The Seas With Nemo And Friends: In Love With The Living Seas - PassPorter.com
PassPorter.com
Award-winning travel guidebooks

   guidebooks   |   news   |   podcasts   |   boards   |   blog   |   worksheets   |   photos   |   articles   |   updates   |   register   |  


PassPorter's
Article Tools
Print Article
Download PDF

The Seas With Nemo And Friends: In Love With The Living Seas

by Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 4/23/2009
  



PassPorter.com > Articles > Walt Disney World > Touring  

"So what's your favorite Disney attraction, then?" Has a harder question ever been invented? There are just so many to pick from that I always find it very hard to answer that.


However, there are some attractions that have a very special place in my heart. The Seas with Nemo & Friends at Epcot is one of those. When I was a child, my family always seemed to plan their Disney vacations at the wrong time. We first visited Walt Disney World in 1981, and what happened the following year? That's right, Epcot opened for business. Fast forward and we returned in late 1987, just 18 months before what's now known as Disney's Hollywood Studios opened its doors. You get the picture.

That means my very first excursion into Epcot had to wait until 1987, but in a way, that was not a bad thing, as by then the park had seen the addition of the Living Seas pavilion. Planned from the beginning, it didn't debut until 1986, which meant that, the first time I headed inside, it was still a popular place and I clearly remember a long wait before we finally boarded our ride vehicle.

Of course in those days, you would wait for the pre-show entertainment and the journey down to Sea Base Alpha in those legendary "hydrolators." As it was our first visit, we dutifully trooped in to watch the short movie that introduced you to life underwater, and then it was our turn to travel down beneath the waves. Even as a teenager, I remember being impressed by the hydrolators. Of course I knew that you weren't really descending to the seabed, but my goodness, Disney did a good job of making you believe that you might possibly be.

Then it was on to the ride vehicles – very different from the ones we see today, as there were no bright clams to glide around in. Instead you climbed into distinctly drab Seacab vehicles, but they took you on what I would guess was probably a fairly similar journey to the one you complete today. You'd sit and watch in wonder, as you glided through an underwater world with hundreds of creatures swimming around you. I still remember gasping as a shark swam past during that first ride and then grinning widely. What a great experience, and you could enjoy this without even getting wet!

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe Menu photo
Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe Menu

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe Menu - photo by dlcompton

From that point on, I was in love with the Living Seas. Our return trip as a family in 1996 didn't change that feeling at all, although by the time I next visited on my honeymoon in 1999, the pavilion was starting to look as if it was in need of a little love. The crowds that once dominated the entrance were now gone, heading for new headliners, such as Test Track. The ride didn't seem as smooth and somehow the viewing areas just didn't seem as clean either.

It came as no surprise then, although it was still a great disappointment, when I heard that the ride portion of the attraction had been closed in 2001. It seemed like the beginning of the end for this once great pavilion and our return there in late 2002 did nothing to dispel that feeling. It was very eerie to just be able to visit the gift shop and the viewing areas and to see where the cars once used to run. I couldn't help but stand there and think what a wasted opportunity this was.

I guess Disney must have had a similar thought, because a couple of years later, things started to change with a refurbishment of the pavilion that was to take a number of years. The first sign of new life was the arrival of Turtle Talk with Crush in November 2004, which it's probably fair to say left everyone who saw it absolutely open-mouthed. Nothing like it had been tried before at Disney and to have the fun surfer dude turtle from Finding Nemo communicating directly with you was amazing. It's no wonder it drew the crowds and indeed continues to do so to this day.

Soon, Crush was joined by other marine friends from the film, with the addition of Bruce's Sub House, a hands-on play area for kids and the re-naming of the stingray area to become Mr. Ray's Lagoon. Nemo and Friends proved to be a great addition, as instead of just having fish on display swimming around, all members of the family could now hunt for familiar friends. When this first opened, I remember hearing children screaming "Nemo!" and "Dory!" as they spotted the fish. That was the point where I knew this pavilion was on the way back up.

The final part of the transformation saw my beloved ride brought back to life, with clam-mobiles taking you back through the aquarium, but this time with the addition of the familiar characters from the movie. The Seas with Nemo and Friends follows the film's story, starting off with Mr. Ray's class and then taking you along on the search for the missing Nemo. Along the way, you'll see the animated characters projected on to the aquarium, making it look as if they're swimming with their real counterparts, and you also get to meet Bruce close up. You glide underneath jellyfish and then get taken down the East Australian Current with Crush and Squirt in a section that can mess with your head if you're susceptible to motion sickness.

The first time we took this ride, it reminded me of the feeling I had had all those years ago on my very first visit to this pavilion. The magic had never really left this place, it had just got lost along the way, but Disney had done an excellent job of ensuring that it returned with a complete refreshment of the Living Seas, transforming it into The Seas with Nemo and Friends. There's now no greater delight for me than heading in there and seeing a whole new generation appreciate it, the way I did all those years ago.


Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe Stained Glass Penguin photo
Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe Stained Glass Penguin

Jolly Holiday Bakery Cafe Stained Glass Penguin - photo by dlcompton





TING!
You've discovered a PassPorter's Club Concierge Tip!
Ting the bell to read your tip and save it in your Concierge Desk!
About the Author:
Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!


Recent Walt Disney World Articles:
10 Things I DO Want to Do On Our Next Disney Vacation - A Walt Disney World Planning Article last updated 02-25-2015
Using TouringPlans.com to Plan Your Disney Vacation - A Disney Web Site Review last updated 02-25-2015
The Health Nut's Guide to Dining at Disney - A Walt Disney World Dining Review last updated 02-19-2015
Top 10 Things I love About Disney's Epcot - A Walt Disney World Park Review last updated 02-19-2015
10 Things NOT to Do on Your Next Disney Vacation - A Walt Disney World Planning Article last updated 02-12-2015

More Related Links:
 
Enjoying the Japan Pavilion at Epcot - A World Showcase Favorite last updated 2/24/2011
The Parades of the Magic Kingdom - A Plethora of Processions last updated 01/22/2009
Epcot's World Showcase - Pavilions vs. The "Real" World last updated 01/29/2009
Recent Changes to Disneyland - Part 1 last updated 02/12/2009




Reader Comments:


So what do you think? Click here to share your comments, feedback, and experiences on this article and topic!

(Note: You must be a member of our PassPorter Message Board Community to leave comments. Join today for free!)




Updated 4/23/2009 - Article #78 



Read additional articles from PassPorter.com

Subscribe to our free e-mail newsletter, PassPorter News, published for more than 58,000 opt-in subscribers worldwide. As an added bonus for subscribing, you will receive a 20% discount coupon for the PassPorter Store -- no catch!

E-mail Address:

First Name:

E-mail Format:
-Text/Don't Know  

-HTML

 
 

We respect your privacy and never sell or rent our subscriber list. Subscribing will not result in more spam! We guarantee it.

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Copyright 1999-2015
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.

       SEARCH
       LEARN MORE
Learn More With Our Award-Winning Guidebooks


 


RSS General PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disney Cruise Line, and General Travel - Touring the 'World': The Parks at Walt Disney World
PassPorter Community - Boards & Forums on Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Disn...
Swap the latest tips and information on touring the parks at Walt Disney World.


Sign up for Jedi Training location?
by Goofy'sGal
2 Mar 2015 at 8:57am
Does anyone know if the location for signing up for Jedi Training has moved? My nephew would love to do this and I know it's hard to get so I want...
(click title above to view replies)

Park hours?
by Ariel in a doom buggy
1 Mar 2015 at 2:36pm
Hi all, We are making another trip to the happy place this year! Because of the lateness of Labor Day, we have bumped our trip back to 8/30-9/5....
(click title above to view replies)

Avatarland - Could this look anymore Amazing??
by WDW Traveler
27 Feb 2015 at 8:34am
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sQm4B2UYGY8 I saw the movie (probably 2 years after it came out) and it was just ok to me, but I can't wait to...
(click title above to view replies)

How much time for SDMT with FP+
by coasties
26 Feb 2015 at 4:31pm
*We have BoG lunch ressies at 12:15 Sat. Aug. 8* *Want to make FP+ ressie for SDMT same day BEFORE this lunch ressie. How close can I make the...
(click title above to view replies)

Need help with crowd levels please
by disneyfan1219
21 Feb 2015 at 11:44pm
We usually vacation in October. But my cousin is getting married during fall break in October. So we are looking at a different time to go. We have...
(click title above to view replies)



Total Visits: 5783


PassPorter ~ 1998-2015 ~ 17 Years of Making Dreams Come True!
Publishers of bestselling travel guidebooks and proud recipients of 13 national book awards
About PassPorter
About Us
Site Map
Press
Privacy Policy
Images & Artwork
Guidebooks
About
Previews
Buy
Reviews
Updates
Features
News & Updates
Articles
Podcasts
Photos
Message Boards
Newsletter
Concierge Desk
Desktop
Trips
Books & E-Books
Tips
Settings
Customs Office
Register Books
Book Updates
Contests
Checklists
Help & Info
Finding Answers to Questions
Help Desk
Using Your PassPorter Forum
Store Customer Service
E-Mail Us
Follow Us
PassPorter.com Front Page (Updated Daily!)
PassPorter Newsletter (weekly and free)
Latest Posts
Facebook
Pinterest
YouTube Channel
Questions? Check our Site Map and visit our Help Desk to learn how to contact us online, by e-mail, and by phone.
Please feel free to link to this page so that other vacationers can find it.