Arguably the best of all, however, was Walt Disney World's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea submarine voyage. When WDW opened in 1971, it imported Disneyland's 1959 classic Submarine Voyage. To provide some differentiation, this trip beneath the waves was transferred from Tomorrowland to Fantasyland and given a brand new overlay. Instead of the atomic navy submersibles of today, these became the iron-rivet crafts of the 19th century. Where other theme park versions of 20,000 Leagues have given the opportunity to visit the Nautilus and its berth, WDW's version gave us the opportunity to sail the seven seas aboard her.
The ride was essentially same between Anaheim and Orlando, but the Vernian version gave a few tweaks and nudges to fit the theme. Visitors would enter beneath the iron canopy of the dock to an acoustic medley of sea chanties, including Kirk Douglas' Whale of a Tale. The infamously unpleasant profile of the Nautilus would sweep into dock and helpful swabs would escort you to the red faux-leather seats where you would be able to see the adventure unfold through your very own porthole. To spice up this voyage through liquid space, (and heavy chlorinated animatronics) scenes were pulled right from the film, such as the oceanic farming and squid attack. The translation from the Submarine Voyage also meant that a few prime sequences from the novel not included in the film were accidentally restored, such as the trip beneath polar ice and the discovery of Atlantis.
Unfortunately, the Nautilus sailed its last in the mid-1990's. During an era of cutbacks, the submarine voyages on both coasts were scrapped. The revival of Anaheim's Submarine Voyage as a Finding Nemo ride (the fish, not the captain) could have brought hope for a revival of 20,000 Leagues, if not for the lagoon having long since been filled in. Where once cruised the fleet of Captain Nemo, there is now a Winnie the Pooh playground. Ridiculously, this was the second beloved attraction lost to him, as Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was evicted for a proper Pooh ride as well.
The closest we can come anymore are the online videos collected by astute and nostalgic fans. The first video shows you the surface, with the Nautilus gently gliding along. The second takes you beneath that placid surface onto the ride itself. For more on the greatest journey through liquid space, do not miss the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea - The Ride website.