As a young boy, who grew up, not only as a frequent visitor to Walt Disney World, but also as a huge fan of Disney's Live Action films...20,000 Leagues was a favorite on many levels.
I remember the excitement of boarding the subs and completely buying into the "dive" as we desended down into the murky depths of the ocean. The fish looked fake, you could see the waters surface above, the ride itself was cramped, dank and damp and the "animatronics" were sketchy at best.....but to an 8 year old it was MAGICAL!!!
And, no matter who you were, the giant squid was AWESOME!!!!
The ride opened on October 14, 1971, just a few short weeks after the World itself.
The ride was "temporarily closed" for renovations on September 5, 1994, never to reopen again.
20K's run was offically halted in early 1996, when it was announced that it would not be re-opening.
Speculation as to why it was closed abounds to this day. Some say it was the high cost of maintanence, others claim that it lacked facilities to accomodate wheelchair bound guests.
Either way, and for what ever the reason, it is gone and will always be missed.
For those of you who think back fondly on this classic attraction, and for those who have never had the pleasure of riding, I have attached some video's below, which I found on YouTube and was produced by Bobaiken.
I have also included a couple of photos from Disney's Collection, that were just too good to leave out!!!
Take a look...and as always, I hope you enjoy the ride!