The Briny Deep Comes Ashore

by Donald Hughes, Sr. Proj. Mgr.; Walt Disney Imagineering, 1401 Flower St., Glendale, CA,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1987, Vol. 57, Issue 7, Pg. 50-52

Document Type: Feature article


Amusement park attractions are not all fun and games. More than 10 years of planning by dozens of firms went into the Living Seas Pavilion at Walt Disney's Epcot Center. The effort garnered a 1987 OCEA Award of Merit. The pavilion contains a massive, 5.7 million gal. single tank aquarium—the largest in the world. Engineers had to surcharge the site to minimize differential settlement. The tank was cast using a special cement developed to be workable, yet resist attack from chlorides in the seawater the tank had to hold. Within the tank, designers created an artificial coral reef, with a life support system capable of serving a city of 600,000.

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