Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, one of the final attractions to return since the Disneyland Resort theme parks reopened, resurfaced July 25. Ahead of the big day, a special reception celebrated the hard work of cast members and Imagineers who brought the beloved attraction back to life.
Three of the many Tomorrowland cast members who contributed to this project are Senior Stage Manager Rafa Barron, and Attractions Leads Gareth Shamp and Daniel Carlos.
Rafa, a former Disneyland Resort Ambassador, started his Disney journey in 2016 as a Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attractions cast member.
“It’s been really special and amazing to come back and be part of the reopening leadership team,” Rafa said. “The cast members currently working at Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage have been there for a long time, so it is a very dear attraction to many, and that passion has been visible throughout this entire process.”
Work on the attraction included adding more coral, new paint, fresh kelp and seaweed, as well as enhanced special effects and lighting. Guests may also notice a new friend during their experience, as Hank from Pixar’s “Finding Dory” has also been added to the attraction!
“It was amazing to see all of the different lines of businesses … Imagineers, Resort Enhancement, facilities, operations, maintenance and engineering teams … work together to get this open,” said Gareth, who has worked at the attraction since 2011, fulfilling his childhood dream of driving the bright yellow submarines.
During the preparation period, Gareth and team did daily cycles of the submarines around the lagoon to note any issues and help get the attraction running for guests.
Though he has worked at Disneyland Resort for nearly seven years, the process of bringing Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage back was one unlike anything else Daniel has experienced.
“I really valued the partnerships we were able to build while working to ensure that the attraction was ready to go, Daniel shared. “It took constant communication and coordination, which was unique and exciting for me. We have a team full of talented leaders that made it super easy and understandable for us, and I am so grateful to work with them all.”
As the teams prepared for reopening day, Disneyland Resort cast members and employees experienced the attraction, getting a special peek at new additions while also sharing important feedback when necessary. Approximately 2,800 cast members and employees went on voyages of their own over a two-week period, leading up to final tweaks and turns to get everything just right. Be sure to look out for the new and improved features on your next voyage!