Located in Epcot’s Future World, kids and adults alike will love heading under the sea and exploring The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilion. Previously known as The Living Seas, the pavilion was refurbished in 2006 to incorporate the characters from the popular Disney Pixar movie Finding Nemo. Here we’re going to take a deeper look into the history of the pavilion and everything there is to explore during your visit.
1. The Attraction Started Life as The Living Seas
The Seas with Nemo & Friends began life as The Living Seas in 1986. Opening just a few years after the park’s opening in 1982, it was planned to be part of the park since opening day. The pavilion offers guests a chance to head underwater and explore SeaBase. The retheming took place in 2006, but many of the original attractions and aquariums are still in place.
2. Previous Attractions in the Pavilion
The Living Seas featured a short movie entitled The Sea, and then a “Hydrolator” ride which took them underwater. Guests then took a journey on the Caribbean Coral Reef Ride, entering through the center of the tank, however this ride was closed towards the end of 2001 due to declining attendance figures. In 2003, the retheming of the pavilion began, with the opening of Turtle Talk with Crush in January 2004. Over the next couple of years, the pavilion was transformed into the area of the park we know and love today.
3. The Seas with Nemo & Friends Attraction – Repurposing the Old Attraction Vehicles
For the majority of visitors, their visit to the pavilion begins with The Seas with Nemo & Friends attraction. You’ll board a “clamobile” and then slowly head underwater during this dark ride. You’ll meet Nemo and all of his friends and take a ride on the East Australian Current. The finale scene takes you through the main aquarium, where you’ll be dropped off to continue your underwater adventure. The ride vehicle was created from the previous Seacabs of the past Caribbean Coral Reef Ride, although the queue area was completely rethemed for the new attraction. Projection technology has been added to the attraction, which kids will love watching as they enter into the final scene in the aquarium.
4. Previously The World’s Largest Saltwater Tank
At the time of its opening in 1986, the pavilion was home to the world’s largest saltwater tank, which holds a staggering 5.7 million US gallons of water. SeaBase is the main viewing area of the aquarium, where you can view the pod of three common bottlenose dolphins in one corner and then sand tiger sharks and stingrays in the other part of the exhibit. With thousands of sea creatures in this aquarium, keep your eyes peeled for a green sea turtle, a blacknose shark, or a zebra shark.
5. Coral Reef Restaurant
The pavilion is home to one table-service restaurant, Coral Reef. One wall of the restaurant is made entirely of glass, offering diners a view of the aquarium. Thousands of sea creatures call this aquarium home, so you’ll certainly not be bored during lunch or dinner. The restaurant offers many seafood dishes, but there are vegetarian and meat dishes available on the menu also. As you dine, you’ll enjoy spotting sharks, rays, and sea turtles swimming past you. It’s the perfect place to take kids, who will be entertained while mom and dad enjoy a relaxing meal indoors.
6. Don’t Miss The Manatees
Many guests to the pavilion are in such a rush to witness the largest aquarium that they skip out on some of the smaller exhibits. A smaller aquarium allows you to visit a pair of rescued West Indian manatees. They are only here on a temporary basis, with the hope that’s Disney’s animal care experts will assist them in returning into the wild in the future. The manatees receive only very minimal training, which allows them to recover in a natural manner while the team tracks their progress.
7. Head Into the Aquarium
Did you know that there’s an opportunity for guests to head into the aquarium themselves? If you’ve ever spent some time admiring the creatures in the main aquarium, from time to time, you may see SCUBA divers or even Mickey Mouse. Epcot DiveQuest is an opportunity for certified SCUBA divers to spend 40 minutes under the water exploring the aquarium. There’s also The Epcot Seas Aqua Tour, which offers you a SCUBA assisted snorkel system to explore. Finally, Dolphins in Depth gives you the chance to interact with the dolphins that call this area home while standing in waist-high water.
8. Feeding Time
If you time your visit to the pavilion well, you’ll be able to see cast members feeding the dolphins, manatees, sea turtles, and other creatures. About two tons of food is produced every week for the creatures who call the aquarium home, with dolphins enjoying herring and capelin and the West Indian manatees feasting on lettuce, sprouts, and fruit. The team also creates coral made from dental plaster, which includes ground fish. These are placed into the aquarium each day for the parrotfish to enjoy. Keep an eye out for the feeding time schedule, as this may be subject to change.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends in Epcot is one of the best places to cool off on a hot summer’s day. You could spend hours in this pavilion enjoying the attractions and aquariums that are on offer. Kids and adults alike will learn so much from interacting with the cast members who work here, and they are often on hand to answer your questions about the inhabitants of the pavilion. It’s a huge space to explore, so take the time to walk around both floors and enjoy some of the often overlooked exhibits. After walking around the park all day long, head to the Coral Reef Restaurant to cool off and continue your underwater experience in Epcot.