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Disneyland Article
Finding Dory Octopus Swims Into Submarine Lagoon

Finding Nemo: Submarine Voyage
Orange County Register
Brady Macdonald
June 27, 2022
July 2, 2022
A seven-armed octopus from “Finding Dory” with camouflaging capabilities who just wants some peace and quiet is about to become visible to thousands of Disneyland visitors and a flock of squawking seagulls after hiding beneath a tarp in the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage lagoon.

Hank the septopus from “Finding Dory” will join the cast of amphibious creatures in the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction at Disneyland, according to Walt Disney Imagineering.

Disneyland will reopen the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage attraction on July 25, according to Disney Parks blog.

Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage has remained closed since the Anaheim theme park reopened in April 2021 after a yearlong pandemic closure while Imagineering and Disneyland crews refurbished the classic 1959 attraction.

“Anytime we take an attraction down for a longer period of time — and this has been a long one for Nemo — it’s always great to bring it back with new magic, especially for a franchise like Finding Nemo,” Imagineering Art Director Michael Dobrzycki said during a online video interview.

The secret identity of Hank the septopus was revealed on Monday, June 27 when Imagineering removed a tarp that had been covering a rock outcropping in the submarine lagoon near the squawking seagulls from the films.

“The seagulls are pretty rowdy and noisy on the other end of the lagoon,” Dobrzycki said. “Hank is going to be facing that direction with one of his tentacles shielding the sun and trying to figure out where all this racket is coming from.”

Imagineering “plussed up” the venerable attraction by extending some rockwork above the water line to give the Hank static figure a place to hang out. The “Finding Dory” octopus will be visible from Matterhorn Way between the bobsled roller coaster and the submarine lagoon.

“When we were brainstorming the project with the Pixar team there was a real interest in saying, ‘Hey, what can we do to bring a ‘Finding Dory’ character into the story?’” Dobrzycki said.

The Pixar, Imagineering and Disneyland teams settled on the bright orange-red octopus who lost his sense of humor along with one of his tentacles.

In “Finding Dory,” Hank is an escape artist with camouflaging abilities and a penchant for solitude. The septopus — or seven-tentacled octopus — is voiced by “Modern Family” actor Ed O’Neill.

“Hank is a bit of a curmudgeon,” Dobrzycki said. “He’s not always necessarily pleased with what’s going on in the world around him. He’s got strong opinions.”

Hank’s rock outcropping will be a stone’s throw from the “Finding Nemo ” seagulls that endlessly squawk “Mine, Mine” from atop a red buoy to the delight of Disneyland visitors.

“Hank is just there to enjoy the day and get a little sun on the rock,” Dobrzycki said. “But those seagulls aren’t going to let that happen. So Hank is casting some pretty harsh side-eye in that direction.”

The original Submarine Voyage attraction opened in 1959 along with Matterhorn Bobsleds and the Disneyland Monorail.

The Disneyland ride beneath the ocean depths closed in 1998 amid an uncertain future for the undersea attraction. Several replacement thematic ideas were considered for the ride based on Disney’s 1989 “Little Mermaid,” 2001 “Atlantis” and 2002 “Treasure Planet” — but none of them made the leap from silver screen to theme park.

Then in 2007, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage opened at Disneyland after nearly a decade of inactivity in the lagoon. A 2014 refurbishment of the popular Nemo attraction drained the 6.3 million gallon sub lagoon for months.

After the last refurbishment, Pixar released the “Finding Dory” sequel in 2016 that continued the aquatic story of the original 2003 “Finding Nemo.”
Attractions Referenced

Disneyland Alweg Monorail

Finding Nemo: Submarine Voyage

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Submarine Voyage

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