|EPCOT - The Seas with Nemo & Friends
The Living Seas opened a couple years after EPCOT did and allowed you to explore Earth's final frontier, the oceans. You would enter the attraction and descend via hydrolater to Seabase Alpha, where you would board a seacab to be transported to the main area of the attraction. The journey took you through one of the largest aquariums in the world. In the late 90s and early 2000's the Living Seas hit a downturn and lost most of its luster. The seacabs were shuttered and the film was skipped by most guests. Once inside most the pavilion was the same. In 2004 the Living Seas lost its sponsor and the Walt Disney company took over complete control of the pavilion. Slowly a Finding Nemo overlay is being applied. It started with a photo opportunity out front, followed by one of the display areas being converted and Nemo signage appearing. Turtle Talk featuring Crush opened to great aclaim in late 2004. This 20 minute show allows guests to interact with this famous turtle from Finding Nemo.. In 2005 more Nemo displays and activities have popped up in Sea Base Alpha. In 2006 even more changes are afoot as the Seacabs will be returning as "clamobiles" and Nemo will have taken over the entire pavilian. In late 2006 the pavilion was renamed the Seas with Nemo and Friends. It now features a dark ride where you meet Nemo and his Friends then you are able to walk around the Sea Base and explore the various pods, just as before. The Hydrolaters, films, etc.. are now a thing of the past and guests can freely enter and leave through the original exit only area.
One of the stars of this pavilion is the Coral Reef restaurant. You dine in tiered seating with a panoramic view of the main tank.
|Geek's Thoughts & Suggestions
If you are lucky enough to be around when there are divers in the water or feeding time it makes the visit much more enjoyable and entertaining. We wish they would post the dive and feeding times in the guidebooks so you can plan your visit accordingly.
Turtle Talk with Crush is on of a new breed of Disney shows. Its part of their "living character" initiatives. In this show you (and a hundred or so other guests) go into a theater and are able to meet Crush and ask him questions and answer his questions. Its a great show really engaging for children. This is the future of where Disney is heading (the next major attraction to use this technology is the Laugh Floor over at the Magic Kingdom, which will open in 2007).
In December 2006 we were able to visit the now newly rennovated and renamed Seas with Nemo and Friends. I was really curious to see what they did and to get a sneak peak at the new projection technology that will be finding its way into Disneyland's Submarine Voyage opening in 2007. The first thing that stuck me is how big the queue is. The old queue, 1st movie area, and 2nd movie area are all turned into the queue. So you have a good hike to get to the ride vehicle. The ride itself seems a bit longer than the old Sea Cabs attraction but then again its been years so my memory may just be bad. I thought the new projection technology was impressive, especially the final scenes where the Nemo characters are in the main tank with the live fish. The depth effect was great. Overall I was not that happy with the attraction though. I thought the final 30 seconds or so were the highlight and the rest was just ok. I would have liked to have seen more with the live fish instead of all projection and other scenes. I was especially disappointed that the tunnel where you used to be able to look out to three sides (left right and above) is now closed in. Its the scene where you meet Crush, which is cool but I would have rather seen the real fish. The "Nemoification" of the Living Seas has brought some rather large crowds back to the area so overall its a success I think. Add in the crowds Soarin has returned to the Land and this area of EPCOT has not felt this alive in years. The only weak link is Journey Into Imagination with its old film and Figment attraction.
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