Wednesday, November 23, 2011

20,000 Leagues

Following a post by Paul at the Man Cave posted in regards to the walk-through version of 20,000 Leagues at Euro Disney on Yours in a White Wine Sauce I recall vivid childhood memories of riding in the submarine boat at Disney.

I remember a time before Splash Mountain at The Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fl when I as a kid enjoyed spending time running around Tom Sawyer's Island, watching the creepy ghouls and ghosts of the Haunted Mansion, enjoying the thrill of Mr Toad's Wild Ride and taking deep undersea adventures aboard the Nautilus piloted by Captain Nemo himself!

Luckily, I am not the only one who has fond memories of this attraction and the guys over at 20k ride have put together a very nice biography of the ride and the spin off rides at the other parks. Included at the site are interviews with former cast members, a tour of the lagoon and photos of the various areas around the ride. They have paid homage to a great VSF icon and put together and a fond farewell to one of the greatest rides of all time.

I do admit that as I grew older in my jaded years as a teenager I felt that the ride could have been better but you know what - I was wrong. The ride even with its anamatronics of the day and the plastic sea serpents of Atlantis held by mermaids in a lagoon really were magical. I did get to ride it a few times before they decommissioned it.

Now it's Aeral's Grotto. Now we get to listen to people sing about life under the sea instead of experiencing the wonder for ourselves. Back when it opened it was an E Ticket ride but sadly it is now returned to the pages of myth and legend.

I love 20k so much it was one of my inspirations for writing When the Navy Walked as I clearly state in the opening pages of the book. Over the years people have been inspired to delve the secrets of the deep and we have learned so much about our watery planet including the different types of ecosystems that were thought to be mere fantasy such as hot vents and underwater lakes. Thank you Jules Verne for such a wonderful tale that inspired hundreds to take their own voyages to the depths of the ocean.


  1. Glad my post sparked some good memories for you mate! I agree, 20k is one of the most iconic VSF works out there IMHO

  2. @paul thanks for the great post. I love 20k and made a point of it in the intro to steampunk for wtnw. Btw if you do not have the revised edition and picked up the first version if the book I will comp you the pdf for the revised.