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Coral Reef

Fun Facts of Living Seas

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You can also find other information on fun facts and secrets of Walt Disney World by consulting with your local independent bookstore or visit our online bookstore. These are real Disney secrets. For more Disney secrets and trivia and bloopers try DISNEY Ever Notice... ?. If you are interested in rumors (some true, most not), checkout Disney Urban Legend Reference Page and Urban Legends Archive.

  1. There is a VIP Lounge in this attraction.
  2. The Living Seas is currently the only EPCOT Future World pavilion without corporate sponsorship. I asked my Backstage Magic tour guide why. He said that the attraction was, at one time, sponsored by United Technologies, but that the 10-year contract (a standard for the sponsored areas of WDW) ran out and the company chose not to review. If another company comes forward with a desire to sponsor the area, Disney will gladly accomodate them.
    REPORTED: Dan Amrich 17 SEP 00
  3. The tanks at Living Seas, they are the most well-fortifed building on all of property
    REPORTED: Alyson Lamble 11 OCT 96
  4. According to Walt Disney World Inside Out on the Disney Channel, the Living Seas aquarium is big enough to fit Spaceship Earth inside it. How'd you like that in your front room?
    REPORTED: Shawn Rogers 09 OCT 96
  5. The Tank at The Living Seas is able to drain in approximately 2 minutes, the insurance company mandated this one.
  6. From the Epcot Field Guide: The main environment measures 203 feet in diameter by 27 feet deep and contains 5.7 million gallons of salt water.
    REPORTED: Melanie Emmons 13 JUL 96 Blue Planet: Seas of Life
  7. If you emptied the water from The Living Seas into one-gallon milk jugs and laid them side by side, they would stretch from here to New Orleans, Knoxville or Raleigh -- 540 miles. And the recipe for the artificial sea water called for 27 truckloads of sodium chloride, or common table salt.
    REPORTED: Jason Dixon 23 NOV 99
  8. From the Epcot Field Guide: The window panels in the second-level observation deck measure 8 feet by 24 feet and weight 9,000 pounds each. They range in thickness from six to eight inches. This is the largest single casting of acrylic ever attempted.
    REPORTED: Melanie Emmons 13 JUL 96
  9. From the Epcot Field Guide: There are more than 70 varieties of fish and other marine animals residing in The Living Seas, with more than 8,000 inhabitants.
    REPORTED: Melanie Emmons 13 JUL 96
  10. From the Epcot Field Guide: The residents of the pavilion eat nearly two tons of food each week.
    REPORTED: Melanie Emmons 13 JUL 96
  11. The Hydrolators in the Living Seas only ascend and descend about an inch or two! The Otis elevator corporation did the work for the doors.
    REPORTED: Todd D. McCartney 13 APR 94
    The "elevators" in the Living Seas really don't move at all. Just the bubbles in the wall.
    CONFIRMED: Angela Tweedie 29 OCT 96
    CONFIRMED: Michael Edwards 21 JUL 96
    Our Hydrolator doors broke and we walked straight through to the other side without the Hydrolator moving a bit.
    CONFIRMED: Nikki 29 NOV 96
    The hydrolifts do indeed move; I entered the lifts from the outside when a group left, and waited for the doors to close. The floor then raised several inches (accompanied by the HISS of hydraulics), after which the doors to the inside of seabase opened, where I was greated by startled guests trying to leave. PS, if you just want to play at seabase, or have forgotten something of yours inside, you can go in directly through this method without waiting for the ride. --Josh Kaplan
    CONFIRMED: Josh Kaplan 16 FEB 97
    CONFIRMED: Mike Rickert 27 MAR 97
    Since my grandma is claustrophobic she didn't want to go on the elevators. so the cast member took her to this hallway, while the rest of us went on the elevator. The hallway was a straight walkway. So it proves that the elevators don't move.
    CONFIRMED: Kate 18 JUN 99
  12. If you look closely, the rocks in the windows are on conveyer belts, but they don't always move at the same speed.
    UPDATE: Dan 26 JAN 97 Johnson-Sea-Link
  13. There is a scene where a submarine is featured in a movie at the Living Seas. This same submarine is also featured in a scene where Jules Vern is in the submarine in Timekeeper at the Magic Kingdom. The submarine is called the Johnson-Sea Link and is a research submarine here where I work at Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Ft. Pierce, Florida, where you learn more about this sub.
    REPORTED: L. Borne 24 JUN 96
  14. Don't you think it's ironic that the main attraction in the Land is a boat ride and the main attraction in the Living Seas is a tram ride?
    REPORTED: Melanie Emmons 20 APR 96
  15. If you look at the top supports and walls you will notice some large numbers and letters. I don't remember the exact way they looked, but they are in a form like: WED 120565. These are the initials and birthdates of some of the people who worked on the attraction. I asked one of the divers and she told me what the numbers and letter meant, and, in fact, actually knew some of the names.
    REPORTED: Owen Rubin 08 NOV 95
    I approached two Disney Cast Members in the attraction and asked them if the numbers were the birth dates of the people who built the attraction. They looked surprised that asked, and replied "YES !".
    CONFIRMED: Phil Foreman 26 NOV 96
  16. There are 5.7 million gallons of water in the main tank at The Living Seas. The entire volume of water is filtered in just 2 hours and 43 minutes! The dolphins only have access to one quarter of the tank unless there is a research session in progress. The Living Seas filter system processes more water than the entire City of Orlando. All money paid for a DEEP Tour here goes directly to research funding and not to any salaries.
    REPORTED: Dan 12 JUN 96
  17. In the end section with the displays, etc, there is a cylindrical tank from ceiling to floor where a diver comes from the ceiling and down (in the water) and then someone explains the diver's gear. The water in this tank has been considered a toxic substance because it has never been replaced since the opening of the park.
    REPORTED: Peter Bleickardt 27 JAN 97
    The water in the Lockout Chamber in Living Seas is not considered a toxic substance, contrary to the previous report. It is filled with the same water as in the tank and comes from the Filtration area. However, the ENTIRE tank is considered toxic due to the fact that it is an inland salt water enviroment and therefore a major spill would be considered toxic to the enviroment.
    UPDATE: David Richter 14 AUG 98
  18. The diver lock-out tube in the middle of the room is not even actually attached to the main tank it was just a show that proved too expensive to keep doing and was stopped. Reportedly it will not be used again because of this.
    REPORTED: John Wilson 07 FEB 99
    Disney has finaly started putting some money in to the Living Seas, even without a sponser. The place was getting a little run down, and they wanted to have it spruced up. As a result, the dive chamber has been repaired and is operating for a few hours every day.
    UPDATE: Jeff Miller 24 SEP 01
  19. A qualified diver can now dive in the Living Seas. There are only 16 people allowed to dive per day and they go in 2 groups of 8. Disney supplies all gear so the water does not become contaminated. This cost about $140 and that doesn't include admission to the park!
    CONFIRMED: Cristol 12 SEP 97
    Note: you must have your adult diving certification to do this and be at least 16 years old.
    CONFIRMED: Crispin Bottomley 01 JAN 98
    The opportunity to SCUBA dive at The Living Seas is well worth the money. Not only do they supply you with all the equipment but you get your own private changing stall with a shower attached to it. There are towels when you get out of the water and drinks while you watch the video they make of you while you are diving. You get a certificate and a t-shirt as souvenirs of the experience. You can purchase the video tape or if they mess it up, as in my case, you get it free!
    CONFIRMED: Tara Styles 14 MAR 98
    Disney provides all equipment because they walk you through the attraction as if you were a CM. In fact we were instructed that we were now in fact considered CM's and were told to act accordingly. Also all doors coming from behind the scenes to the attraction are labeled "Stage entrance".
    UPDATE: John Wilson 07 FEB 99

    Here is my review: I have done the dive adventure twice! Even for experienced divers, it is a unique experience.

    The EPCOT Dive Quest requires that participants be certified divers. Remember your C-card, as this is required for the waiver signature at the start of the tour. You can use your own mask and swimsuit but this is the limit of personal equipment. One does not have to pay for a day at EPCOT-the tour guide meets guests at the ticket entrance. The tour and dive is about 3-4 hours, as I recall. This involves a tour of the facilities including the dolphin pens and an introductory video about the aquarium. There is a question and answer session and then guests are led to the lockers for a change into shorty wetsuits. Then they have you walk through the Living Seas in partial gear to "show you off" to the rest of the unlucky visitors who can only look into the aquarium instead of from inside, and announce that your group of 8 divers will be in the water in about 15 minutes.

    There are one or two paid divemasters; the rest are volunteers who come in to help with maintenance. The last time I went, there were two other volunteer divemasters, one a Baptist minister and the other a programmer. Another diver videotapes the whole thing. The first time I went we had a somewhat unfriendly Disney divemaster who told us not to scratch our crotch or give anyone the finger in the restaurant. I didn't get any warning like that the second time, but they did tell us to remember that we were "on stage". They also gave us pointers on how to entertain the kids watching. After suiting up you are paired and submerge right in front of the main window. The water is 70 degrees and is chilly for a few minutes. For about 15 minutes they have you pose for pictures, scream for video inside the Plexiglas dive rest station, and do silly things with the junk they have at the bottom. It is also possible to snap off the coral, as they have you go through a cave in the tank. The coral is a polymer that they evidently can easily fix. You can then go off on your own for about 30 minutes, but must stay away from the half of the tank that has the dolphins; they get excited around humans. Any sign language order from a divemaster not obeyed, or going past the warning buoys near the dolphins, will get you kicked out right away.

    The sharks and stingrays hold in circular feeding patterns around the inside. Once I turned around, and the large shark they have was swimming at my side. They are well fed and are pretty shy, in addition to being accustomed to human interaction. One thing that can't be understated is the size of this tank. It is much larger than one thinks, once INSIDE. And we didn't even go on the other side with the dolphins! It's HUGE. It is also great fun to stop in front of the Coral Reef restaurant windows. The kids love it. That's really the best part.

    After the dive we showered (with Mickey shampoo and soap) and watched the video they made, which they try to sell for like $30. The first time they made us hot coffee and chocolate. You also get a T-shirt and they stamp your dive log. (I didn't have this done. I didn't think a divemaster for a 120' wreck dive would be interested in seeing a 35' aquarium dive in my log.)

    I have been told to try to make reservations on the dive later in the day, as that group sometimes stays longer in the tank. Afterwards, make sure you have your admission card or they let you out in front of the main gate. Overall, I would recommend this to any diver as a really different experience.


  20. When you are on the Living Seas look on the floor to the right of the car you are in. The black mats on the ground are to detect people getting out of the cars. They are very similar to the ones used on the Haunted Mansion.
    REPORTED: Justin 16 NOV 97
  21. There is a way to visit the exhibits at the Living Seas without waiting through the lines and the movies. Instead of heading into line, head towards the left of the building and wait for one of the hydrolators to empty. Get in, and the doors allowing entrance open immediately! Though this bypasses the tram and the movies, it is a good way to see the attraction on a slim schedule.
    REPORTED: Ron D'Anna 22 JAN 98
  22. When you come off the tram ride, hang a sharp right and go toward the bathroom; the tank should be on your right, and the manatee room roughly behind you and to your left. In the upper left corner of the tank's left-most window, you'll see a major distortion. According to my guide on Backstage Magic, it's the result of a TV taping of "Thunder in Paradise." The dopey TV crew placed a hot light in that space for roughly a week, shining into the tank while they filmed the actors in SCUBA gear. As thick as the plexiglas wall is, the intense and constant heat caused the window to warp! You can see a circular impression in the middle, from where the lamp was placed. This damage cannot be fixed.
    REPORTED: Dan Amrich 17 SEP 00

The Living Seas Facts and Figures




Salt Water Aquarium




October 1, 1982


Diameter: 203 feet, Height: 48 feet, Water Depth: 27 feet, Acrylic Thickness: 6 inches

Water Temperature

76 F

Water Volume

5.7 million gallons

Filtering Time

2 hours 43 minutes (35,000 gallons per minute)

Types of residents

70 varieties of fish and other marine animals

Numbers of residents


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