Epcot's DiveQuest (by Julio Ripoll)

The Intro in Epcot's DiveQuest Brochure sums it up very well:
"The ultimate dive ... in 6-million gallon aquarium with more than 65 species of marine life, including sharks, turtles, a sawfish, eagle rays and diverse, small tropical fish. The dive offers guaranteed calm seas, no current, clear water and bright coral structures. "

New Years Day 2004. My son Jason on his 2nd DiveQuest and my 3rd as Mom took pictures.

Wish upon a star:
After years of visiting The Living Seas at Epcot and asking if Divers will ever be able to actually Dive in the awesome salt water tank, it finally came true this year !

We made reservations for the DiveQuest 3 months in advance. (But check, even the day you are in the park for possible openings.) Four of my Dive Buddies and their families joined in this unique Disney adventure. Even though we are all experienced Divers, living in Miami (one Diver came from Boston) and Diving frequently in the Keys, Caribbean Islands and dozens of Miami wrecks, we were very excited about this NEW experience.

Where else can you Dive in crystal clear water, with thousands of tropical fish, large pelagic fish, sea turtle, saw fish, and SHARKS --- ALL IN ONE DIVE !

Topping off the great Dive, were our families, specially the children, who watched the whole Dive through the large acrylic windows. The kids were really excited when we swam up to the windows and wrote messages to them with the special slates lent to us by the Disney Dive Masters. It was a very special moment when we pressed our hands on the window and they pressed their hands (sometimes faces) on their side, as if we were touching. What facial expressions !

The DiveQuest Experience :
The Dive wasn't the only thing we will remember. The whole 2-1/2 hour experience had many special moments.

You start with a walk through the "Back Stage" areas to a "Briefing" Conference Room where they offer you refreshments, and brief you on the Dive session, the fish life, and watch a short video. After the briefing, you go to the Locker Room, where each Diver has their own Mickey equipment bag with a shorty wet suit and booties with the correct sizes. You change and leave your clothes in your own private locker. Then you walk through the main Living Seas Exhibition area to the Observation area in your wet suits. All of the tourists are taking pictures, you feel like the Astronauts in "The Right Stuff". Neat !

After posing for group pictures, you go up a secret circular stair to the Dive Platform area, put on the dive equipment, and walk off the, now famous "Ledge". As you descend to about 27 feet, you can't help but notice all of the people on the other side of the windows looking and constantly taking pictures of you. YOU ARE NOW PART OF THE DISNEY ATTRACTION !

The Dive is a guided dive with a Disney Dive Master at the lead, a Dive Master hovering above the group and an Underwater Videographer documenting the whole dive. The Dive has many interesting aspects and activities, you just don't swim around in circles... You may visit an authentic ship wreck, get really close to some awesome sharks, swim with manta rays, sea turtle, go inside the underwater acrylic Dive Bell, make funny faces at people eating in the "Coral Seas" restaurant (they have large windows too) and of course interact with your family and tourists through the windows. The coral and sea live is so well done, that you don't ever feel like your in an aquarium.

After the Dive, you go "behind the scenes" and you may get a glance at the Dolphins training tank. Then back down the Diver's Locker Room, where each Diver his own private shower and dressing room. Disney provides you with soap and shampoo ! They even have hair dryers ! (By the way, there are separate Men's & Women's Locker/Bathrooms). After you are showered and dressed, you go back to the "De-Briefing Room", Disney provides a Dive Log Sheet or you can get your Dive Log stamped, watch YOUR personalized Dive video, share a few laughs and receive a DiveQuest T-shirt and beautiful DiveQuest Certificate !

The video is extremely well done, with dubbed in background music with Intro and quick facts. Every Diver in my group bought it !  ($35)

All money paid for the dive and video goes to sponsor Worldwide Marine Conservation Programs.

Epcot's DiveQuest is a very unique total Dive experience and Disney adventure that I highly recommend. We're going back soon !
My Disney DiveQuests: 1996, 2002 & 2004.

P.S. This is my personal story and opinion and not Official Information from Disney.

Epcot's Living Seas DiveQuest Information Brochure
Epcot's Living Seas Entrance Picture
Epcot's Living Seas Shark Picture
Epcot's Living Seas Lookdown Jack Picture
Epcot's Living Seas Helmet Diver

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