In brief: Disney World has been around for decades upon decades, and while many things about the park have remained the same, it has lost many classic rides and attractions over the years. The 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride is one such casualty, but fortunately, folks from the Defunctland project have recreated it in VR for your viewing pleasure.
For those who don’t know, Defunctland is a “non-profit, volunteer-run preservation/passion project.” At its core, it’s a YouTube series created by Kevin Perjurer intended to preserve and explore “pop culture’s past.”
Defunctland VR is the more hands-on branch of this project, with the goal of allowing viewers to experience classic theme park amusements from the comfort of their own home.
To date, it looks like Defunctland VR has only created two of these experiences: the topic of today’s article, the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride, and an older VR experience that showcases Disney’s classic Sorcerer’s Hat statue.
Defunctland VR’s latest project was designed from the ground up in Unreal Engine, and you can view it on YouTube through the video above. Alternatively, you can download the 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea build itself, and ogle it using your compatible VR headset of choice.
The VR clip is as faithful a recreation of the original ride as we’re likely to get in 2021, complete with voice-over from the fictional Captain Nemo, captain of the Nautilus submarine. You’ll see fish, sharks, squids, and even a group of mermaids on your 10-minute journey. We’ve included a (rather low quality, we’re afraid) video of the original ride above, if you’d like to compare the two.
At any rate, Defunctland’s latest creation is an entertaining experience, and it’ll likely be particularly enticing to those who, like myself, never got the chance to visit the actual ride so many years ago.