the mermaids bring discontinued because of visiting sailors on leave jumping in to swim to them is a myth ( although it’s possible it happened at least once) the live mermaids were stopped because of thy the extreme levels of industrial strength chlorine levels ... the girls performing as the mermaids had dry and itching skin , burning eyes and even hair damage - so I doubt it was a dream job. In the late 60’s the chlorine strength was lowered and a slight electrical charge was added to the water to prevent algae and rust from forming. The repair divers say you can feel the tingly sensation while swimming in the lagoon. WDI used a colored glass developed for underwater use to create the corral reef for NEMO Subs. This doesn’t require the paint that quickly faded from the sun, chlorine and water exposure as in previous versions of Submarine Voyage sadly the lagoon doesn’t appear as color and had very little animation and sea-life in it anymore .... but we still have the subs!!!! .......... for now.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thanks, Mike, for the info. I guess it wouldn't be very glamorous to be itchy and scratchy, with bloodshot eyes and straw-like hair. Electrical charge - egads(!), that's interesting. And yes, thankfully, we do still have the subs!


stu29573 said...

I've never ridden the Nemo version of the subs, but I have ridden the sea cabs at Epcot that use the same "3D animation in a box" method. I must say that I was much more impressed with the practical animation of the original ride (and 20,000 Leagues). Of course, being grumpy and older, I'll take analog over digital every time.

Chuck said...

These photos reminded me of this post showing the sub lagoon drained of liquid space:

I'm still in awe of how real it looks despite how fake I know it is. I'm not even sure they used real water.

Sue, while it may not be very glamorous to be Itchy and Scratchy, with bloodshot eyes and straw-like hair, they did make Roger Myers and Herschel Krustofsky very rich men.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, there’s just something about a water feature, whether it is a tropical lagoon or a splashing waterfall. They can’t have too many of them.

Lou and Sue, these are pretty sleepy! Pretty, but sleepy. I don’t know if I ever saw the mermaids in the lagoon, they were only there for two different seasons. “Diver Dan”, I don’t know that one! I think that a mermaid job at Disneyland was probably harder than it looked. I always think about all that fierce summer sun that they had to deal with.

Lou and Sue, the tracks actually do look very similar!

Mike Cozart, I’ve always thought that the stories of people jumping into the water sounded like one of those Disneyland stories that gets repeated over and over, and it probably isn’t true! Like you said, maybe it happened once, but look at all those “corals” just below the surface, a person better dive carefully or he could break his neck. I can only imagine how the strong chlorine affected those young ladies; years ago there were summers where I was lucky to get to swim in a pool a lot, and even then I would have burning eyes and greenish hair. Interesting about the slight electrical charge! Reminds me of a neighbor’s pool, they had a light under the diving board, and if you swam near it, you could feel the water tingle. There must have been an electrical short!

Lou and Sue, and what’s wrong with straw-like hair? My hair is very straw-like! Some might even say it looks like a bale of hay.

stu29573, I think the idea of the Nemo sub effects is interesting, but it just feels like a projection. Sometimes projections work well, other times they just feel like… an effect. Even with the limited animation, the practical figures just seemed to feel more “real”.

Chuck, I agree, even as a kid I was aware of the artifice of everything, but I didn’t care! I loved the whole concept of diving below the polar ice caps, finding Atlantis, seeing deep-sea creatures and underwater volcanoes… so wonderful. And thank you, now I have the “Itchy and Scratchy” theme song stuck in my head!

Omnispace said...

Wow - look at that blue water - it's gorgeous!

Mike, are you sure it was just chlorine they added to the water? It's almost like they dumped in a load of copper sulfate, turning it blue. I had a summer job with the water department and we would drag burlap sacks of copper sulfate through some of the percolation ponds to cut down on algae growth.

I haven't been on the Nemo Subs either. It's a shame they built out the cave so far. The monorail beamway crossing the lagoon was so nice on it's own - very dramatic.

I did finally see the Nemo ride at Epcot back in March. It was a fun little ride, and the projections were jolly, but it all falls a bit "flat" to me.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Quoting our great Stu (or is it stu?), "I must say that I was much more impressed with the practical animation of the original ride (and 20,000 Leagues). Of course, being grumpy and older, I'll take analog over digital every time." --
I agree, as I also have gotten older and grumpier, and feel the same way! There are many reasons I love the original submarine voyage, but one of the main reasons is that you felt like you were on an adventure! The Nemo version feels like you are being forced to watch the Finding Nemo movie AGAIN, for the umpteenth time. *yawn* In the original subs, you used your imagination. I'll gladly go on an adventure, but PLEASE don't make me sit through the newer Disney movies over and over and over. I know I'm preaching to the choir, but it does feel like parts of Disneyland are one big commercial - to sell a movie and it's corresponding stuffed animals, etc.

Major, Diver Dan episodes are on YouTube - as a little kid I loved them. I don't know if you could stomach sitting through one now, as they are very corny (with real people pretending to be underwater with fake "bad" fish and "good" fish! Maybe for memories' sake, I'll have to view one or two later. :)



OMNISPACE: I’m actually unsure of the specific chemicals used for the Sub Voyage and used “chlorine” to name the broader cleaning agents Disney used.

But In the 1990’s those chemicals were changed to less harsh ones being used previously.



I too had many 1970’s summers of green, straw like hair!! Summers drinking Shasta soda , my sister and I standing up on the car’s back seat begging our mom to “go faster” onto the freeway ramp while my mom managed to handle the gears and clutch and smoke at the same time with her giant sunglasses and our Chevy Malibu zooming into traffic!!! Ah, the simple 70’s!

Dean Finder said...

That Nemo ride at Epcot is a big disappointment. There was an opportunity to tell a new story about the value of our oceans and why we should protect them, using the characters of the Nemo films, but instead it's just a "book report" of the movie.

Major Pepperidge said...

Omnispace, oh boy, isn’t copper sulfate poisonous? I wouldn’t want to let humans swim around in it, but what do I know. I honestly wonder if the blue color is just the result of only blue wavelengths being reflected back to us, or if they really do dye the water? I am glad that we still have a submarine ride, but can’t say that I love it.

Lou and Sue, ha ha, I should rename this blog the “Grumpy Disneyland Fan Blog”, because that pretty much sums it up these days! I actually enjoy “Finding Nemo” quite a bit, but there is just something missing from the Nemo ride. I admit that it might be a case of age vs. nostalgia - if I’d first seen the Nemo subs when I was 10 years old, maybe I would have a ton of love for it. I just watched some Diver Dan eps on YouTube, it’s charming! But until today I honestly don’t recall knowing about it. Thanks!

Mike Cozart, maybe they used Ty-D-Bol cleanser?! Remember the commercials with the little man in the boat in the toilet? Johnny Carson did a funny bit where he saw the little man and flushed the toilet.

Mike Cozart, those are a bunch of great memories! I think if I had encouraged my mom to drive faster I would have gotten in trouble. Thanks for the smile!

Dean Finder, I forget, I think in the Epcot version you ride through in some sort of seashell Omnimover? I would have preferred the old “Living Seas” attraction, which sounds pretty wonderful. I agree, I don’t feel like I really need a shortened version of that movie, though admittedly many of the Fantasyland dark rides are basically “Cliff Notes” versions of the classic animated features.

JG said...

Major, these are above-average views of the Sub Lagoon! Thank you very much!

I don't know much about water purification chemistry but I know that chlorine and some kind of acid are involved in conventional pools. The sub lagoon feels more clear and pure than a conventional pool, but that's all. I doubt that copper sulfate would be used in water where people would swim, but the color is right, for sure.

Some modern pools in the higher-end homes today are using a different process that is more like a salt-water composition, but that's where my knowledge ends.

@Mike Cozart, SHASTA SODA! Black Cherry was my favorite.

The Nemo ride is pretty wretched, but at least we got part of the subs back. I only rode it once, and got chills of memory from the dock and the starting bubbles.

@Lou and Sue, here is my (second-hand)mermaid story from behind the scenes. In the 80's, I used to work for an architect that worked for WED in the mid-60's. He did a lot on the Haunted Mansion and later on projects for WDW including their solar power plant. He worked in the Burbank studio, but they would do field trips to the Park to study various things in person. His story was that all the designers and engineers wanted to meet the blonde merms and ask them out. A chance to meet the legendary beauties was greatly anticipated by the Burbank group. He was never introduced, much less ever to ask one of them out. Still, hope springs eternal.


JG said...

Major, I think you are right about seeing the new Disneyland things as a kid for the first time.

I bemoaned the loss of Adventure Through Inner Space, but my kids love Star Tours and ride it 4 or 5 times when we visit.

I think that like many things, we all love the experiences of our youth the best, and Disneyland is no exception.