On this day in 1959, the Submarine Voyage opened in Disneyland.
An attraction inspired by the Disney live-action feature 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, it was one of the first rides to require an E-ticket. The original 8 gray-colored subs carried guests "under the Arctic Ocean's polar ice cap." The vessels - not actual submarines as they did not technically submerge - carried 38 passengers at a time. Portholes allowed guests to view fantastic "Disney-fied" underwater sights.
Submarine Voyage closed in September 1998 - although Disney promised it would open again in 2003 (and possibly be based on the animated Atlantis: The Lost Empire) - it never did.
Fast forward to this day in 2007: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage (based on the Disney/Pixar feature Finding Nemo) opened on the same lagoon where Submarine Voyage once sailed! Although this day's opening was really a sneak peak preview for Annual Passholders. The attraction would begin soft openings on June 9 and officially debut June 11.
At Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, guests board one of 8 yellow Nemo research subs and set out in search of an active underwater volcano. Once again, through portholes guests can see a spectacular underwater environment filled with colorful coral reefs and Nemo characters. Nemo uses the same sub vehicles as Submarine Voyage - but unlike the subs in Submarine Voyage which used diesel engines, the Nemo subs use a non-polluting electric-based technology called inductive power transfer.
Walt Disney always believed that our oceans were the "Last Frontier" and these submarine attractions continue to reinforce a little piece of that belief.
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