So after riding the subs yesterday we all got into the inevitable conversation over which was better.
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage at Disneyland or Nemo and Friends at Epcot.
Surprisingly, in our family of 4 we all discovered we actually liked the supposedly "Nemo Lite" Nemo and Friends better. And then upon talking to some other people who have ridden both, we discovered we weren't alone.
Now there may be some reasons for this:
The wait: 2 hour wait for the subs vs. maybe a 20 minute wait for Nemo and Friends.
The queue: The subs queue, as always, leaves ALOT to be desired whereas the Nemo and Friends queue is without a doubt one of my favorites. See Kevin's report on Nemo and Friends if you don't know what I'm talking about.
The ride: While I'm THRILLED beyond belief that the subs are back (it was one of my favorite attractions growing up) I don't think the Nemo story is strong enough to support a ride of that length. The 3 to 5 minute dark ride program is plenty to get the point across. There was more than one occasion yesterday where I thought it was over, but it just kind of dragged on.
The effects: The effects in the subs are top-notch. And if this is what we can expect from Imagineering for years to come then I'm VERY excited. But the effects in Nemo and Friends is nothing to shake a stick at either. Plus the ending rooms with the real fish + the Nemo fish is amazing.
The fun: Nemo and friends is definitely more light-hearted. Leaving out "Big Blue World" from the subs is IMO unforgivable. It's such a fun song and really makes the ride complete. At least play it in the queue or at the end of the ride with the inevitable wait for the sub in front of you to move.
The end verdict: The subs are a great ride. A true E-ticket and a welcome return to what is great about Disney. But personally, I would have preferred the subs to return in their original form with updated effects. No Nemo. If they wanted nemo in the park, the omnimover Nemo and Friends would have been amazing. When I hear how much they actually spent on the subs, you can see it. I just wasn't as impressed as I should have been. I don't think Nemo at Epcot is an E-ticket, but I don't think Nemo deserved an E-ticket. Having that story on a D-ticket attraction like so many D-ticket dark rides before it would have been sufficient.
Will I ride the subs again, absolutely. Is it a great ride, absolutely. I would wait 30 to 45 minutes for the ride, but that's probably about it.
EDIT: Looks like Kevin's article on Nemo has been archived. But let's just say the queue is better and leave it at that.