YouTube channel Defunctland has gone out of their way to digitally recreate the now-defunct 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea ride from Disney World as an immersive 360 degree video that can be enjoyed from inside of a PC VR headset.
You can check out this experience in the 360 video down below and then by downloading the .exe of the VR app here, which can be viewed on any major PC VR headset via SteamVR, such as an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Valve Index, or Oculus Quest via Link or Virtual Desktop.
Typically, when a ride at an amusement park is decommissioned, it’s typically lost forever. But now diehard supporters and talented programmers are doing their part to digitally archive experiences using VR so that fans around the world can still experience them.
The original 1954 was a live action Disney production and is an iconic sci-fi adventure film about a sea monster attacking a crew in the Pacific Ocean. It won Academy Awards for both Best Art Direction and Best Special Effects as one of the first-ever feature film to be shot in CinemaScope, which was used to shoot widescreen movies. You can watch it now via Disney+ streaming.
The ride itself was featured at Disney World from the 70s until the mid 90s before it was shut down and removed to make way for others. Notably, Disney doesn’t actually refer to its rides as “rides” but instead “attractions” officially as they are meant to represent entire experiences from the moment you set foot in the park, approach the area of the ride, wait in line, etc. — these are all parts of the “experience” and it’s difficult to recapture that even in a VR headset.
We wrote about how immersive the newest Star Wars ride is at Disneyland for this very reason.
Efforts like this from Defunctland to archive attractions and help make sure they live on is amazing to see and hopefully they can continue to do this kind of work with other decommissioned rides like Delta Dreamflight or the originally incarnation of Snow White’s Scary Adventures.
Correction: This article originally stated this was a 360 degree video, but this is in fact a full VR app for PC VR only. The second paragraph has been corrected.