I dont know if this was posted already but I wanted to share with you all...
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: Sea-ing Green
It's been eight years since the Disneyland® Submarine fleet made its last diesel-powered voyage around the Tomorrowland lagoon and since then the world has become a much friendlier place (environmentally speaking, anyway). So to bring the forty-something attraction back from the Dark Age of diesel and up to 21st century environmental standards, Imagineers are developing and refining technological and creative advances that will add a healthy splash of green to the big blue world of the attraction, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage.
Imagineer and Principal Mechanical Engineer Bill Willcox
My Green Submarine
"When Nemo became a hit, it was a natural show for the Submarine Voyage," says principal mechanical engineer Bill Willcox. "But we had to find a new way to resurrect these subs because the South Coast Air Quality Management District (SCAQMD) and other regulatory bodies have stringent emissions standards that we couldn't meet using small diesel or natural gas generators."
The new rules may have restricted the use of conventional power sources, but there were no limitations to the teams imagination and, after diving into every imaginable — and no doubt a few unimaginable — options, they found a solution in what Bill says is a "new, old technology" called Inductive Power Transfer (IPT).
IPT is "old" in the sense that the technology is already being used in such attractions as The Great Movie Ride at the Disney-MGM Studios, the Toon Town Trolley at Disneyland ®, and Ellen's Energy Adventure at Epcot®; but it's "new" in that Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage will be the first long-term application of IPT underwater.
According to Bill, IPT uses a magnetically coupled pair of coils to transfer power without a physical contact (meaning no electrical contacts under water — a good thing). One coil travels with the submarine and the other is actually a loop parallel to the guide track that is tuned by capacitors to resonate at the same frequency as the traveling coil. Got that? Good. The loop is supplied by a special power source (again, not under water) that gets its juice from the electric grid. Oh, and in the event of a power failure, each sub has its own battery bank to continue operating for up to 30 minutes.
Translation: It works pretty much like a hybrid car without the gas-powered engine.
"Or," says Bill, "you could just say it's magic."
All this "magic" makes for a very green attraction: Environmentally green in that the IPT technology results in zero-emission vehicles that add no fuel or exhaust odors, very little noise, and no fuel leaks into the lagoon; and fiscally green in that it saves money on fuel and fuel delivery costs, significantly improved reliability and reduced maintenance requirements.
Of course with new technology comes new challenges, including adding a new guide way for the coils and an entire new building to keep the power supply nice and dry, but the team's spirits remain buoyant as the 21st century subs begin to surface.
"We think we've hit on some pretty exciting stuff," says Bill. "These subs may still be yellow on the outside, but they're a whole lot greener on the inside."
Principal Production Designer Susan Dain
A Pigment of the Imagination
Things will be a whole lot "greener" in the Tomorrowland Lagoon, too, thanks to principal production designer Susan Dain, who has created an ocean of color that complies with the rigid regulations of the various environmental agencies and, at the same time, surpasses her own stringent artistic standards.
"There's always been a challenge to painting under chlorinated water because the colors fade so quickly," says Susan. "Plus now, all the environmental regulations have changed the materials you can use, so the quality of the paint that's out there isn't as good. I looked at the existing paint that's compliant with the new rules and I found very little out there. And it only came in shades of blue."
Of course, a few shades of blue simply wouldn't do, so Susan set out to create the perfect pigments for Nemo's undersea world. After nearly a year of Internet searches and experimentation with all manner of materials, she formulated a brilliant palette (both conceptually and visually) that would hold up under the chlorine, stand up to the current environmental requirements and measure up to Disney show standards.
"There really was nothing out there that met the legal requirements and wouldn't fade over time," says Susan. "So I thought, 'what doesn't fade?' (If you remember back to high school science, you'll know the answer: Glass.) "So my idea was to take crushed colored glass, find a binder or a glue to put it in and literally paint with glass. I found a place in Utah that not only makes a variety of colors and sizes of glass, they make it from recycled bottles, which is even better."
(Left) Two new show buildings were constructed to accommodate the Imagineering team making substantial enhancements to the original Submarine Voyage attraction at Disneyland ® Resort.
Even better than that is the look that these cutting-edge colors will produce. The glass comes in several sizes and shades that Susan blended to create 33 custom colors such as Aqua Kick, Lichen Lime and Peritwinkle (when you create your own paint colors, you get to name them, too). Then, the colors are mixed with a binder and sprayed onto the rockwork following a sort of paint-by-number map of the lagoon floor. The painting process gets underway this summer, and Susan estimates that it will take about 11 tons of glass to create the wonderful underwater world of color that guests will be sea-ing next year.
The Imagineers behind the innovations at Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage agree that their foremost goal was to bring the classic attraction back for new generations to enjoy, but, sub-consciously, they're also proud to be part of the pollution solution.
"We weren't trying to be politically correct here," says Bill. "We wanted to find the best way to refurbish the Subs and we did. But it's also the right thing to do."
Story courtesy of Disney Newsreel