WALT DISNEY WORLD FLORIDA

 

~Disney’s popular 20,000 Leagues Submarine Ride~

 

 

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There was a time when you could board the NAUTILUS and journey to Atlantis….sort of.

 

 

 

 

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The attraction was built into a gigantic water tank that looked like this when it was under construction…

 

 

 

 

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…and like this when it was filled with water and the subs were running.

 

 

 

 

 

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When it was down for maintenance, you could see the “subs” were actually a cross between a boat and a bus that ran on a concrete track.

 

 

 

 

 

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But when it was running, it looked pretty convincing.

 

 

 

 

 

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This attraction was very popular, and the lines of people waiting to take the voyage were usually long.

 

 

 

 

 

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But once inside 20,000 LEAGUES, you entered the ride vehicle through a hatch in the bow…

 

 

 

 

 

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…and stepped down into an interior decorated in NAUTILUS motif, where you had your own seat and viewport.

 

 

 

 

 

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Once everyone was aboard, the hatch was closed and the sub was on its way.

 

 

 

 

 

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Through the viewport you could see wonders of the deep,  like sea creatures…

 

 

 

 

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…sunken ships, and animatronic divers like this one…

 

 

 

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…working and exploring at the bottom of the sea.

 

 

 

 

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While this NAUTILUS wasn’t an actual submarine, and never went completely under the water; like other Disney submarine rides before this, it sure seemed to the passengers like it did!

 

 

 

 

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When the ride was over, the NAUTILUS returned to the dock, and you could disembark, buy another ride, and go again as often as you liked.

 

 

 

 

 

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Until one day the ride shut down, and the subs were sent to the Disney boneyard.

 

 

 

 

 

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One of them was put on display for a while, and some say one or two more met similar fates….

 

 

 

 

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But most of them just ended up rotting away in the weather for a time.

 

 

 

 

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Here’s a look at the 20,000 LEAGUES Ghost Fleet: high-and-dry, and roasting in the sun.

 

 

 

 

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Kind of sad, isn’t it?   I’d bet there are collectors out there who would have paid a good price for one of these.  Think of what a great houseboat it might have made!  ;-)  But no, they were all dismantled….

 

 

 

 

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And nowadays you occasionally see parts like the seats, or portholes like this one, for sale on eBay.

 

 

 

 

 

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This was the 20,000 LEAGUES attraction poster.  I have one on my wall at home.

 

(Most images courtesy of Mike Prendergast.  Mahalo!) 

 

 

 

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