Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: Fun Facts

In 2008, Disneyland “re-commissioned” its fleet of eight submarines to take guests on an all-new voyage to the site of an erupting underwater volcano. Along the way guests meet up with all the characters from the Disney•Pixar hit film “Finding Nemo.”

The original Disneyland Submarine Voyage debuted in 1959 along with the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Monorail attractions.  It continued to operate until 1998.  The subs have undergone extensive upgrades with all new environmentally friendly, electric engines and state-of-the-art audio and visual effects.

The voyage showcases a stunning new animation technology that brings to life the personality-filled characters from “Finding Nemo” in a three-dimensional underwater setting with all the incredible movement and action guests have come to expect from Pixar films. Original Pixar animators provided the animation of Nemo and his friends for this attraction.

Guests will see and hear a slightly different show, depending on where they sit on the submarine. Each seat on the submarine has an equal view, but some guests may spot Nemo at certain times when other guests cannot see him. However, all guests will be able to see Nemo and friends the same total number of times throughout the journey.

With the use of the subs’ vintage “sonar hydrophones,” guests will hear the fish talk with the same personalities and humor established in the feature film. With the enhanced synchronized sound, guests will hear the exploits of Dory, Marlin, Crush the Turtle and the “tank gang” as they “swim” past the submarine.

Guests can take part in an ever-changing adventure of trying to find Nemo on vehicles that are powered by environmentally friendly electric power, a conversion from the 1950s diesel power.

Two additional seats as well as two new portholes were added to each of the eight submarines.

In addition to the animated fish, Imagineers fully sculpted and created additional underwater creatures as Audio-Animatronics characters, a technology originally pioneered by Walt Disney Imagineering in the 1960s. Three seagulls, which briefly appeared in the feature film, can be seen and heard as Audio-Animatronics figures resting on a buoy above the lagoon.

The vibrant underwater rockwork and coral is “painted” with recycled glass, a new technique developed by Disney Imagineers to enhance the undersea environment. More than 30 tons of recycled glass were used in the creation of the lagoon.

Imagineers created more than 40 unique colors for the lagoon area including such whimsical names as Yamber (a cross between yam and amber), Mango Mud, Toast, Blue Feint (barely blue), Aqua Jazz, Swamp (dark green/amber), Danger Red, Burning Coal, Split Pea, Earth, Phantom and Peritwinkle.
When the attraction first opened in 1959, the submarines were painted military grey to reflect the U.S. fleet of nuclear submarines. In 1986, the subs were repainted yellow to represent an oceanographic explorer motif.

The soundtrack in the attraction features many of the original voices from the film including Andrew Stanton (Crush) and Barry Humphries (Bruce). An original soundtrack for this attraction, inspired by the film score, was composed by film & television composer Ed Kalnins.

When the lagoon was filled in January 2007, the tunnel area was dammed off so that work could continue, and it took approximately 50 hours and 2.1 million gallons of water just to fill the lagoon alone. One hose filled at approximately 12,000 gallons per hour and a water filter plant provided water at a rate of 30,000 gallons per hour to complete this task.

Walt Disney Imagineers have paid tribute to the original attraction in a number of ways:
  • They are continuing to use the original eight submarine vehicles.
  • Designs from the old attraction are subtly blended into the underwater rockwork.
  • Classic lines of dialogue from the original attraction are being used in the new version.

Guests with disabilities are able to experience the story through a special Observation Outpost located near the loading area of the attraction.