One of my favorite attractions at Disneyland Paris is Les Mysteres Du Nautilus or in English, The Mysteries of the Nautilus. It is a walk through of Captain Nemo’s Nautilus from Walt Disney’s only personally produced sci-fi movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea based on the Jules Verne book of the same name. Originally opening on July 4, 1994, it is located in the lagoon in Discoveryland next to Space Mountain: Mission 2 (another favorite attraction!).
The attraction begins with guests entering through what could loosely be described as some sort of a lighthouse. It is across the bay from the Nautilus. Once inside, guests descend via stairs (or an elevator if needed) to find themselves in a hallway that leads under the bay to the Nautilus. Looking around, one could easily imagine being in 1866 and walking through a corridor into the Nautilus.
The first room entered inside the Nautilus is the Ballast Compartment. This is what gives the Nautilus its ability to float or submerge. It also is where the treasure is kept within the Nautilus. Here can be found Ned Land’s handmade guitar can be found amongst Captain Nemo’s treasures.
Continuing on through the Nautilus and Captain Nemo’s Quarters will be found. This room is complete with a bed, bathroom, and other living necessities needed for the captain of the Nautilus. It also has some of Captain Nemo’s books and paintings.
Next comes the Charts Room. In the 1954 Disney movie upon which this is based, this room was below the wheelhouse. There is a winding staircase that leads from the Charts Room up to the wheelhouse and main deck that is clearly visible. The room is filled with charts and other navigational tools needed to plot courses for the Nautilus through the seas. There is also a chart visible of Vulcania Island, the location Captain Nemo uses as a base in the 1954 Disney movie.
The Diving Chamber is the next destination on a tour through Les Mysteres du Nautilus. This is where divers from the Nautilus don their diving suits (which can be seen hanging on the wall) and then descend through the trap door in the floor to go collect food from the sea bottom, treasure, or anything else that would necessitate diving.
Entering the Main Salon is one of the more impressive experience inside Les Mysteres Du Nautilus. Straight ahead is Captain Nemo’s organ. To the left is the giant viewport that opens and closes to allow a look at the sea, and the giant squid attacking the Nautilus! As it approaches the Nautilus, its giant beak is clearly visible. Then it is shocked with electricity from the Nautilus and retreats. This might be a little bit too exciting for the little ones when combined with the dimly lit and cramped quarters aboard the Nautilus. The room is filled with treasure from under the sea, more of Captain Nemo’s books, and other artifacts. Look closely at the mirror embedded in Captain Nemo’s Organ and a glimpse just might be caught of Captain Nemo himself!
The last room inside the Nautilus is the Engine Room. Here is where the engines and the power plant for the Nautilus can be found. The attraction concludes with another corridor exiting the Engine Room and returning guests to the present at an exit just outside and behind the lighthouse next to the bay. The view of the Nautilus from the exit as you return to daylight is magnificent. There sits the Nautilus in the bay with Space Mountain: Mission 2 behind it. It’s a beautiful sight!
Les Mysteres du Nautilus is only open certain hours through the day. If you do get to visit Disneyland Paris, make sure and stop by to check the sign and see when this attraction is open! If you are a fan of the 1954 Disney movie starring Kirk Douglas as Ned Land, James Mason as Captain Nemo, Paul Lukas as Professor Pierre Aronnax, and Peter Lorre as Conseil, you definitely need to experience this attraction!
More photos of Les Mysteres du Nautilus can be found on my photo page or you can see them here: http://mrdaps.dapsmagic.com/images/galleries/disneylandparis2009/lesmysteresdunautilus/index.html
Make it a GREAT day!