The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is a classic Disneyland attraction located in Tomorrowland that takes riders on an underwater adventure through scenes from the popular Disney-Pixar film Finding Nemo. This ride is a reimagining of the original Submarine Voyage attraction that operated from 1959 to 1998. In this review we’ll go over the ride details, history, ride experience, and tips for riding.
Average Wait Times: As one of Disneyland’s popular attractions, wait times can vary depending on the time of day and season. It’s advisable to check the Disneyland app for real-time wait times to plan your visit accordingly.
Height Requirements: Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage has no height requirements, making it suitable for guests of all ages. This family-friendly attraction is ideal for children and adults alike.
Ride Duration: Approximately 13 minutes
Single Rider Option: Unfortunately, there is no single rider line available for this attraction. Guests will board the submarine as a group or family.
Rider Switch: Rider Switch is available for families with small children who do not meet the height requirements or do not wish to ride. This feature allows one adult to wait with the non-riding child while the rest of the group experiences the attraction. Afterward, the waiting adult and up to two additional guests can use the Rider Switch to board without waiting in line.
Disney’s Disability Access Service (DAS): Guests with disabilities can take advantage of the DAS, which provides accommodations for attractions, including Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. Guests can remain in their wheelchair/ECV on this ride. To use this service, visit the Guest Relations window near the entrance to the park.
Best Times to Ride: While wait times can vary, you can typically expect shorter lines during the first hour the park opens and later in the evening. To minimize wait times further, consider visiting on weekdays or during Disneyland’s less busy seasons.
History of the Attraction
The original Submarine Voyage ride opened in 1959 as one of the first “E-Ticket” attractions in Disneyland history. It featured 8 submarines built by the Disney Studios that could hold 38 riders each. The subs followed a track submerged just below the surface of the large man-made lagoon. Scenes included the North Pole, a sea of whales, and the lost continent of Atlantis. After nearly 40 years of operation, the ride closed in 1998.
It sat dormant until it was reimagined with the Finding Nemo theme and reopened in 2007. The refreshed attraction reused the same submarines and track layout but included all-new show scenes inspired by the popular Pixar film. Since its debut, the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage has undergone periodic refurbishments and upgrades to maintain show quality. The ride remains a classic Disneyland attraction that continues to delight guests of all ages with its immersive underwater adventure.
Loading & Queue
The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage loads 8 yellow submarines at a time, with each submarine holding around 40 riders. After boarding, the submarines depart one by one into the large lagoon area. The queue winds underneath the Disneyland Monorail tracks and is made to look like a series of caverns and tunnels designed to resemble an underwater research facility. The dimly lit passages are adorned with nautical paraphernalia, creating an authentic and slightly mysterious ambiance while providing ample shade while waiting in line.
As soon as the submarine departs, it slowly submerges underwater into a vibrant coral reef filled with tropical fish and sea life. Riders can view the underwater scenery through real working portholes on the sides of the submarine. The captain provides narration and information over the onboard speakers as the sub continues on its journey. Some of the scenes and characters riders encounter throughout the voyage include:
Darla – The braces-wearing niece from the movie diving near the coral reef
Crush and Squirt – The sea turtles surfing the East Australian Current
Mr. Ray and his class – Swimming along looking for Nemo
Bruce and friends – The vegetarian sharks swimming near a sunken shipwreck
Jellyfish Forest – With lighting effects simulating stings
Undersea Volcano – With bubbling lava flows
The ride’s climax occurs when the submarine narrowly escapes an erupting undersea volcano, getting caught up in the lava flow along with Marlin, Nemo, and Dory. The sub makes it back safely to the reef, culminating with a pod of humpback whales swimming by. Throughout the experience, Disney utilizes a combination of detailed physical set pieces, projections, lighting effects, and bubbly water to convincingly simulate the feeling of being underwater. The onboard audio also helps tie the scenes together with music and dialogue from the film.
Tips for Riding
Arrive early and head to the ride immediately at park opening or during Early Entry to avoid long standby waits. The line typically gets very long later in the day.
Request to ride in the front center seats for the most immersive experience, with the best views out the front portholes.
Keep an eye out for hidden Mickeys designed into the rockwork and coral!
Riders who are claustrophobic or unable to use the steep staircases to board can ask to experience the ride from the Marine Observation Outpost viewing area instead.
Photography and videography are not allowed during the ride.
The dark environment, loud noises, and simulated motion may frighten some young children.
The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is a beloved Disneyland classic that provides a leisurely and immersive underwater experience. While not a thrill ride by any means, the incredible attention to detail and unique ride system make it a one-of-a-kind attraction worth checking out. Riding during early morning hours is highly recommended to avoid long wait times.
Fans of the movie will enjoy spotting their favorite characters, and all riders are sure to appreciate cruising through the vibrant, lifelike underwater scenery. Minor criticisms include the dated ride system and small porthole views, but overall the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage is a charming Disney ride that makes you truly feel submerged on a deep sea adventure.
The Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland is a fantastic, underwater adventure that seamlessly blends the nostalgia of the original Submarine Voyage with the magic of the Finding Nemo and Finding Dory films. The ride's history and design pay homage to the past while offering a fresh, contemporary experience that appeals to guests of all ages.