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Five Things to Know About The Seas With Nemo and Friends

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The Seas with Nemo & Friends is a slow-moving dark ride where you’ll join a search for Nemo, who seems to be lost once more! A deep dive into this attraction based on the animated film Finding Nemo is just ahead. Or you can swim quickly with the current to the nuts and bolts; here’s your shortcut.

1. You’ll queue up to go under The Seas.

The queue for The Seas with Nemo & Friends is dark and cool (some say really cool), which may be reason enough to visit if you’re there on a hot Florida day. As you progress, you move slowly from a beach scene to the beautiful world under the waves – without getting wet!

It doesn’t have the interactive elements of some of the newer queues, but the Imagineers have included details and created an ambiance that’s worth taking a bit of time to notice as you pass through. And for those in the know, the Nemo queue is an interesting look back in time. It feels like one of the longest queues in Disney World and one of our other bloggers jokes that when the ride says it has a 5-minute wait that’s how long it takes to walk through the empty queue. But there’s a reason for its length.

When the attraction first opened, FastPass was the line-skipping system in use and it was only on a few rides. The length of Nemo’s queue is what you would typically see for a ride that was popular enough to draw long waits, but not to offer FastPass. A FastPass queue (today it’s the Lightning Lane) was added to Nemo in 2012, and then Fastpass+ replaced the original system in 2013. But the long queue with its staged transition to the deep remains a nod to a different era of waiting in line, even though it’s rarely full anymore.

2. You’ll search for Nemo with the help of some friends.

When you get to the loading area, you’ll board your slow-moving, clam-shaped ride vehicle called, of course, a “Clamobile.” Right away, you’ll meet Mr. Ray and his class and learn that – you guessed it – Nemo is missing! As you ride along in your Clamobile, you’ll search for Nemo with the help of Dory, Bruce, Marlin, Squirt, and Crush.

As you near the end of the ride, you’ll see various characters from the film swimming alongside and among the live fish in the pavilion’s actual aquarium. The technology used to create this effect was ground-breaking when the ride opened, and it’s still impressive today. The entire ride lasts about four minutes and ends in a happy finale with the song, “In The Big Blue World.”

3. There’s more to sea (get it?) after you find Nemo.

After you exit the ride, you’re in the heart of The Seas pavilion. You can spend some time with the other exhibits and attractions, which include Turtle Talk with Crush, marine exhibits, science museum-like learning stations, and more.

You’ll find viewing platforms for the main SeaBase aquarium, which is an absolutely colossal saltwater tank. And you’ll find a number of other small tanks, home to a plethora of species that can’t interact safely with other fish – or divers – in the main tank. In all, there are more than 60 species, including rays, manatees, dolphins, turtles, sharks and tropical fish. This is heaven for anyone in your family or group who loves to see and learn about underwater life.

There’s also Turtle Talk with Crush, an interactive show that utilizes CGI technology to answer questions from your littles. A self-guided scavenger hunt helps Dory find her friends. You solve clues, collect stickers, and learn as you go.

4. How they found (a place for) Nemo.

This ocean-themed pavilion opened as The Living Seas opened in 1986. When built, it housed the world’s largest saltwater tank, holding 5.7 million gallons. From inside the building it’s hard to get a sense of how huge it is, but Spaceship Earth could fit inside it!

The pavilion’s “story” was that you would board a Hydrolator (an underwater elevator) and take a (simulated) ride to the ocean floor to explore Sea Base Alpha. Once there, you could take in the exhibits or ride around the tank in a SeaCab. A number of changes were made to the Hydrolator experience over the years, and The SeaCabs stopped running in 2001.

After Finding Nemo was a huge hit in 2003, plans were set in motion to give Nemo a presence at Disney World, and The Seas was a natural fit. The pavilion began to undergo a transformation to showcase a Finding Nemo theme.

In 2004, Turtle Talk with Crush was added. Then in 2005 the Living Seas closed to accommodate major changes. The hydrolators were removed and SeaCabs were overhauled into the Clamobiles. Parts of the pavilion were reopened as The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion in 2005, and The Seas with Nemo & Friends ride was officially opened in January 2007.

5. The Nuts and Bolts.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends is located In World Nature at EPCOT between Spaceship Earth and The Land pavilion. Since The Seas with Nemo & Friends is an indoor attraction, inclement weather won’t affect the ride’s operation, and as already mentioned the indoor queue is lengthy and unlikely to back up all the way to the outdoors.

The Clamobile ride vehicles each have a single row and a hard bench with a back. There’s no lap bar or belt, but the front “door” of the Clamobile shuts so that you’re safely enclosed as you enter the ride. Clamobiles normally hold two guests, however Cast Members will usually allow two adults and a small child or one adult and two small children. Larger adults may wish to ride alone.

Guests need to make a small step up from a moving walkway into the moving ride vehicle. Guests must transfer to a wheelchair to experience The Seas with Nemo & Friends. There is no height requirement for The Seas with Nemo & Friends, and no health and safety warnings. But some littles may be frightened by the moments of darkness and a few scenes involving some scarier effects. Audio Description and Handheld Captioning are offered.

The earlier you experience the ride the better, although it doesn’t usually build a long wait on low to medium-crowd days. Even with high crowds, waits tend to drop after 3 pm. Alternatively, secure entry with Lightning Lane via Genie+. The Seas with Nemo & Friends is open for Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Theme Park Hours.

The Bottom Line.

While we don’t rate this attraction as “not to be missed,” the undersea scenery is beautiful, and the characters are realistic enough to make your littles believe they’re really swimming in front of them. The Seas with Nemo and Friends has almost universal appeal to preschoolers and grade schoolers, who give it high marks, but we feel that it’s worth anyone’s time. Plus, the air conditioning can make it especially worthwhile on hot summer days.

Have you ridden The Seas With Nemo and Friends? What did you think? Let us know in the comments.


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Bob Jacobs

Bob Jacobs lives in Wisconsin where he retired as Editorial Director for a well-known catalog company. He and his wife Cristie have four children, seven grandchildren and a cocker spaniel named Penny the Dog. They’ve visited Walt Disney World regularly since 1992.

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