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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: The Ride
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Post First Post Posted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:45 am
Ahoy-20l/leppard13 here. This is my first post on the site so i will just do the best i can. I never actualy rode on the ride, but i did walk past it a few times but I was too young to really remember it.
I know a lot of people that have been on it though and they all seemed to say the same thing when I asked them about it- It smelled funny and you could see all the wires holding up the fish. Unfortunatly, They went on the ride at least 15 years ago and had no real interest in it at the time. I am sure no matter how cheesy the special effects were-not bad for the 1970s in my opinion, I would have loved it. I went to the Magic Kingdom last year and I saw the spot where this great ride was once located and thought that it seemed empty. There is a meet n' greet there- but after all, the lagoon was giant and most of the space is not used. I heard about them bringing back the ride in Disney Land but when i wached a video taken from a porthole i discovered that it was finding nemo-based and more like the Voyager ride than 20k. The special effects did seem more convincing, but thats what happens in 30 years-technology improves. Also, they suggest to you that you are taking a shallow dive on the Coral Reef and not diving to the ocean floor. Did anyone relize that there are no fish in this new ride? Still- I think it's nice that the ride still survives in some form.
Post Posted: Sun May 11, 2008 7:06 pm
20K Crewmember
20K Crewmember
20K smelled funny because guests used it as a trash dump and sewer... I actually saw guys piss/poop into the lagoon over the years. So ya, it was nasty at times but the water was HIGHLY chlorinated.

As far as it not being all that realistic... this has been a common criticism of this ride and many others at WDW. Sure, today, you could do a motion-base simulator ride that would be way more realistic but you and many others who never rode the ride never had this experience:

You could smell the water and it was real, not simulated. There was that element of danger, of going into what appeard to be a sub that you could see run on top of the water in the 20K lagoon but when it went into the caverns, you couldn't see if it DID or DIDN'T go under water. So when you crossed the dock/water divide on the loading ramp, you could see that the water was indeed very very deep and that the water was REAL, step down narrow stairs, you could smell the engine exhause, oil fumes, and feel water droplets on your skin/clothes as you entered into the sub. When you sat down, you could see you were under water. Imagine when you were a kid and the very idea of driving your own minitaure race car at Grand Prix Raceway sparked many an imagination... imagine walking into a submarine (something few people get to do in their lifetime... I have) and sit down beneath the water and wonder what was to come... And when you exited the sub, water fell on your skin again, reminding you that it was real, not a simulation, and all the lighting, special effects, sound effects, the floating sensation of being in the sub... it combined to make for a REAL boat ride... not a simulator.

I hope you can better appreciate what 20K was like from this description which doesn't even begin to capture what it was truly like... to hear the sub motors rumble, smell the water, feel the water, heck... as you entered the sub you could dip your hand into the water and know it was real.... So ya, as you got older you could tell youself, "That's not real!" or "That looks fake!" then if you want "real" then join the US Navy, otherwise, see it for what it was... a sub ride that was meant to be about 7 times larger and longer than it was... budgetary contraints required them to scale things back to what it finally was.

Also, remember, when WDW was built, it was Disney owned, they weren't a publicly held/traded company... Disney bankrolled just about the whole construction of WDW out of his own wallet. So I'm glad he built 20K the way he did.

Imagine, a few years back WDW execs were going to shut down and remove the steam trains that circle WDW... but Roy Disney Jr. and others had them change their plans... THAT my friend would've been a damned shame as Walt was a huge huge train fan and so was Harper Goff.
Post Posted: Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:39 pm
I think that only two groups of people really could appreciate 20k: Kids and anyone who has been in a REAL submarine. Thanks for the description, sounds like it would have been great!
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