• Welcome to the WDWMAGIC.COM Forums!
    Please take a look around, and feel free to sign up and join the community.You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to sign up, or register directly.

Journey to Atlantis re-opens with all effects gone

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Journey to Atlantis has reopened after an extended refurbishment. Inexplicably, rather than fixing any of the existing effects, every single one of them has been turned off and disabled aside from lighting. New music plays throughout that doesn't really fit.

If you're familiar with this ride, it was always a bit cheesy but there were a lot of effects when it was new. Over the years, more and more of them disappeared and for the last few years the ride has been pretty embarrassing. So there was perhaps a conscious decision to just disable everything to save money? Not sure, but it's not the best look for a park that is struggling to get people in the gates.


Well-Known Member
:-(. That's really sad. It was a pretty damn good dark ride when it opened.


Well-Known Member
What a disappointment. This ride was always one of my faves...and it's sad to see everything that's been eliminated.

And even though the Beetlejuice theme wasn't exactly fitting for the ride, it sounded better than the garbage soundtrack they play on the ride now!


Well-Known Member
Well that sucks. It was one of my favorite rides in WDW, SW or Universal. My family really likes SW, but they're making it harder to justify going back on each trip.


Well-Known Member
Well that sucks. But I never rode that ride for the effects or music. I rode it for the thrilling drop and also the fact that it turns into a mini-coaster at the end. It's a fun ride!


Well-Known Member
I watched a vloggers video on the ride just yesterday and he was wowed by the experience. So maybe they weren't turned on?


Well-Known Member
It seems like they're installing the new effects incrementally and keeping the ride open to guests throughout the install/test process, which is an interesting change from the way Disney does it.

I would say "bad show" but, c'mon, this is Journey to Atlantis we're talking about here. The ride was disappointing and incomprehensible from day one.


Well-Known Member
Curious I rode it today for the first time?

What's the rough story line? Besides you know the lost city?

In beginning you hear some kind of guide and than rest of ride has nothing.

Tom Morrow

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Looks like it’s down again for a refurb. Anybody know the dates or what is being done?
This is probably just the annual refurbishment that all the Orlando water rides receive in the winter months. Hopefully they add or return some effects while they are at it, but I won't hold my breath.


Well-Known Member
I fear that it is just mechanical for the ride system and boats because I know for a fact that is being done as well as welding track and repainting, but I hope this time allows for some Effects to be turned back on and some story to come back.

Bring back the news vans, old queue line video and get a few key scenes working and you have the fun story.
Definitely bring the eerie atmospheric music back outside. When this ride first opened it was very impressive and had a story of Atlantis rising, and news vans outside documenting as a fishing charter company was cashing in on letting boats explore the inside. A misty fog from the water and tower's turret bowls filled the air and a voice that echoes "come to me" in ethereal echoes were in the audio loop as well. Near the loading platform the queue video had a fisherman speaking to a reporter saying that those people should not be going in there because its dangers (alllura the siren goddess) and we see him ready to row a boat in after anyone who might be going.
In the first scene it appears the charter company is going on with it, you board and before entering the darkness a door opens and from a screen as if the greek man is standing in there he tells you "wait Hermes must guide you" a sea horse is projected and then disappears into the form of fiber optic lighting above your head. Your boat follows and you are welcomed by nice voices and given the gift of Atlantis via model lit behind scrim. A mermaid statue has a mermaid spirit apparently rise above it using a simple but effective scrim projection/pepper's ghost feel.
You pass another statue of a goddess pouring water and laughing similar to a Tiny Leota. Her face laughing and turns to water and pours out timed with physical jumping water(think jumping fountains at Imagination) boat follows fountains as Hermes the Sea Horse hides behind columns making worried noises and the music increases intensity for suspense.
The city street area surrounds you and water jumps into pottery as Hermes the Sea Horse appears and makes a spitting noise. Then the fountain water bounces onto a surface of a pouring well and a face appears. Allura lets you know that these "friends" are no longer welcome here and the head morphs into a Medusa like Gorgon. Then going towards a dark tunnel strobe lights on a giant Gorgon Statue above slide down towards your boat stopping. (a feel similar to Countdown to Extinction's Finale" and you ascended up a lifthill with large eyes at the end of the tunnel and projected spirals, which could be compared to Maelstrom's lift towards Odin. After doors at the top opened you turned a corner and the weakness of the original ride appeared, the Beetlejuice theme by Danny Elfman, I believe they went for Mischievous but it just did not fit as it is so recognizable as Beetlejuice. Turning a corner to another larger outdoor lift a water fountain jump from some old Pottery clues you that you are controlled by some supernatural force of Allura. Up the lift to the top and fountains jump over you sometimes squirting riders. As you aim for the final descent the large ancient chandelier above you falls and stops as a startle before the 60 foot drop. You make the U turn feeling like Splash Mountain and all large boat rides the intensity is over. A tiny dip soaks the boat to an orchestrated music crescendo and you hear the ethereal laughing of Allura "Leaving so soon? I think not." And you go up the smaller lift back into the building. From the outside people often think this is the lift to the main drop, but when opened no one knew what a water coaster was and it is still well hidden. As you went in, you see signs of shipwreckage that continue from the shamples that you made your U-turn around. Candles lit everywhere flicker as if in a seance and eerie chants. The music picks up in an orchestration and you see the face of Allura projected among broken sails and as the string section gets louder in the music the Coaster portion starts and is perfectly timed to a curving splash down as she cries at your escape.

You exit into an amazingly thmed giftshop with an aquarium that was once below and above you and some awesome Golden horseshoe hermes Merch and one of the most fun Theme Park T-shirts I have ever purchased (in 1998)

It was indeed a great ride that brought Sea World's theming to a new level, left to rot. To tell you how amazing and successful it was, but quickly forgotten after effects and theming were not maintained, other Sea World Parks build "Journey to Atlantis" in name only in declining degrees. San Diego had one show effect that was a rough dolphin idea that was just an elevator lift to a coaster chute the chutes drop into water and Texas got a straight up backwards U turn Coaster drop with no theming connection at all. And the name is all it has been reduced to now.