Tuesday, June 15, 2010


I love to SCUBA dive. Being under water is like being in a whole other world. So, when I found out a few years ago that you could SCUBA at Disney, I felt like it was something I needed to try.

Divequest takes place inside The Living Seas pavilion in Future World at Epcot. At first, I was a little skeptical, because while the tanks are BIG, they are definitely not the size of the ocean. And it's kind of expensive, though less than a typical dive. But if you're like me, you've already spent a fortune to go to Disney, so you'll understand why I couldn't decide if I wanted to spend an additional chunk of change. I'm so glad I did! I liked it so much, I took my husband back and did it a second time. So, what's so great about it?

First, Disney boasts over 6,000 sea creatures, including some very large turtles and yes, folks, some very large sharks. The odds you would see this many sea creatures on a typical dive are about a million to one. Second, there is no current. And third, the visibility is as far as your eye can see and perfectly clear. It's like diving in an under water utopia.

You'll meet your tour group outside, by guest services. You are then led back behind closed doors where you'll tour behind the scenes areas like the dolphin and manatee enclosures. You see where the food is prepared and learn what the interns do. You sign your waiver that you will behave according to Disney rules.

Your dive master will give you a lecture on being "part of the show," because when you dive, all of the people in the Coral Reef restaurant will be able to see you. The CM encourages you to do flips, wave, whatever, save giving any obscene finger gestures. I am not really sure what would happen if you did this, because no one on either of my tours was brave enough or stupid enough to give it a try. The only other rule that is imposed is to avoid the fence that surrounds the dolphin area. Apparently, dolphins are quite territorial, and spectators probably won't want to see a guest get their arm ripped off. It's not the Disney way.

There is also a camera in the water with you that films your entire dive, including you. If you look into the aquariums from up above, you will see a clear bubble type apparatus on the sea floor. At one point in your dive, the cameraman will encourage you to go into "bubble" where you are actually in open air (the miracles of science). You can remove your mask and wave hi to everyone on camera. And if your family is standing outside the aquarium watching you, let your camera guy know, and he'll make sure to get them on film, too.

Oh, and did I mention that Disney uses top of the line SCUBA equipment? If you have old junky equipment like I do, you'll be incredibly jealous and want to buy all new, fancy stuff.

Keep an eye out. On our dive, we had a special guest! Mickey got in the water with a board that had a wedding proposal on it for a Coral Reef guest (I wonder how much that cost?).

Once your 40 minutes or so are up, you exit, and walk back through The Living Seas to take a shower and get in your regular clothes. Everyone will reconvene and watch the just created video, which you have the option to purchase. I think in both of my groups, everyone purchased. It really is a nice DVD! And heck, you've already spent a small fortune, what's twenty more dollars?

You do have to be SCUBA certified and must be at least 14 to dive solo, 10 to dive with a parent. If you are interested in this tour, you can book it by calling 407-WDW-TOUR. If you have questions, please feel free to e-mail me at houseofmousehotline@gmail.com. I'm happy to share my experience!

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