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  1. #1

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    Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    My picture threads consist of images I have taken that focus on the architecture, landscape architecture, planning, design, and theming of the facilities highlighted. They may also contain short descriptions and commentary, but will not focus on construction progress or special events or memorabilia or food selections or my traveling companions. Hopefully these threads are a good introduction for those who have not seen these places yet. All killer, no filler!

    Atlantis photographed in December 2009:
    This large imaginative resort is a fantasy recreation of the mythical lost civilization first described in ancient Greece that was reported to be a technologically advanced society situated on an island that sank into the ocean. The resort is composed of multiple themed hotel and condo towers as well as a casino, shops, large aquariums and lagoons filled with fish, swimming pools, a waterpark, a swim-with-dolphins park, a marina, and convention facilities; all of it set amidst lush gardens and along several beaches on Paradise Island in the Bahamas, connected by short bridges to the nearby New Providence Island and the country's largest city, Nassau. Much of the resort is nicely themed and detailed, and many of its aquatic attractions are among the best of their kind. The design architect for much of the project was Wimberley Allison Tong and Goo, a large firm specializing in resort properties; theme park fans may be most interested that they designed Anaheim Gardenwalk, Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, and the Venetian Hotel-Casino in Las Vegas. They have also designed the newer Atlantis property on Palm Jumeirah in Dubai.

    Royal Towers:
    The grounds are dominated by five separate hotel tower clusters (one with condos) and a majority of the resort's rooms are located in these. Two (the Beach Tower and Coral Towers) are rather plain modern structures that predate the resort and were renovated and rethemed on the interiors before being folded into the property. Another two (The Cove and The Reef) are recent additions that simplify and modernize the theme. The central cluster is the showpiece Royal Towers, two highrises connected by a high bridge that is a hotel suite. This building acts as the hub from which the grounds and other towers radiate, and to which the casino and shops and marina and the major aquarium attraction connect.























    Great Hall of Waters:
    This rotunda and adjacent arched room is the main lobby of the Royal Towers and features aquarium windows into Ruins Lagoon on its lower level.













    Casino:
    The large casino is centered around the Temple of the Sun and Temple of the Moon, with glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly. An adjoining bar called Dragons features large seahorse sculptures.

















    The Dig:
    This extensive aquarium attraction is entered from the Great Hall of Waters and is centered around a very large 2.7 million gallon habitat for fish, rays, and sharks called Ruins Lagoon which is partially viewed from the lobby as well. 13 smaller aquariums line the dark passageways that compose this wonderfully themed set of exhibits which inhabit recreated chambers of the lost city. The fantasy backstory is that it was first discovered by archaeologists in the 1920's but their efforts came to an end and were forgotten during the Depression. When the resort began construction in 1997, they rediscovered the passageway to the original dig and its well-preserved discoveries. Now it is open for touring, and is filled with lavish detail; ancient Atlantean artifacts that prove their advanced technologies line the hallways and rooms as well as the interiors of the aquariums. After exiting the main interior portion, upper walkways surround the top of the Ruins Lagoon for surface viewing. Theme park fans may be interested that this exhibit's show designer is a firm called Olio that also designed some of the wild signage for the Universal Citywalks in Hollywood and Orlando as well as many of the signs in Disney's California Adventure's Hollywood Pictures Backlot.











































    Predator Lagoon:
    The scenic Lagoon Bar domed canopy leads to underwater views and a tunnel through this large lagoon with sharks and other large fish in another part of the resort. At the far end of the lagoon is Predator Falls and Rope Suspension Bridge which crosses the habitat. Elsewhere on the grounds are 8 other shallow lagoons viewed from surface walkways for smaller sharks, rays, and turtles.





















    Royal Baths Pool:
    There are three formal swimming pools at the resort, including this one located at the end of a formal landscape axis from the Royal Towers that includes a raised fountain with a flying fish sculpture group.





    River Pool:
    Typical of the six lagoon style swimming pools is this one that is in an area that also includes a small lazy river and surrounded by some of the aquatic lagoon exhibits.



    Aquaventure Swimming Pools:
    Three other lagoon style pools are located in the resort's waterpark area called Aquaventure, including The Baths Pool (dotted with Atlantean columns), Grotto Pool (with a large rocky waterfall backdrop), and Mayan Temple Pool.









    The Current and Climber's Rush:
    Aquaventure also features an exciting not-so-lazy river where riders are propelled by waves and sent down small rapids and through caves on a large looping circuit that also connects to a few of the pools. A themed structure that generates the waves for The Current doubles as a climbing surface called Climber's Rush.











    Power Tower:
    Aquaventure has two centerpieces, one of which is this themed structure that playfully recreates what the lost city's energy generation center may have looked like. It is actually a stairway up to platforms for the beginning of four thrilling waterslides that include several with uphill water-propelled sections. The show designer for this attraction was also Olio.















    Cenote:
    One of the splashdown areas for a Power Tower waterslide is in a subterranean cave from behind a waterfall into a pool surrounded by two aquariums with exotic river and lake fish.





    Mayan Temple:
    The other centerpiece of Aquaventure is this tower reached by stairs that features four more waterslides, two of which plummet through enclosed clear tubes inside a large aquarium filled with sharks. Two children's pools and play areas are located nearby with a similar theme. It is a nicely detailed attraction but is at odds with the rest of the resort's theme.























    Dolphin Cay:
    The resort's swim-with-dolphins attraction is a restricted-access 14 acre area of 3 large lagoons, reached through an entry building adjoining the rest of the grounds.







    Atlantis Beach:



    Enjoy!
    Last edited by geomorph; 12-16-2009 at 12:26 AM.

  2. #2

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    • Skeevy Ray Vaughan
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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    Looks amazing!

  3. #3

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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    I love that there are windows in the casino! Such great pictures!

    Will trade husband for Disneyland and DCA Pins!

  4. #4

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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    All that comes to mind is... WOW! That place looks gorgeous. I suddenly think the wife and I need a vacation... Thanks so much for such a thorough photo journal.
    -Tony

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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    I've wanted to spend a week or so there for years. Unfortunately, it seems very, very expensive so I think its probably out of the question.

  6. #6

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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    I so want to go there, fabulous pictures! Thanks for sharing.



    Delta Mu Chi Alpha ΔΜΧΑ

  7. #7

    • Minion
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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    Wow - This looks truly wonderful! What a getaway! Thank you for sharing all of your pictures.

  8. #8

    • Mycroft16: #1 Husband
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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    DH and I have decided that we're going there for my 40th birthday. That's only... 13 years away. LOL! LOVE the pictures! Thanks for sharing!
    Next Disneyland trip: June 19th-24th
    First Disney cruise: Oct. 23rd-27th



    See some of my Disneyland photos here!



  9. #9

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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    kcnole, yes Atlantis is very expensive. Their cheapest rooms in slow periods seem to go down to around $180 dollars (U.S. or Bahamian Dollars are accepted at all the facilities and are of equal value). Part of the benefit of staying there is that guests get to explore the entire resort at their leisure including the aquariums and waterpark (but excluding Dolphin Cay, which is only for paid swim-with-dolphiners). Strangely, there is an adjoining hotel called Comfort Suites that also includes admission to all of Atlantis' features, and is cheaper, going down to about $160 at its best.

    Visiting the resort without staying there is possible, either while staying at a hotel in Nassau (there seem to be several that go down to the $70 dollar range), or as a short 2-mile taxi ride from the cruise ship dock. Most Bahamas cruises stop in Nassau. Free areas of the resort include Marina Village (shops and restaurants with a Bahamas theme adjacent to the resort that I didn't photograph), the casino, shops adjacent to the casino, and Royal Towers lobby area including the Great Hall of Waters with a large viewing area of one half of the Ruins Lagoon aquarium (the other half of which is viewed inside The Dig attraction). There is also a free terrace area outside the lobby and casino for surface views of Ruins Lagoon.

    Things get confusing for day-trippers who want to see the entire resort's beaches, swimming pools, aquarium attractions, and waterpark, most of which are interconnected rather than seperately gated. Officially, there are three options for visitors wanting to see areas beyond the free ones. First is the Discover Atlantis Tour for $35 that allows access to The Dig, Ruins Lagoon (remember that free views of half of this large aquarium habitat are from the lobby), and Predator Lagoon. Second is Discover Atlantis Beach Day Package at $60, which includes the above as well as access to all the other aquarium lagoons and the actual beach, and lunch. Third is Discover Atlantis Aquaventure Package, which includes the above (except lunch) and a photo and access to the waterpark and swimming pools. Access is determined by presentation of a room key or a wristband depending on the package purchased. From what I observed, there are 3 basic checkpoints for keys or wristbands from the Royal Towers/Casino free area into the paid areas. However, once inside the paid areas, I saw no other checkpoints so I am unsure of how they seperate basic aquarium visitors from beach or waterpark visitors; perhaps attendants at the top of each waterslide check for wristbands for riding the slides, for instance.

    Indulge me in a description of my visit. I spent $12 at the resort. I visited Nassau on a Bahamas cruise, in this case Royal Caribbean's Majesty of the Seas with a generous port call of 8 AM to 11:30 PM (Carnival Sensation was also in port for this duration). I loaded up on breakfast and smuggled rolls and fruit in my backpack and got off the ship at 8 AM and immediately took a taxi to the casino entrance, the shortest route. I walked through the casino into the Royal Towers lobby and immediately entered a pay area, The Dig, before 9 AM when they post an attendant at its entrance who checks for paid admission. I then leisurely saw this attraction and exited out its back entrance into the bulk of the resort's waterscape and spent the whole day out there taking the pictures you see here and eating my smuggled food. I was careful not to go back into the free areas past the checkpoints because I would not be able to get back out into the paid areas. The checkpoints were at The Dig lobby entrance, the far end of the Royal Towers lobby, and the terrace just outside the Casino. True, I did not ride the waterslides or swim in the pools, but could walk around all of them and even up the Power Tower and Mayan Temple, and certainly was able to enjoy all of the aquarium habitats (which was my main reason for visiting anyway). At about 5:30 PM, the checkpoint outside the casino was abandoned and visitors could walk the grounds for free just as I had been doing all day; I entered The Dig for a second time (it was really cool in the evening too) from its back entrance in the waterscape and walked it backwards, and by the time I got to its lobby entrance the checkpoint there was abandoned. The $12 I spent? It was for a souvenir book of pictures of the resort and its details.

  10. #10

    • hunter of Hidden Mickeys
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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    the place looks absolutely gorgeous! I'd love to go there just to explore the place.

  11. #11

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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    What an amazing resort! Thanks for the beautiful pictures. I knew the resort was popular but not any details. Your report has convinced me to add it to my Must Visit list for sure. Perhaps a 4 night DCL cruise is in the not-so-distant future...

  12. #12

    • Disney Secrets Master
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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    What a spectacular place!
    Putting the um in forum. Um...


  13. #13

    • Your son Chico?!
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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    I was in awe when I saw the Atlantis as the beautiful backdrop on an recent Ugly Betty episode. Your pictures provide a great detail of the resort overall! I wish that it were a vacation that could afford at the moment! Thanks for sharing!

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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    madoka, I was just looking at the port times for DCL in Nassau, it looks like they usually call from 9:30 AM to 7 PM, not too bad, but the others I mentioned are there longer. (For cruises I'm a port fan rather than a ship fan, so the longer the call the better.)

  15. #15

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    Re: Atlantis in the Bahamas - Pictures

    Very pretty pictures. Thanks SO much for sharing. I've always wanted to go there...but, I think your pictures talked me out of it. I'm totally creeped out when I see stuff under water....buildings, statues, etc. I have no idea why. So, I think I'd be very uncomfortable walking around there.




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