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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Celebrating Walt Disney's Magic Kingdom: The Lovely Ladies of the Submarine Lagoon

What Submarine Lagoon located in a Magic Kingdom would be complete without enchanted mermaids perched atop the coral? When the Submarine Voyage opened in 1959 at DISNEYLAND, it was infested with lovely mermaids who frolicked and waved at disbelieving guests who watched from the shores of Tomorrowland.

Hiring living mermaids whose only function was to add to the atmosphere of his Magic Kingdom was a completely Walt thing to do. The park wouldn't make any money off of the display and certainly nobody would travel out to the park just to look at the mermaids, but Walt knew that small details such as these would make his park stand out and thrive. His beloved guests would definitely appreciate the small touches and would certainly tell their friends.

So what happened to the mermaids? Victims of budget cuts or changing times? Nope. As it turns out, DISNEYLAND was a popular spot for Navy sailors visiting Southern California- Navy sailors who often went for long periods of time without seeing any women and were trained to be decent swimmers. Yes, park security was frequently called out to the lagoon to fish eager sailors out of the water and away from the mermaids. This nice extra became a part of history, but as Richard Sherman once said- "That’s why Walt's Magic Kingdom constantly develops and moves because tomorrow there’s even going to be another wonderful thing. And that was his dream to keep it moving, keep it bright, never let it stagnate." As the song Mr. Sherman wrote with his brother said- "There's a great big beautiful tomorrow just a dream away." While this popular feature ended, there were many more waiting to be launched at DISNEYLAND.