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Grand Theft Coral

Here’s a weird one. From an internal Imagineering newsletter in 1981:

The Living Seas, WED-MAPO Imaginews, February 1981

I wonder if they ever found it? I wonder what this “essential set-piece” was – “The Seas” still had no sponsor at this point and wouldn’t open for five more years. At the time this notice was written, the pavilion was intended to be far grander than its final format; its original design included a effects-heavy dark ride incorporating the ancient god Poseidon and the myths of the sea.

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4 comments to Grand Theft Coral

  • wow – that would’ve been cool!

    [wow, I find myself saying that a lot with these Disney blogs]

  • philphoggs

    Obviously this coral didn’t have a great back story and went on its way. Must’ve been a heck of a New Years theme party somewhere at Sea Team Noah’s expense. Good to see the pervading sense of humor there back in 81’…

  • sdfgsdfg

    So a major part went AWOL? Weird. Was this in any way related to delays that resulted in the attraction opening so much later?

  • Yes indeed, the dark ride was going to be a major portion of the pavilion. It was, in a way, related to the delays – they had a really difficult time lining up a sponsor for the pavilion, and that’s what prevented it from opening with the rest of the park in 1982 (or even in 1984, when it was later intended to open). The Seas was planned to be part of EPCOT from the mid-1970s; other planned pavilions eventually found potential sponsors, but there were three that couldn’t find one – Seas, Space, and “Life and Health”.

    United Technologies didn’t sign a sponsorship deal for Seas until after EPCOT opened, but development and preparation for the pavilion were underway well before that. The problems in finding a sponsor (and general turbulence relating to the management change in 1984) did delay the opening, and I’m sure that budget cuts were responsible for the elimination of the dark ride segment. Maybe UT was only willing to pay for so much, or WDI eliminated it from the design to lower the potential cost out of desperation to land a sponsor.

    I had planned to eventually do a piece about this lost attraction, but seeing all this unexpected interest makes me think I should do it sooner rather than later… It would have been quite a ride.

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