Two weeks ago we talked about four things to do in Walt Disney World if you love birds. Today we’re going to do another animal-themed post, but we’ll turn our attention from the skies to the seas and talk about the fish of Walt Disney World. I’m going to use this term loosely to mean animals that live in the water, whether or not they have gills and such.
Some of you might like keeping fish as pets, swimming with them, or even eating them (no judgment here). Regardless of how you enjoy them, here are five things to do in Walt Disney World if you love fish.
1. The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion
The obvious first stop for a lover of the sea in Disney World is The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion in Epcot. If your preference is animated fish, take a ride in a clammobile on The Seas with Nemo & Friends and catch a showing of Turtle Talk with Crush. (A Turtle Talk tip: get one of your kids to ask Crush how many kids he has—it will be a large number—and get another one to ask Crush his kids’ names. I’ve heard him list all the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, all the Beatles, and Lisa Turtle from Saved by the Bell.)
If you prefer seeing the real thing, take your time wandering around The Sea Base and check out the stingrays, manatees, and more.
2. Coral Reef Restaurant
If you like to combine viewing fish with eating them, you’re in luck! Also in The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion is Coral Reef Restaurant. The restaurant overlooks the Caribbean Coral Reef Aquarium, and during your meal you could spot 85 different species of tropical fish. The menu includes seafood and non-seafood options, and most dinner entrees are between $20 and $30.
I ate there once a few years ago, but I can’t say I remember what I had. This isn’t that unusual; I’m just not that food-centric. My apologies for when I get around to writing the post on things to do in Walt Disney World if you love food. (Maybe that will be a guest post.) Even having been there, my primary association with this restaurant is that episode of Full House where the Tanners go to Disney World and Danny and his girlfriend eat at Coral Reef.
3. The Seas Pavilion Tours (The Seas Aqua Tour, Dolphins in Depth, or DiveQuest)
If you want to actually swim with the fish in The Seas pavilion, you have the option of three different tours. On The Seas Aqua Tour ($140), you get to swim on the surface of the tank using a snorkel system. The experience lasts two and a half hours, and about 30 minutes of that is spent in the aquarium. If dolphins are more your thing, the Dolphins in Depth tour ($194) enables you to learn more about them, talk to their trainers, and have an “up-close interaction” with one. The Disney website doesn’t specify how much time of the three-hour tour you actually spend in the tank. The most up-close-and-personal experience is the Epcot DiveQuest ($175). This tour actually requires you to be SCUBA-certified, because you spend around 40 minutes underwater in the aquarium. For more information on any of these tours, visit the Disney Tours and Experiences website or call (407) WDW-TOUR.
4. Finding Nemo—The Musical
Now, if you happen to like your fish to be puppets, Finding Nemo—The Musical was made for you. I already professed my love for this show in my post on musical theater in Walt Disney World. The puppets are amazing and inventive, and this is the only place you’ll see a stingray/tricycle hybrid (just trust me, it’s cool).
5. Voyage of the Little Mermaid
Finally, if you prefer fish who long to be human, Ariel is your girl. While this attraction has less razzle-dazzle than Finding Nemo—The Musical or Beauty and the Beast—Live on Stage, you still get the basics of the story and musical highlights from the movie. The usage of black lights is especially cool.
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So, are you ready for a day of fishy fun? Your itinerary will vary depending on which tour you do. According to AllEars.Net, all the tours are offered Tuesday through Saturday, but the times differ. The Seas Aqua Tour is at 12:30 p.m. Dolphins in Depth is offered at 9:45 a.m. Epcot DiveQuest is at 4:30 and 5:40 p.m. Choose your tour and then build your day around it. Finding Nemo—The Musical will be the trickiest thing to fit in, as it’s only performed at selected times throughout the day. Remember that it’s easy to go between Hollywood Studios (where Voyage of the Little Mermaid is) and Epcot using the water taxis. The only bus you’ll need is for Animal Kingdom.
So which fish-related song gets your vote: “Under the Sea” or “In the Big Blue World”?