For this week I am talking about Finding Nemo's Submarine Voyage. I thought it would be fitting to talk about it since it is currently closed for refurbishment.
First some history. When Disneyland first opened the lagoon it was smaller and used for the ride Phantom Boats. It was closed shortly after as people would get trapped in their boats as the boats should break down. The boats would be stuck in the middle of the lagoon with no way of helping them. It was removed shortly after. In 1959, they opened the Submarine Voyage through Liquid Space. This ride was open until 1998 to make way for Finding Nemo in 2007.
When I was in Disneyland in late December I knew it was closing down at the beginning of January. There were rumours that it would stay closed at this time. I decided that I would ride it one last time just incase it was going to be closed down. I happened to get lucky as the wait time was 10 minutes while the rest of the day it was 30+. I ended up going on the ride and the ride was longer than I waited in line. Let me just say one thing about the ride. It was awful.
Don't get me wrong, the technology behind lining the sound up with where you are is amazing! And Tony Baxter, the lead imagineer on this project is my most favourite imagineer. He just missed the ball with this attraction. There were many things that just didn't work for me through the whole ride. One thing is the queue. I know this sounds funny but Disney is known for completing the whole experience. This ride queue just doesn't have it, the Nemo ride in Walt Disney World (WDW) is way better for their queue! It immerses you into the world of Nemo. The problem they may have though is because the queue is outside but it's Disney, they can figure something out. Another thing they really missed the ball on is the story and part of the back story. Tony Baxter once did an interview where he said that creating a ride based on a movie can be quite hard as sometimes you only re-tell plot. Basically the entire ride was just a re-tell of the plot which if I wanted to re-hear the plot I'd watch the movie. What they should have done in my opinion is make the ride about what happened AFTER the end of the movie. Not what happened in the movie.
That is just some suggestions I have on what I would do with the Finding Nemo ride. What I would actually do is just leave the ride closed. On March 18th at the AGM, I would announce the closure of Finding Nemo. Then I would do a bit of a 'throwback' to a previous ride. Can you guess which one? It was never in Disneyland. I'd turn it to a 20,000 leagues under the sea type ride. Take the nautilus designed submarines and have those in the ride as that really brings the focus on the ride as the shape really stands out intriguing more guests to the ride. The actual ride would be a mix of Submarine Voyage thru Liquid Space as well as 20,000 leagues. That way you get a distinctive ride vehicle to intrigue people to it then have the ride want people to go on it more than once. Another thing that would need to be addressed is the length of the ride. Speed up the subs a bit or shorten the track as a 10+ minute ride can be too long.
If I personally had it my way I would create the 20,000 leagues under the sea ride. I never got to ride it and it looked absolutely amazing. It's a real shame they got rid of the track as well as the lagoon all together at WDW. That would be awful if something like that happened to the lagoon in Disneyland. I'd rather Memo stay than have the lagoon go even though I'm not a huge fan of the ride (as you might be able to tell from this).
Overall I'd say that even though Nemo can bring in some people, it costs way too much to make it worth while as they don't have enough subs making it the most expensive ride in the whole park. I'd say keep it closed and try to bring in a new ride that does better making it more worth while for them to create.
As always, I'd love your input on what you agree or disagree with! Also tell me about what you would like me to talk about next week or the following! Don't forget to come back Sunday for the Secrets & History post!