Disney's decommissioned '20,000 Leagues' ride gets a second life in VR

If you were too young to go the first time, you now have your chance.

Defunctland, YouTube

Disney’s classic 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea ride closed 27 years ago, but that won’t preclude you from hopping aboard. Polygon notes that Defunctland, Kevin Perjurer’s unofficial theme park preservation project, has recreated the 20,000 Leagues attraction in VR. Don a helmet and you can relive what it was like to sit in that faux submarine as Captain Nemo guided you through Arctic waters, Atlantis, and even the clutches of a giant squid.

The Defunctland team used Epic’s Unreal Engine and footage from the 1980s and 1990s to reproduce the ride. You can watch it on most any helmet as a VR video on YouTube, but there’s also an app for Windows PC owners using headsets like the Oculus Quest 2 (via a link cable), HTC Vive and Valve Index.

Perjurer told Polygon this was just the first offering, and that you’d see Defunctland resurrect rides from “all sorts of theme parks.” So long as the park owners don’t object, then, you may get to revisit your childhood (or at least someone else’s childhood) in VR. This could be more important than you think — companies like Disney aren’t about to revive old rides like they do movies, so this may be your only chance at a nostalgia trip.