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  • That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

    "If you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, the Matterhorn will sink!"

    I heard this rumor so many times...almost as often as people used to say that Space Mountain would be "adding a loop" when it was closed up through Disneyland's 50th I didn't really believe it, but I believe I also read something supporting the idea in Mouse Tales.

    What I'm wondering about is this tidbit I read from an old article by David Koenig (who was the author of said book), which was written a while after the original Submarine Voyage was closed and the lagoon sat dormant without any plans:


    Structural problems also plague the lagoon. The maintenance worker said, "The main reason the subs were closed was the fact that the tunnel was collapsing. In at least one place, the guide rails had broken free, and the repair costs were deemed too excessive. At least one sub had damaged its sail when traveling across this section. The water level in the lagoon has to be maintained to prevent a large sinkhole from collapsing underneath Innoventions, which would take out Autopia and Rocket Rods as well. Attempts to seal this hole have all failed, mostly due to the porous soil, so Disney pumps something like 50,000 gallons of water per day into this mess to keep things 'stable.' Each year, the amount of water necessary grows, and nothing can or will be done about it."



    I do not wish to question David's credibility, but even the best sources can get bad information. Obviously nothing sank or collapsed when the lagoon was drained and work began on Finding Nemo: Submarine Voyage. However, I'm feeling somewhat inclined to believe that there is some truth to this story. Does anyone here know any more about this?





  • #2
    Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

    What a silly rumor. If things were this structurally unsound they would not allow the public around these areas!
    Jeff Wayne






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    • #3
      Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

      For this to be true it would mean that Disney is pumping heavily chlorinated water into the groundwater. Water is also not known as a structural material. If there were known issues with the soil conditions I fail to see how "add water" makes the situation better.

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      • #4
        Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

        It'd also put Disney squarely liable if something *did* happen, such as Innoventions going down with all hands aboard. If there was a definite sinkhole - or even a likely risk - that would claim the building and Disney was avoiding draining the lagoon because of it, it would imply Disney's aware of either a large mass of mostly dissolved limestone or similar material under the building - which would definitely merit fixing - or an already existing void in the earth - which would also merit fixing.

        I also cannot find record of many (read: found none, not willing to say it was a comprehensive search though) sinkholes in Anaheim or Fullerton that were not caused by a waterline breakage. The soil itself according to the sources I could find put Anaheim's soil as sandy loam shading to clay before hitting a sandstone and shale layer - not condusive to natural sinkholes.
        Boggard LIEEEEF!

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        • #5
          Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

          delete
          Last edited by Right Ear; 12-06-2013, 06:30 AM.
          Met Anna and Elsa over 1100 times and not afraid to admit it. Just let it go

          My YouTube account: http://www.youtube.com/user/ThomasTheImagineer

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          • #6
            Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

            This is a fine example of why I don't believe
            Koenig to be a source of information.
            Be Cool Stay in School!
            Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

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            • #7
              Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

              Sinkholes target Disney parks. At EPCOT, the walkway between Future World east and World Showcase on the water is said to be over a massive sinkhole. Allegedly, a sinkhole targeted the late Horizons. One just took out a resort near WDW. Of course, if a sinkhole claimed Innoventions, that would sure be an improvement.

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              • #8
                Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

                Originally posted by Great Movie Rider View Post
                Sinkholes target Disney parks. At EPCOT, the walkway between Future World east and World Showcase on the water is said to be over a massive sinkhole. Allegedly, a sinkhole targeted the late Horizons. One just took out a resort near WDW. Of course, if a sinkhole claimed Innoventions, that would sure be an improvement.
                The sinkhole and Horizons is nothing but internet myth.

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                • #9
                  Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

                  Originally posted by Great Movie Rider View Post
                  Sinkholes target Disney parks. At EPCOT, the walkway between Future World east and World Showcase on the water is said to be over a massive sinkhole. Allegedly, a sinkhole targeted the late Horizons. One just took out a resort near WDW. Of course, if a sinkhole claimed Innoventions, that would sure be an improvement.
                  Florida's got the limestone foundation that makes it a natural location to find sinkholes, though.

                  Or am I getting this wrong and there's a lagoon back at WDW? I thought this was the CA property?
                  Boggard LIEEEEF!

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                  • #10
                    Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

                    Originally posted by Great Movie Rider View Post
                    Sinkholes target Disney parks. At EPCOT, the walkway between Future World east and World Showcase on the water is said to be over a massive sinkhole. Allegedly, a sinkhole targeted the late Horizons. One just took out a resort near WDW. Of course, if a sinkhole claimed Innoventions, that would sure be an improvement.
                    There is some truth to this, but lazyboy is correct that is a myth about Epcot.

                    There are some areas in the resort that cannot be drained, or if they were could not be filled to support structures.
                    Be Cool Stay in School!
                    Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

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                    • #11
                      Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

                      Originally posted by BogLurch View Post
                      Or am I getting this wrong and there's a lagoon back at WDW? I thought this was the CA property?
                      Yes. CA.

                      In what was the sub lagoon at WDW is now developed into the Fantasyland Expansion.
                      Be Cool Stay in School!
                      Next year I'm trying for a summer internship at Stark Industries.

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                      • #12
                        Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

                        Originally posted by GhostHostJeff View Post
                        What a silly rumor. If things were this structurally unsound they would not allow the public around these areas!
                        My thoughts exactly!

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                        • #13
                          Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

                          Unfortunately this rumor may mask a more real issue. It gets people into the habit of thinking there are no issues, but there are.


                          Rumor - If you drain the lagoon something will sink.

                          Real - If you drain the lagoon it turns out the pressure from the water was needed for supports in the lagoon.


                          I recall when the lagoon was first drained about 10 years ago the monorail pylons started to crack and have structural issues. It turns out the weight and pressure of the water pressing against them was intended to be part of their structure. Depriving them of the water pressure gave way to undue stress. Right from the start they were never designed to be out of water. To a non-engineering amateur it would seem "What's the difference? It's all concrete and steel?" but to an engineer who designs bridges, bridge supports, dams and anything else that has to consider the contribution of forces of water, it's a huge consideration that has to be factored in at the design level.

                          The downside about having a thread like this is that it conditions the reader to think that any discussion of problems upon draining the lagoon are therefore all unfounded rumors. "Oh, more discussion about those Sub lagoon rumors! Ha! I'm not falling for it, I'm educated, I went to a forum that said it's all lies."

                          Well,... No. The sinkholes have always been false, however the load-bearing part is not. Now that everyone here is conditioned to think draining the sub lagoon doesn't have any consequences thanks to a rumor about sinkholes, I'm concerned that people will immediately scoff at the real reason you shouldn't drain it completely.

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                          • #14
                            Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

                            Here's the thing, though.

                            The lagoon's drained. Pretty much completely. A few pools of standing water are still there, but if you go look at pictures posted on the site today, you'll see that any amount of water left is not enough to provide any sort of structural support in any form.

                            If the supports of the monorail are in immediate, serious danger as suggested, this would mean that Disney is now intentionally and *knowingly* operating a major attraction that will - very soon - catastrophically fail with a likely result of a major occupied ride vehicle filled with unsecured passengers falling 30-40 feet into the drained lagoon.

                            The sheer volume of lawsuits and the *absolute* indefensible nature of that level of intentional malfeasance would VERY likely destroy the company. The payouts would easily be in the BILLIONS. The public relations damage could take decades to die off - they still get mentions of the BTMRR fatalities in occasional coverage of the refurb in mainstream media outlets.

                            We're in a real world test situation now. They've drained the lagoon, and are not surrounding the Monorail pillars with extra bracing nor closing the rapidly tilting Matterhorn or any of the other scenarios usually tied to draining the lagoon. If speculation on this rumor is in any way correct, we should soon see a massive catastrophic failure of one or more rides impacted.
                            Boggard LIEEEEF!

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                            • #15
                              Re: That crazy "if you drain the Submarine Voyage lagoon, something will sink" rumor

                              Considering the material properties of concrete and the relatively low lateral pressures of water in a shallow lagoon, I can't really see the lack of lateral water pressure on the monorail supports causing any damage. Concrete isn't really known for expanding and fracturing due to missing lateral support like the water would produce, excpecially considering the relatively small forces one could expect from the surrounding water. If the structural design was done with that little room for error, I think we would see failures in other areas first.

                              If anything, the issue would be with the soil under the supports. The lagoon leaking could cause the ground to hold water increasing what is called the pore water pressure. Because water is largely incompressible, it would supply a good deal of support to the monorail beams if the soil was saturated before the structure was built on top. Draining the lagoon and having this pore water pressure dissipate could cause issues if the soil shifted because it could no longer hold the load of the monorail, but there are lots of construction methods to ensure that this is not the case, and no honest civil engineer would ever consider the weight of the water or saturated soil as acceptable for the design in a shallow man made lagoon (non permanent setting) like this.

                              To be fair, I still have several courses left in my civil engineering degree and I haven't seen the designs for the monorail supports, but still.

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