Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Review – Disneyland California

Finding Nemo is one of our favorite Animated films of all time, in fact, Scratch that: it’s one of our favorite FILMS of all time! Watching it the first time was one of those moments you really know you are witnessing a timeless classic in the making. It just excels on all levels and shows exactly how good a family film can be. So we naturally had high expectations for anything New Related at any of the Disney arks and were really excited to be riding Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage for the first time.

The Ride Promises a lot with an actual semi-submerged sub-voyaging underwater for a real undersea adventure. Find out what we thought of the experience in our Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Review.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage Review
  • Location – Disneyland Park – Tomorrow Land
  • Type – Underwater Dark Ride
  • Duration – 13+ Mins
  • Height Restriction – None
  • Average Queue time – 5 mins – 30 Mins
  • Genie+ – NO
  • Additional Info – Partially Submerged, underwater adventure. Claustrophobic.

What is Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage

The Ride is an underwater dark ride that simulates a voyage to the bottom of the sea to visit an underwater volcano. The Large Ride vehicles are partially submerged but after an initial shallow water section, the Ride enters the indoor area where it feels as if the Submariine has dived down into the murky depths of the Ocean. In reality, it hasn’t but it is fairly convincing.

Once down on your undersea voyage, you inevitably run into the cast of Finding Nemo and experience all the best parts of the film. The Pool is completely artificial and devoid of real life. so any creatures you meet are either models, animatronics, or digital representations, viewed on hidden screens. The Ride is a long one, well over 13 minutes of underwater time giving really good value for your queue time. With no Height limits and no thrill elements, it’s a ride for everyone unless you are really claustrophobic.


The Queue line is pretty Dire, with no real theming, and just a long metal pen leading to the ride. The saving grace is the queue does move along pretty fast with loads of room inside each sub, and frequent ride vehicles arriving to swallow up huge lumps of the queue line.

Ride Experience

Finding Nemo Darla

The Ride is a re-theming of the Original Submarine Voyage that first opened in 1959 and was a much-missed attraction when it closed in 1998, leaving a big hole in the park which was not filled until the Finding Nemo Re-Theme opened in 2007 to much rejoicing!

The Ride is pretty much unchanged, only the scenes and characters you meet along the way are completely changed along with the audio played into the ride vehicles.

The Subs are the Original Subs used and seat 40 People, Each with its own porthole to gaze out into the undersea world. There are two rows to the Sub each entering at a different end of the vehicle, and both rows face out a different side of the Sub. Most scenes are replicated for both sides so they get an equal experience.

The Subs are quite small and tight and dark, anyone with Claustrophobia would be advised to steer clear, We have no problems personally but when the lights go out and it feels like you are deep underwater it could trigger some people. Naturally, as the Sub is only ever partially submerged if you did have a big problem you would not actually be trapped in the vessel in an emergency.

The Ride Starts off outside in a shallow lagoon and reef area with model divers and fish and the remains of a lost underwater city unearthed by some seismic activity caused by an underwater volcano that we are headed to investigate.

Bubbles and lighting changes give the impression the Sub has dived down and things are now dark and more ominous. The Captain informs you he is turning the Hydrophones on so we can actually hear the fish talk! Queue Nemo, Marlin, Dory, Crush, Mr. Ray, Squirt, and Bruce the Shark amongst others. The Story loosely follows the theme of the original with all our favorite scenes included, such as the Exploding Mines, Anglerfish Attack, JellyFish Bouncing, and the East Australian Current.

Finding Nemo Volcano

Eventually, we find ourselves at the Erupting Volcano where Nemo’s Tank Mates from the film are performing the inauguration Dance. Shortly after this, the Sub is first Devouverd by a whale and then ejected from the blowhole returning the sub to the surface.


Overall the ride is not the greatest feat of Imagineering. The entire concept is really cool but the implementation just leaves us a little flat. The screens that show the characters are fairly poor quality and nothing feels overly convincing. It’s a long ride which helps make it worth the queue. However overall it feels like a missed opportunity. The original concept was to include real Sealife but this was canned due to the expense and we can’t help feeling this would have brought the ride to life.

It is still a great ride and kids particularly enjoy it but we didn’t find it up to scratch with its DisneyWorld Cousin “The Seas with Nemo & Friends ” which does indeed incorporate real fish and has more convincing screens, characters, and displays. This level of detail but the actual sub-concept would be the winning formula in our opinion.

Still, we wouldn’t want to see a return to the dark days when the pond was nothing but an empty hole in Tomorrowland…speaking of which…

2022 Update!

for much of 2021 and 2022, the ride has indeed returned to an empty hole in Tomorrowland! This is a shame really but Disney has done this for a reason. The pond was drained during the Covid Shutdown, as a lack of maintenance would have caused it to go icky. However, it was not refilled, after the re-opening and Disney instead took the time to fully refurbish the ride!

They have repainted everything, added new models, and updated the lighting and effects, so hopefully, the updated ride will be even better.

Have Your Say

Let us know your thoughts on Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. What did you like most about the experience and what did you like less? Did you find it a little disappointing like us or did the experience live up to expectations? Did you take the kids aboard and did they enjoy the ride? Whatever you have to say please leave us a comment below, We love talking about all things Disney!

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