We've made no secret of it. Where there's water, you'll find frogs. From the wet and wild Walt Disney World water parks to a good ol' fashioned water ride, we love getting in touch with our amphibious side. Suffice to say, some of our favorite Disney movies are "Finding Nemo" and "The Little Mermaid" — both of which celebrate the ocean and all the colorful lifeforms that call it home. Luckily, there are plenty of places at Disney World to dive under the sea and explore the beauty of the big blue world. From swimming with the fishes (literally, of course!) to meeting a magical mermaid, we're breaking down all the Disney must-dos for all our hydrophilic friends! This is the official undersea explorer's guide to Walt Disney World Resort.
Undersea Explorer's Guide to Magic Kingdom Park
Head toward Cinderella Castle and enter Fantasyland. There are three separate locations in Magic Kingdom's most iconic land where you can dive beneath the waves and swim along with Ariel — everyone's favorite mermaid!
Under the Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
Hop aboard your very own clamshell and settle in as Scuttle, the eccentric seagull and self-proclaimed human expert, retells the "tail" of his good friend, Ariel, and her journey to find true love. This slow-moving attraction will take you through key moments of Ariel's story — such as when she trades her voice for legs and when she and her prince, Eric, celebrate their own hoppily ever after.
We love singing along to our favorite Disney songs on this underwater adventure! The soundtrack on this ride consists of "Part of Your World," "Under the Sea," "Poor Unfortunate Souls" and "Kiss the Girl," all sung by an array of colorful and impressive audio-animatronics. While your clamshell may take you fathoms below, there's no need for you to hold your breath or towel off. The only actual water you'll find here is in the rocky shoals of the waterfall-accented queue.
Once you've refreshed yourself on her awe-inspiring story, meet Ariel herself "in the fins" in her very own grotto where she houses all her human treasures. Ask her about her favorite gadgets and gizmos and keep the memory forever with a subaquatic souvenir photo. While you won't need to make a deal with an evil sea witch to acquire it, you will need to purchase Memory Maker either in the My Disney Experience app or on the Disney World website in order to download it.
Don your 3D "opera glasses" as Donald Duck takes you on a nostalgic journey through the wonderful world of Disney animated films. On his mad dash to retrieve Mickey's beloved Sorcerer's Hat so he can conduct his magical musical instruments, Donald (and you!) are transported to many iconic locations: France, where Lumiere and his fellow enchanted objects are preparing dinner; a sorcerer's castle, where some unhappy brooms have gotten to work; the Pride Lands, where Simba is sharing how excited he is to be king; the Land of the Dead, where Héctor and Miguel are giving a jaw-dropping performance; London, where Peter, Wendy, John and Michael are soaring through the skies; Agrabah, where Aladdin and Jasmine are taking a moonlit magic carpet ride; and, of course, Atlantica, where Ariel is sharing her dreams with Flounder of walking on land.
Undersea Explorer's Guide to Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park
Sing along with and dine alongside the ocean's majestic creatures in a musical retelling of a beloved Pixar film and at a restaurant that serves up American-style eats with a tropical twist, respectively, at Disney's Animal Kingdom Theme Park.
Finding Nemo: The Big Blue... and Beyond!
Walt Disney World is known for its state-of-the-art entertainment offerings. But our favorite stage show at any of the theme parks is hidden away in DinoLand U.S.A. Enter the Marine Life Institute where the Tank Gang from Dr. Sherman's dental office has gathered to tell the story of a brave little clownfish named Nemo, his dad, Marlin, and their friend, Dory. This spectacular performance uses puppetry to bring all the characters of "Finding Nemo" to life and take you all across the Great Barrier Reef and beyond — from the dreaded Drop-Off to the energetic EAC. With music from the songwriting duo behind "Frozen," you'll be humming these catchy tunes long after you've left the Theater in the Wild.
Rainforest Cafe at Disney's Animal Kingdom
Journey deep into the Amazon where wild times await. Rainforest Cafe is known for its loud animatronic animals and impressive indoor thunderstorms. However, one of the most entrancing aspects of this roarin' restaurant is the massive floor-to-ceiling saltwater fish tanks that add a welcome breath of life to this food joint. Home to hundreds of live tropical fish, you may find it hard to get the tadpoles to move away from the tanks and sit down at the table.
Undersea Explorer's Guide to EPCOT
Located in the World Nature neighborhood in EPCOT, SeaBase is not only home to one of the biggest manmade ocean environments in the world, but several different attractions that feature the beloved characters from Disney and Pixar's "Finding Nemo."
Board a "clamobile" and dive into the ocean because Mr. Ray is taking you on a field trip! Things quickly go awry when Nemo wanders off. It's now up to you, Marlin and Dory to cross the "big blue world" and find him. On your journey, you'll encounter jumping jellyfish, smiling sharks, alarming anglerfish and totally tubular turtles.
This slow-moving undersea adventure is a visual spectacle that combines animation, physical sets, puppetry and impressive projections to make it look like Nemo and friends are really swimming amid the marine life in SeaBase's 5.7-million-gallon saltwater tank — the second largest on the planet! You'll also hear the characters sing original music from "Finding Nemo: The Big Blue... and Beyond!"
Ever wanted to know how many hatchlings Crush has or what his favorite food is? Step on up to the mic because the 150-year-old sea turtle is here to answer all your burning questions about life on the EAC, dude! With his laid-back attitude and signature surfer style, Crush is prepared for any inquiry you may throw at him — combining interesting marine facts with hilarious commentary.
What we love the most about this attraction is that you won't get the same experience twice. Every audience is different and comes with different questions, making every show different. That's right! Crush is really there talking to you and can see you! He may even introduce you to some of his friends and family, such as Marlin, Nemo or even little Squirt.
Say cheese! Inside SeaBase is a (maybe not-so) friendly photo-op with Bruce and his buddies, Anchor and Chum. Play games, learn facts and test your aquatic expertise with quizzes from Mr. Ray. This walkthrough exhibit is a fintastic place for tadpoles to let loose and parents to keep cool. Now say it with me: "Fish are friends, not food!"
... Except when they are food. Coral Reef Restaurant is an EPCOT staple, serving up ocean-fresh specialties from around the globe and classic gourmet favorites that frogs of all ages are sure to enjoy. We love that the menu is seasonal so you're sure to always be chowing down on the freshest ingredients when you dine here.
What we love even more, though, are the panoramic windows where you can gaze at SeaBase's living coral reef, filled with approximately 2,000 sea creatures that call this pavilion home. As you dine, be sure to keep a lookout for sharks, sea turtles and rays — just some of the over 60 aquatic species in this meticulously crafted habitat designed by marine scientists. (Oh, and if you're lucky, you may even spot a mouse swimming in the tank! Mickey loves putting on his scuba gear and enjoying the water every once in a while.)
Disney Animals at SeaBase
Experience the wonder of the underwater world in all its beauty throughout the two tank-lined stories of SeaBase. This massive aquarium is home to thousands of sea animals and many different incredible aquatic species. Discover the colorful coral reefs that are home to 25 percent of all ocean species. Learn all about invertebrates, the largest group of species on our planet. Be mesmerized by graceful manatees. Say hello to gliding sea turtles. Get up close encounters with sharks and rays. Hop from tank to tank or head on up to Level 2 and enter the undersea viewing area, a circular, window-lined room where you'll be almost completely surrounded by magnificent marine life!
EPCOT Seas Adventures
Come face-to-fin with some of the ocean's most majestic creatures by booking an Enchanting Extras Collection experience at SeaBase. Ever wanted to swim with a dolphin? Well, you can dive into their wonderful world in Dolphins in Depth, a two-hour experience where you'll get the chance to talk to experts who care for and work with bottlenose dolphins every day AND interact with these marvelous mammals in waist-deep water for approximately 30 minutes. You'll also get to view backstage areas and participate in conversations about global issues affecting ocean life.
Frogs who are SCUBA-certified have another option to immerse themselves in SeaBase's marine life. Qualified guests who want to take the plunge in EPCOT's gigantic saltwater tank can book DiveQuest, a once-in-a-lifetime experience where you'll get to go on a backstage tour to see the inner workings of this massive aquarium AND spend 40 minutes diving in clear waters among sea turtles, reef fish, stingrays and sharks. Friends and family who are staying dry can view your dive from any of the 56 giant acrylic windows located around SeaBase. You can book either of these experiences online or through the My Disney Experience app.
Undersea Explorer's Guide to Disney's Hollywood Studios
From a galaxy far, far away to an animated wonderland where anything is possible, Disney's Hollywood Studios has two different attractions where frogs can explore the vibrant worlds that lie beneath the waves.
Star Tours — The Adventures Continue
From the frozen tundras of Hoth to the dense forests of Kashyyyk, you never know where the Starspeeder 1000 is going to take you. However, on your quest to protect the Rebel spy from the Galactic Empire, two of the destinations R2-D2 may pilot you to are Kef Bir, Endor's ocean moon and Otoh Gunga, a Gungan city in the oceans of Naboo.
If you find yourself heading to Kef Bir, hang on. Things are about to get bumpy. After a quick dive below the surface of the ocean, you'll be knocked into the ruins of Death Star II, where a hungry pack of dianoga is waiting for you. On the other hand, if your route takes you to Otoh Gunga, your journey through the breathtaking city of hydrostatic bubbles will have you coming face-to-fangs with a carnivorous colo claw fish. (Don't worry! R2 and C-3PO will land you safely back in a spaceport ... not particularly of your choosing.)
Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway
A relaxing trip around Runnamuck Park takes a turn for the weird when Mickey accidentally derails your train. It's up to him and Minnie to get you back on track as your railroad cars spin out of control and send you to a colorful carnival, a bustling city and even a dance class with Daisy. One of our favorite parts is when your car all of a sudden descends straight down a waterfall. Once submerged, you turn around to find a thriving environment full of aquatic life. Try your best to take in this brief moment beneath the sea because, before you know it, you'll be washed down into the sewers.
Meet Live-Action Ariel
For a limited time this summer, meet Ariel as she appears in the new live-action film, "The Little Mermaid." She'll be making a special meet-and-greet appearance at Walt Disney Presents, starting May 26.
What's your favorite place to explore the ocean at Walt Disney World Resort? Are there any undersea adventures you can't wait to go on? Let us know in the comments below!
Related: Disney World Versus Disneyland — How to Choose Your Disney Destination