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20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and What Might Have Been – Fire Mountain and Villains Mountain

Hello and welcome to The WDW Radio Show – Your Walt Disney World Information Station. I am your host, Lou Mongello, and this is show #301 for the week of November 18, 2012.

I’m here to help you have the best possible Disney vacation experience, and bring you some Disney magic to to wherever you are with this podcast, videos, blog, live broadcasts, events, trivia books, CDs and more. You can find it all at

Join me aboard my Walt Disney World Wayback Machine as we journey 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. We’ll look at the attraction’s history and virtually board the Nautilus with Captain Nemo and take you scene-by-scene through Fantasyland’s E-Ticket attraction before looking at why it closed for good. We’ll then explore what should have taken its place, in the location where New Fantasyland in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom now sits, as we examine the Imagineering concepts of Atlantis and Fire Mountain as well as Villains Mountain and village. It’s a fascinating look at what could have been, as we ask for your thoughts as well.

I’ll have the answer to our last Walt Disney World Trivia Question of the Week, and pose a new challenge for your chance to win a Disney prize package.

I’ll then have some announcements at the end of the show, so sit back, relax, and enjoy this week’s episode of the WDW Radio Show.

Thanks for listening! Be sure to tune in next week!

Information and Links from This Week’s Show

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What do you remember about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? Would you like to have seen Fire Mountain or Villains Mountain? Leave your answer in the comments section below!

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9 thoughts on “WDW Radio Show #301 – 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”

  1. Beth White says:

    Thank you for sending me the link to the pics of your resent cruise. The cabin doors were amazing.
    In your cruise podcast I heard you say one of the subs was sunk on Cast-A-Way Cay. I never say it snorkeling but my husband and daughter did. It is now on my bucket list to get my picture with it.
    You asked for fond memories of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. I was a daddy’s girl and on my first trip to Disney we boarded this ride together and set off on an adventure. It was mid to late 70’s and I was about 6 or 7 yrs. old. Dad and I loved this ride. We both had great imaginations and when we saw the #13 sub captured by the sea monster, dad told me it was the one my sister was on. Woowhoo, I yelled. No more big sis bossying me around. Looking through those portholes, you felt as though you were part of the crew. It was so realistic.
    I was sad to see it was no longer around when I took my dad and mom to Disney with my husband and daughter in 2008. Dad and I wanted to share the excitement with my daughter. He passed in 2010 but listening to your podcast today made me feel the way I did all those years ago. Knowing I was safe because my dad was with me. Thank you for showcasing a wonderful ride and a memory that will last a lifetime. Miss you dad.

  2. Mikki says:

    i went to WDW for the first time in 1972 for spring break with my girlfriends…i can remember 20,000 leagues and how amazing I thought it was. I can see myself looking thru the portholes and believing that we were really under the sea…magic!

  3. Wes Snyder says:

    They should have built a mountain and from one side, it could be fire mountain, and from the other it could be villains mountain, depending on which side you look at it from. Just a thought.

  4. Dave says:

    I went when I was 8 in 1978 and it was by far my favorite ride. I was a big chicken back then and wouldn’t go on the Haunted Mansion and had my timbers shivered on Pirates, I was not the bravest boy, so 20k was a huge hit for me. I’ve said it around here before, but I didn’t go to the park again until 1985 when I was 15, which was a huge change in personal perspective. I was so excited to ride it again and as much as I loved it when I was 8, is how disappointed I was at 15. I still liked it, but it was just one of those things where being bigger and more perceptive really changed it. It was so much more obvious that the animals weren’t real, etc. That said, I’d still love to go on it again to take it all in as it was because unfortunately, I wouldn’t have the chance to go on it again. Hopefully we’ll go to Disneyland on our next trip and get to ride Nemo’s Nemo out there (even though it’s quite different) to reminisce a little.


  5. Here’s a youtube video of the ride from the 90s. Wish I could have had a chance to go on it.

  6. Mike Carriere says:

    Hiya Lou! Just finished listening to show # 301 while I was scapbooking from our family’s last trip to Disney World ( Yes, real men do scrapbook! ), and I was thinking back to my first time at the Magic Kingdom, 35 years ago. Back then, the first attractions I knew my 7 year old self had to ride were the Haunted Mansion & 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. I knew exactly how the stories on both were going to play out, without ever having stepped foot on the Nautilus or a Doom Buggy. See, I’d been listening to the Disney read along books of both for months before our first trip & pretty much had them memorized. So, here’s the thought that occurred to me as I was listening to the podcast. There are tons of websites, apps, blogs, DVDs, travel guides, whatever, that exist today. But what did we do to get ready for a trip to the World, pre-internet? Maybe this is one for the Wayback Machine. What was our favorite souvenir from the first trip to the Magic Kingdom? Do you still have it? What’s your favorite piece of Disney merchandise from your childhood? Just a thought… maybe there’s a show in there, somewhere.

  7. Christy Viszoki says:

    Mike!! Great minds think alike–the blog writing team is actually working on a piece about our best ever Disney gift, as a piece for the holidays. Slightly different than your idea, but definitely on the same page! Thanks so much for your great ideas! 8: )

  8. Dan M. Smith says:

    I was touched by Beth White’s story. I took my daughter and son there in 1985 and rode the 20,000 leagues. Went back March 2013 and it is gone. We did share the other rides with the grandchildren though. Memories were made.

  9. Chuck Zitta says:

    I remember the 20,00 Leagues attraction being one of the most amazing experiences I had ever had, 43 years ago in Disneyland. Those have to be one of the coolest, if not the coolest ride vehicles ever created by imagineering. What I wouldn’t give to experience that again… just one more time.

    I’m thinking along the same lines as Wes, regarding the mountains. Whey not created an attraction that features the best of both? A hybrid. Call it Disney Villains Fire Mountain? Could you imagine?

    However, I really dig the idea of a Villains Village, with the cobblestone streets, etc. that you mention. Would be out of this world good! But, where to put it? Yes, I would choose this option over the mountain. Definitely.

    Thanks again Lou and Ryan for another spectacular show. This one’s a keeper!!!