The Living Seas was an aquarium and attached dark ride attraction located on the western side of Future World at Epcot, a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Bay Lake, Florida. The pavilion was themed as an underwater exploration base called Sea Base Alpha, with several exhibits devoted to oceanic study. The pavilion opened in 1986, but had been planned as part of the park since its opening in 1982.
The Living Seas opened to the public on January 15, 1986. It housed the largest saltwater tank in the world at its completion, holding 5.7 million US gallons (22,000,000 L) of water, but was surpassed in 2005 with the opening of the Georgia Aquarium. The concept of the building was to take visitors under the ocean to "Sea Base Alpha". Guests viewed a short movie about the formation of the oceans entitled The Sea, which was followed by an elevator ride to the ocean floor aboard a "Hydrolator" (in reality, guests rode a stationary hydraulic elevator while moving walls, sound effects and a vibrating floor gave the effect of traveling a long distance downward ). Guests then boarded a Seacab on the Caribbean Coral Reef Ride, and rode through the middle of the tank. They then disembarked into the main exhibit area where they could interact with various multimedia displays. Once finished, guests leaving the pavilion would then board another Hydrolator to the surface (which, similar to the first set of elevators, simulated upward motion).
The Living Seas was sponsored by United Technologies from its opening until 1998. After the departure of United Technologies as sponsor of The Living Seas, significant changes were made to the pavilion. All sponsorship references were removed from the pavilion. Preshow theatre #2 was removed and a corridor was built through its space, allowing for guests to bypass the preshow if they wished to go directly to the Hydrolators.
On October 21, 2001, as a result of declining patronage following the September 11 attacks, the Seacabs closed down and were walled off. The queue of the Seacab ride was left intact and the Seacabs were still visible to guests through the ocean tank windows. Reasons for their closure are not entirely known. After they closed, guests leaving the Hydrolators walked along the former wheelchair bypass corridor to Sea Base Alpha. Now, guests had the option of viewing the preshow or going directly to the Hydrolators and simply walking to Sea Base Alpha.
In December 2003, Disney began to re-theme The Living Seas into a new pavilion based on the recently released Pixar film Finding Nemo. The majority of the transformation began with exterior elements, but in January 2004, the interior began to change as well. On November 16, 2004, Turtle Talk with Crush opened in what was once Module 1C, or the Earth Systems exhibit. The show's unexpected success overwhelmed the pavilion, causing the development of plans to move Turtle Talk with Crush to a larger area in the pavilion.
Turtle Talk with Crush was only the beginning of changes to The Living Seas. On August 21, 2005, The Living Seas closed for its transformation into The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Parts of the pavilion reopened in late November 2005. Outside the pavilion, the facade and mural were changed and depictions of sea life seen in Finding Nemo were added. The exit Hydrolators had been removed, and were replaced with glass doors that served as an exit and temporary entrance. Sea Base Alpha had been re-themed to Finding Nemo and the entire original preshow area was in the process of being rebuilt. Decor and signage was replaced and scientific displays were replaced by ones themed to Finding Nemo. Turtle Talk with Crush remained as popular as it was before the transformation.
Pavilion attractions and services
- Coral Reef Restaurant - a table service dining establishment whose primary draw is the fact that one of its walls is the aquarium's glass back. Mickey can occasionally be seen scuba diving in the aquarium.
- Sea Base - the main viewing area for the aquarium (1982-)
- Gift Shop
- Lockout Chamber - The Lockout Chamber consists of a scuba diver who dives in a circular tube to teach people about fish and scuba.
- Carribean Coral Reef Ride (1982-2001)
- Hydrolators (1982-2005)
- The Sea (1982-2005)
- Epcot DiveQuest
- Epcot Seas Aqua Tour (2002-)
- Dolphins in Depth
- Turtle Talk with Crush - an interactive show wherein the sea turtle from Finding Nemo answers children's questions about the sea. (2004-2020)
This pavilion has a backstage VIP room that is used for private events, such as weddings and conventions. The room is a long, curved room, with wood-paneled walls. One side has floor-to-ceiling windows into the aquarium. The room also has an acrylic glass see-through piano.
Consultants and advisers
- Dr. Robert Ballard, Senior Scientist, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
- Dr. Sylvia Earle, Vice President, Ocean Engineering, Inc.
- Mr. Gilbert Grosvenor, President, National Geographic Society
- Dr. Murray Newman, Director, Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre
- Professor William Nierenberg, Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography
- Dr. David Potter, Vice President, Public Affairs, General Motors Corporation
- Dr. John Ryther, Director, Division of Applied Biology, Harbor Branch Foundation, Inc.
- Mr. Robert Wildman, Deputy Director, NOAA, Office of Sea Grants Program
- Beard, Richard R. (1982). in Lory Frankel: Walt Disney's EPCOT. New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., page 119. ISBN 0-8109-0819-0.
- Kurtti, Jeff (1996). Since the World Began: Walt Disney World, The First 25 Years. New York, New York: Hyperion, page 105. ISBN 0-7868-6248-3.
- "Aquarium sets Guinness record", Associated Press, Atlanta Journal-Constitution (2010-08-23). Retrieved on 9 September 2010.
|This page uses content from the English Wikipedia page The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The list of authors can be seen in the . Text from Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply.|