June 2007 – present
Tomorrowland – If you enter Tomorrowland through the entrance off Main Street USA, turn left when you reach Tomorrowland Terrace. You’ll see the Submarine Voyage straight ahead, adjacent to the Monorail ramp. If you are coming from Fantasyland, keep left along the waterfront as you pass the Matterhorn, and you’ll see the entrance on your left, before Autopia.
The lagoon’s previous submarine attraction, 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea, closed in 1998. Imagineers promised a new submarine ride would take its place, but the lagoon remained quiet through 2003. Fans worried about the future of the lagoon, since this area had held a submarine attraction since 1959. During its closure, the lagoon became a hotbed of speculation and intrigue from Disney fans, and rumors of new themes included Treasure Planet and Atlantis. Imagineers created concept designs for an Atlantis voyage, but scrapped those plans when the film performed poorly at the box office. Finally, right before Disneyland’s 50th anniversary celebration, Disney announced the official new theme of the Submarine Voyage would be Finding Nemo, to debut two years later in 2007.
When the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage finally opened, lines exceed 3-4 hours. The ride quickly became a fan favorite, particularly among nostalgic guests who missed the original submarine attraction. Today, the Submarine Voyage is a consistently busy attraction in Tomorrowland, and is one of the most popular park attractions for younger children.
- Single Rider Line – no
- Fast Pass – no
- Height Requirement – none
- Duration – 13:50
Guests begin their voyage in the Institute of Nautical Exploration and Marine Observation (NEMO). Institute researchers are searching for an underwater volcano, and enlist guests to join their submarine voyage in the hopes of finding the elusive peak.
When the submarines depart, guests are immediately immersed in an underwater world of coral reefs, fish, and divers. The submarine stumbles across the ruins of an ancient civilization, currently being investigated by notorious diver P. Sherman. As the submarines travel through a waterfall and enter a series of caverns, the captain informs his passengers that due to new technology, guests will be able to hear fish talking to one another during their journey.
Suddenly, Marlin and Dory appear, and guests learn that Nemo has disappeared again. Marlin and Dory enlist the help of Mr. Ray and Nemo’s classmates, and the group searches the reef and caverns for Nemo. The submarine passes through the East Australian Current (EAC), where guests can see Nemo, Crush, and Squirt, along with the other sea turtles riding the current.
Next, the submarine crosses through a graveyard of sunken ships, where sharks Bruce and Chum are exploring the abandoned ship decks. Unfortunately, the submarine accidentally hits a mine, causing a temporary loss of power. In the darkness, guests see Marlin and Dory, as they continue their search for Nemo. Marlin and Dory narrowly escape the terrifying anglerfish, and race through a pack of jellyfish as power returns to the submarine.
With restored power, the submarine reaches its final destination: the underwater volcano. Marlin and Dory find Nemo at the volcano, and the whole cast of characters chant as lava begins to flow. As the submarine escapes the erupting volcano a pod of humpback whales arrive, swallowing the submarine and its passengers whole. Dory attempts to talk to the whale, and the whale shoots everyone out its blowhole. The relieved captain returns the submarine back to the institute, thanking guests for accompanying the research team on their journey through the ocean.
MY RATING: ★★★☆☆
The Submarine Voyage is a unique Tomorrowland attraction, and the scenery is absolutely gorgeous. There are tons of references to Finding Nemo scattered throughout, and seeing characters interacting in a real underwater environment is very cool. However, the submarines themselves are probably the most unpleasant ride vehicles in the park. I am not a claustrophobic person at all, but the submarines make me very uncomfortable and nervous. The seating area is small, the seats are uncomfortable, and I can’t help but feel trapped throughout the ride. If the submarine doesn’t bother you, you will love this ride. But if you’re nervous about being in the sub, you’ll probably be a little spooked during your voyage.
The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is a very popular attraction, and unfortunately does not offer fast pass. If you want to visit, try to ride before lunchtime. Afternoon waits can be really lengthy, and most of the waiting area is in the sun. If you can’t get on the Submarine Voyage before noon, try to ride after dark; the lines are the worst between noon and dinnertime.
The first diver you see is Darla, the niece who antagonizes the Finding Nemo gang from the dentist’s office.
All of the scenes with Nemo and friends take place in a hidden show building.
The lagoon holds 6.3 million gallons of water.
The Submarine Voyage has the longest ride time of any Tomorrowland attraction, with a run time of approximately fifteen minutes.
In 2014, the Submarine Voyage closed for a six-month refurbishment. During the closure, the lagoon was completely drained, and Imagineers repainted every piece of coral and refreshed a number of the scenes.
All 8 of the submarines used in the attraction are recycled versions of the submarines from the original ride.