The Seas with Nemo & Friends is a pavilion located in the Future World section of Epcot, a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The attraction is based on underwater exploration and the 2003 Pixar film, Finding Nemo, with several exhibits devoted to that theme. The pavilion opened in 1986 as The Living Seas but had been a planned part of the park since its opening in 1982. The Seas with Nemo & Friends is located in Future World West, which is planned to be re-designated World Nature.
The Seas Pavilion was part of plans for Epcot Center since the late-70s, with an early version of the attraction planned to feature the Greek sea god Poseidon as a host for a dark ride using bubble vehicles exploring different aspects of the ocean before dropping guests off at a futuristic marine research base. It didn't make it into the opening line-up as Disney had trouble finding a partner to sponsor the pavilion with and the dark ride portion was scaled back when United Technologies signed on to sponsor the attraction.
The pavilion opened to the public in 1986 as The Living Seas. It was the largest man-made underwater environment in the world at its completion (since surpassed by the Georgia Aquarium). The concept of the building was to take visitors under the ocean to 'Sea Base Alpha'. Visitors would watch a short film titled "The Seas" and then take a simulated elevator ride to the ocean floor via a "hydrolator". Guests then would ride the Caribbean Coral Reef ride in a "Seacab" along an underwater tunnel through the aquarium. From there, guests would ride around 'Sea Base Alpha' getting an up-close view of marine life. They would then disembark into the main exhibit area where they could interact with various multimedia displays.
In 2003, the process of bringing in elements of the Pixar film Finding Nemo began. This includes the now-popular Turtle Talk with Crush show where the character Crush talks to the audience about marine life by usage of an innovative live CGI system. In 2005, The Living Seas closed for its extensive Finding Nemo layover, which included removing the hydrolators and changing the Seacabs ride. The pavilion reopened in October 2006 with a new name, The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion, as part of Disney's Year of a Million Dreams celebration.
A loosely related attraction using much of the same animation, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opened at Disneyland as an update to the original Submarine Voyage, which closed on September 9. 1998. This attraction opened on June 11, 2007.
In late 2019, as part of Epcot's ongoing transformation, the original pavilion icon returned to regular use and signage throughout Sea Base began to change to more strongly emphasize the Sea Base theme again and incorporate the park's new fonts and graphic design look.
- Board a “clamobile” and descend below the waves into a “Big Blue World” where Nemo and his friends flit through brightly colored coral reefs and gently swaying sea anemones. Swim with Mr. Ray and his school and see ultra-cool, ultraviolet “jellies.”
- Dodge underwater mines, a toothy angler fish, and an even toothier Bruce the shark as he lurks in the rusted hull of a sunken ship. Then catch a ride on the righteous East Australian Current with sea turtle Crush and his little dude Squirt, and watch it barrel over you.
- Your underwater adventure climaxes when the Finding Nemo characters join real, live sea creatures in the massive 5.7-million-gallon saltwater aquarium they call home.
- Afterward, mingle with even more marine life at The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion at your leisure. Walk all the way around the aquarium and see some of the real-life counterparts of the characters from the film.
Guests board their own 'Clamobiles' and venture into the sea to join Marlin, Dory, and the other memorable characters as they search for Nemo who has become lost again. The first journey through a coral reef where they find Marlin the clownfish searching for Nemo. Farther along the reef they come across Mr. Ray and his students set out to explore and look for Nemo. Dory soon joins Marlin in the search and they come upon a group of jellyfish. Suddenly, out of the darkness comes an anglerfish that begins to chase them frantically. Guests dive deeper and come upon the wreck of a massive submarine that sits in the center of a deadly minefield. Peeking out from the wreck is Bruce the Great White Shark, and Chum the Mako shark trying to coax Nemo out from his hiding spot. Unfortunately, Anchor the Hammerhead is not part of the ride. They assure him that fish are friends not food in their sneaky voices. Guests' clamobiles are then swept up into the EAC with Nemo, Crush, and Squirt. The current empties out the guests into a massive aquarium where Nemo has reunited once again with his friends. As they sing a closing song, "In The Big Blue World" (although the ride opened first, the song was adapted from the Disney's Animal Kingdom show Finding Nemo - The Musical), these Pixar characters swim in the real aquarium along with real fish by use of special effect glass. The clamobiles then arrive at the Seabase.
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-)
- Turtle Talk with Crush - an interactive show wherein the sea turtle from Finding Nemo answers children's questions about the sea. (2004-)
- 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.
- Epcot DiveQuest
- Epcot Seas Aqua Tour (2002-)
- Dolphins in Depth
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
- The Seas aquarium is the second-largest saltwater tank in the world, holding 5.7 million gallons of water.
- Among the fish in the aquarium is a female round ribbontail ray with a hidden Mickey on her back.
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