The Seas With Nemo and Friends® is located at The Seas pavilion at Epcot®, which is built around the ocean and its inhabitants. The attraction takes you into the world of Pixar’s hit movie Finding Nemo. The creation of the pavilion, which was originally built in 1986, was designed for people to explore, learn and be inspired by the world’s oceans and the abundance of life.
As you start heading towards The Seas pavilion, the seagulls from Finding Nemo will guide you in with their familiar “mine, mine, mine” call and eventually you will come across the animatronic birds. The exterior of the pavilion is designed to look like crests and troughs of waves and gives a very dramatic yet fitting feel to the building. The animatronic seagulls are situated on top of one of the most beautiful attraction entrances at Walt Disney World®, a rockwork coastline that has waves crashing. The tranquil background loop music definitely completes this area and to me, the end result is one of the most peaceful areas in Walt Disney World (As long as you don’t find the seagulls to annoying!). As well, all the plants in this area surrounding the water features look as though they could have come out of the ocean which solidifies the full immersive experience. This is a perfect area to stop and relax with your favorite snack or drinks and just enjoy the sounds and waves crashing.
As you head into the pavilion, it is obvious that you have entered the Pixar world of Nemo and all his friends. If you or anyone else in your family is big fan of the film, you will love what the pavilion offers. Heading into the queue, guests start walking through a tropical beach themed area leading you straight to the ocean. It is a great build-up to what lies ahead because as you progress through the queue you slowly transition to an underwater theme with the use of lighting and imaging.
At the end of the queue are Clam-Mobiles that transport guests through the attraction. As you board, Mr. Ray can be heard giving your safety spiel and the journey into the oceans begin. The attraction is similar to the film Finding Nemo and incorporates many of the same scenes but does not follow the exact same storyline as the movie. Animation, molded ocean scenes and puppetry are used in combination to send guests into the world of Finding Nemo. The first scene is a coral reef where Marlin and Nemo are introduced and each scene gives a very good portrait of what is occurring in the storyline and the transition to the next element of the story happens quickly. If you would rather sit back and not follow the story, the animation and artwork are beautiful and is still very entertaining.
Further on in the journey, Nemo is lost once again and everyone sets out to look for him. Soon enough you will come across Dory who leads Marlin on a game across a jellyfish field which is one of the best scenes in the attraction. The use of lighting and puppetry makes the jellyfish seem very realistic as the jellyfish bob up and down around the Clam-Mobiles. Once the guests have escaped the stinging predators with Dory and Marlin, they encounter another large problem. After narrowly missing an attack of an anglerfish, Dory and Marlin stumble upon the wreck of a submarine in a minefield where Bruce the Great White Shark and Chum the Mako shark are hiding. These two sharks are a great introduction of the real life sharks you will soon see in the aquarium! Soon after escaping the duo, the Clam-Mobiles are swept into the East Australian Current. This effect of riding the EAC is done by sending the guests through a tunnel, with lighting and bubbles swirling around you as you move forward. The idea is very simple but the effect does a great job in simulating the experience of riding the EAC. Inside are the sea turtles including Crush who lead you through the powerful current that eventually spits you out into the highlight of the attraction.
Once through the EAC, guests are put into the middle of The Seas pavilion, which is the massive aquarium. The aquarium was the largest in the world until a bigger one was built in Atlanta in 2005. My favorite part of this attraction is this show scene as it has one of the best features in all of Walt Disney World. The Imagineers, with the use of amazing technology, are able to put the animated characters from the movie into the tank with the real life fish. It is a beautiful sight to see the characters swim together with the real fish. To make this scene really special, the use of the song “Big Blue World” from Animal Kingdoms “Finding Nemo-The Musical®” is used to bring the journey to an end.
Although the attraction in the Clam-Mobiles may have come to end, there is so much more to the pavilion, including an interactive show called “Turtle Talk with Crush®,” multiple learning experiences, the Coral Reef Restaurant®and the ability to view the aquarium from observation deck that jets out into the middle of the aquarium. The 5.7 million gallon tank includes animals such as dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, giant groupers and hundreds of other tropical fish.
- In the queue, there is a beach sign that advertises for Daily Diving Departures, the dives are provided by Nautical Exploration and Marine Observations (N.E.M.O.)!
- If one inch of water was skimmed of the top of the aquarium, you could fill an entire standard swimming pool.
- If you seek a bigger adventure in this pavilion, there are multiple in depth tours that are offered centered around the inhabitants of the aquarium, including a diving adventure you can partake in if you are certified SCUBA diver!
Alex Larson is currently a college student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire. Born and raised in Madison, Wisconsin, he has loved Disney since he was born. Making annual trips to Walt Disney World since the age of three, the parks have become a very special place to him. His love for the parks is due to the memories he has had, attractions, the endless things to explore, the food and the sense of happiness every Disney fan feels while there. You can follow him on twitter at @a_larson22
(Photos c/o Disney)