I'm basing my comments on this simple fact: I was a 20K
ride operator for
several years in the early 1990s.
I was under the impression that one of the subs had ended
up in a lagoon in
Disney Sea in Japan.
I agree that "Obviously the real estate the ride utilized
was not in demand
because it sat unused for almost ten years following the
visited the park just over a week ago--the first time
since the lagoon had
been filled in. I'm still in shock! And why ANOTHER Pooh
Yet, I think the ADA is what did more damage to the ride
else. I mean, I worked at four attractions during my time
as a Cast Member,
and now two of them are not only closed forever but
(Skyway was the other.) When I think about it, both of
those always had
long wait times. (But does that mean they were popular?
According to SOP,
20K could handle more guests per hour than Space
Mountain.) Yet neither of
those rides could load wheelchair-bound guests. And to
modify the ride
vehicles could be a huge undertaking. In the post-dot-com
era, putting in a
new walk-through attraction is a whole lot less expensive
and testing and building new ride vehicles for an
attraction based on a
movie that is 50 years old. Space Mountain can't load
but Small World has special boats. I know...I think the
had to make some choices as to which rides were worth
spending the funds on
to make them ADA-compliant. Unfortunately, 20K lost.
I agree that its fate is sad. As a former 20K Cast
Member, it's really
sad--it was my first attraction. But as has been said,
the park is "Not a
museum." But why can't it be?
Thanks for letting me vent.
ED TUCKER RESPONDS:"RISK" ACTOR ON REVIEW OF MOVIE
Thank you so much for taking the time to write and provide
your insights into the Walt Disney World 20,000 Leagues Under
the Sea attraction. I will do my best to address your
questions and comments in the order you sent them.
As to the number of subs at the ride, I was told there were a
total of 14 all together. This was based on the information I
was given that there were four "packs" of three subs in
operation on the ride at any one time and two subs were
rotated in dry dock for repairs or maintenance. Of course
preventative maintenance was a part of this and hence the
reason for a few extra in case of any unforeseen problem or
malfunction so that the ride could be kept fully operational.
It was never my intention to imply that any of the cast
members of the ride were in any way displeased with it. A
great deal of the information I put together for the article
and more afterwards has come from cast members including sub
operators and every single one of them loved the ride and was
deeply sadden by its demolition. The operations staff I
referred to was the general maintenance crew at Disney who
were unhappy with the continual and specialized repairs and
upkeep this ride required. This information came from both
cast members of the ride and maintenance workers themselves.
The Nautilus submarine on display at Tokyo Disney was
specifically constructed for that park. While it is designed
in the same style as the one Harper Goth did for the Disney
film, it is larger than the ride subs and is actually only the
top half of the vessel. This attraction is a "walk through"
of the Nautilus but the portion of the exterior sub is
separate from the actual interiors which are underground.
It is my understanding that the Skyway ride was closed after a
park visitor jumped from one of the cars and was killed.
Disney executives felt it was too much of a liability to keep
the ride in operation after that. From what I was told and
based on the opinions of long time park visitors, the 20K ride
was one of the most popular attractions in the park from the
day it opened. Since every rides had different load and run
times, it difficult to determine exactly how popular any one
was in comparison to another but 20K was one of the six
original 'E' ticket rides.
I believe you are absolutely correct about the ride "losing"
because of the expense to repair it and the park not being a
"museum". Since my article was published, I have been
contacted by other cast members from the ride (some of whom
are still employed at Disney) and they have essentially
collaborated everything I wrote. I have also received
additional information regarding the ride and it's destruction
that further leads me to believe it was singled out unfairly.
What invoked my ire most was the dishonest manner in which
Disney disposed of the ride. Had they been honest with the
public and announced it's closing in advance that would be
fine but it deserved a far better send off than it received.
If Walt Disney were still alive today, I believe the park
would be operating much more like a museum and would be better
Again, thank you for your thoughts and for the great
experience if you were ever the operator on one of the subs
when I was on the ride. If you have any further questions or
would like to share any other information or experiences
please feel free to contact me directly.
- ED -
Larry ("Troy" character) here from RISK. Thanks for the great
review...I forwarded it to Dave DeBorde...he will be pleased.
I am glad you liked it. Dave will be at the Tampa Bay Film
Review on June 9th with his third project, Potluck. Hope you
will be there.
My improv troupe is performing in Clearwater on May 25th at
8pm at The Junction. More info can be found on our website at
www.tampabait.com. We would love to have you and yours in the
audience that night.
Thanks again for your support of the arts.
Larry, thanks for writing and glad to help out. Keep up the great work! --Nolan
WILL MORIATY ON "THE MAN WHO HATED LAUGHTER"
My God has Brother ED Tucker outdone himself again.
Simply put, his latest article, "The Man Who Hated Laughter" was SUPERB!
Also, thanks for conveying my very best wishes to Terence on his birthday!
To send an email to Letters to the Editor write to: Crazedfanboy1@aol.com. Any emails sent to this address will be assumed intended for publication unless you specifically instruct me not to. I can and do respond privately, if that is your preference. Frequently, it's both ways.---Nolan