I might not have been quite 7 on my first trip to Disney World, but it had a huge impact on me. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage actually terrified me. It was the squid that really scared me, but something that I will never forget. In fact it had such an impact I made sure to visit Trader Sam’s Grog Grotto at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort to get my Nautilus cocktail. (I still have the “drinking vessel” displayed at my house.) With that said here are some fun facts about this ride and what happened to it.
It opened on October 14, 1971 and closed September 5, 1994. From 1995-2004 the area was part of Ariel’s Grotto and from 2005-2010 it became Pooh’s Playful Spot. In 2014 the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride took its place and by the looks of the popularity of this ride, this area isn’t going to be changing for a while, if ever.
The fleet of submarines were moved around to different locations in Disney World for many years until they eventually ended up in a landfill in 2004. Thankfully three were saved to remain on display. Two were originally sunk in the lagoon at Disney’s Castaway Cay (Disney’s private island that their fleet of ships travel to when you cruise with Disney). Sadly as of 2008 only one of those two submarines still exits because the other was destroyed by hurricane weather. The third was originally part of the Backlot Tour at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and then put into storage. Since then it has been seen at various Disney events and still in pretty good condition.
Thankfully as you wind yourself around The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, you can spot a throwback to the Nautilus if you look closely in the rock wall.
I am always so impressed with how Disney Imagineers don’t ever let us forget the past and incorporate some portion of old rides into the new ones. It is a fun way to share with our kids and friends how things used to be when Disney World first opened and how we remember it when we visited as kids.
To Infinity and Beyond Travel & The Infinity Mouse – Traci – “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.” – Joel A. Barker