"We welcome you to The Living Seas. We welcome you to Seabase Alpha."
The Living Seas (1986-2006) was sponsored by United Technologies from 1986-1998. It was transformed into The Seas with Nemo and Friends in late 2006.
The Living Seas
Within the pavilion guests saw a movie, took a Hydrolator ride down to Seabase Alpha, and rode Seacabs through the coral reef. Diver, fish, manatee, submarine and dolphin exhibits were at Seabase Alpha.
The movie, entitled The Seas, showed how the Earth went from volcanic planet to a world of oceans. The movie will forever be remembered with the narrator's famous line, "And they rained... and rained... and rained..."
The Hydrolators supposedly dove down beneath the surface to Seabase Alpha. However, the Hydrolators didn't actually go anywhere. The rock walls seen outside the windows of each Hydrolator are propelled upward to create the illusion that your Hydrolator is indeed traveling downward. The floor also shook to add to the illusion.
The Seacabs would transport guests from their exited Hydrolators to Seabase Alpha. Along the way, the Omnimover ride would see views of the coral reef.
In 1998, United Technologies pulled out of sponsorship leaving The Living Seas an orphan. The Seacabs were taken away around the year 2001. Around that same time, guests were also given a new option: to view the movie then go into the Hydrolators, or just go into the Hydrolators.
After the sponsorship pullout, attendance began dropping at The Living Seas. Nothing new would be added until 2004 with the Nemo attractions, as diver and submarine exhibits were lessened. This declining period earned The Living Seas the nickname "The Dead Seas."
The Conversion Begins
Soon after the film "Finding Nemo" came out, The Living Seas got invaded by the little fish and his friends. Exhibits got a new paint job featuring Nemo characters. A Nemo and friends sculpture was added just outside the entrance. Most of the old Living Seas and Seabase Alpha merchandise got replaced by Nemo items.
As Nemo's popularity grew, two more special exhibits were added: Bruce the shark's playground and Turtle Talk with Crush. The Hydrolators were shut down for the year 2006 making way for the new "Finding Nemo" ride. The movie (a.k.a. the briefing room) was also shut down.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
In late 2006, the pavilion was rechristened The Seas with Nemo and Friends. The Living Seas was no more. The Seas with Nemo and Friends ride opened using the old Seacabs track.The entire pavilion now features a coat of Nemo-themed paint and decorations. The front facade of the pavilion now has fish and sea turtles mounted over the wave mural, and the sunrise segment of the mural is gone. The entire front half of the pavilion is now painted a teal/sea-blue rather than the white color, which can still be seen on the pavilion's back half.
The pavilion can now also be entered from the back of the pavilion where the shop is, making it easier to come and go as you please. Reported in May 2008, there are not near as many fish in the tanks as there used to be.
The Seacabs vs. Nemo's Ride
The following is a comparison between the two rides:
-Both rides use the same track, along with the same Omnimover technology.
-The Seacabs offered a constant view of the coral reef, while the Nemo ride offers only a couple views at the end of the ride.
-Nemo's ride features many video screens and a few character sculptures, while the Seacabs featured neither.
-The Seacabs were more science oriented, while Nemo's ride is cartoon oriented.
-The Seacabs faced forward, while Nemo's Clam-mobiles face sideways.
-The Seacabs were preceded by a shorter queue line, a preshow, a film, and the Hydrolators, while Nemo's ride is only preceded by a much longer queue line.
Before Nemo the fish entered the scene, The Living Seas already featured a character named Nemo - Captain Nemo that is. Although there was no picture of Captain Nemo at The Living Seas, the queue line featured many props from Disney's 1954 film "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," including a miniature of Captain Nemo's submarine, the Nautilus.