Epcot and AK Nemo updates
Found this in the Orlandosentinel.com. It gives a little more info on the ride throught the Living Seas. Or should I say The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
Nemo finds more to do
Rides, a show and a pavilion will be based on the clownfish.
Scott Powers | Sentinel Staff Writer
Posted September 22, 2006
Little Nemo is making a big splash at Walt Disney World -- and at Disneyland.
Three years after the release of Pixar's animated blockbuster film Finding Nemo, the little cartoon fish and his friends are getting new rides at Epcot and Disneyland, a whole Epcot pavilion renamed for them, plus a new show at Disney's Animal Kingdom.
Including the Turtle Talk With Crush show that opened at Epcot in late 2004, Finding Nemo is about to become one of the most visible franchises in Mickey's realm.
"It's such a compelling movie with great characters, great story line; it just translates so well here," said Kathy Mangum, vice president of Walt Disney Imagineering and executive producer of the new ride, The Seas With Nemo & Friends, which opens in mid-October to season ticket holders and possibly in late October to everyone else.
That family-oriented ride will take visitors on a relaxing voyage through an undersea world, where Nemo gets lost again, and his father, Marlin, and friends, including Dori and Crush, find him again.
This time the adventure mixes new, high-tech animation projection techniques recently developed by Walt Disney Imagineering with Epcot's 20-year-old, 6 million-gallon aquarium. The result: After Nemo and his friends move through a few constructed sets with robotic jellyfish and other animals, their images appear in the aquarium, looking as if they're swimming among real fish, rays, sharks and turtles.
The ride is housed in Epcot's sea pavilion, which also features Turtle Talk and other displays now carrying the Nemo theme. For a couple of years, models of Nemo and his friends have highlighted a garden out front. Now the whole pavilion is getting a Nemo makeover. A mural with more Nemo-themed sea life is being painted on the pavilion's exterior. Robotic sea gulls, borrowed from the movie, stand out front and will shout, "Mine! Mine! Mine! Mine!"
And when the wooden construction walls come down in a couple of weeks, people will see the former The Living Seas Pavilion has been renamed, with the same name as the ride: The Seas With Nemo & Friends Pavilion.
"We're turning this pavilion almost 100 percent into Nemo-themed," Mangum said. "We had a pavilion that was ready for some updating. And we're always looking for ways to add character presence in a relevant way. The overlay just made a lot of sense."
Nemo doesn't stop there.
"Finding Nemo -- The Musical," a new stage show, opens with previews in November and a grand opening in January at Disney's Animal Kingdom. Next summer the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage ride, a remake of the 47-year-old submarine attraction, opens at Disneyland in California.
Disney, which acquired its longtime business partner Pixar this year, is fortunate to have such popular characters to build on, said Jerry Aldrich, president of Orlando-based Amusement Industry Consulting. Many theme parks struggle to come up with familiar characters to build attractions around, he said.
"I guess it's got some legs to it, doesn't it," he said of the Nemo franchise.
That it does, said Jane Davis, aquarium curator for The Seas With Nemo & Friends Pavilion. The aquarium was designed and run for years as a chance for visitors to watch live fish, sea turtles, rays, sharks, dolphins and other sea life, while Disney marine biologists and other scientists conducted research. Davis said it doesn't bother her at all that the serious work is now sharing the spotlight with a fictional clownfish and his friends.
She said the popularity of Nemo was one of the best things that's happened in recent years to aquarium interest, not just at Disney but everywhere. People are coming out to aquariums because of the film, she said.
"Nemo was phenomenal for us, and phenomenal for our industry," she said.
She's going to make Nemo work for it, though. The pavilion always delivered ocean conservation messages. Now Nemo and his friends will help.
Visitors brought in by Nemo, she said, "are all so enthusiastic. They care now. That's what we want. We want them to care about animals. We want them to take care of the oceans, to stop polluting. All those great messages. Nemo's the hook we can use to grab them."
Scott Powers can be reached at email@example.com or 407-420-5441.