The Deep Sea Adventure was a submarine ride attraction in West Edmonton Mall.
The submarines were first unveiled in the Phase Three expansion of the mall, in 1985. Each were made out of lead and aluminum, and each weighed around 38 tonnes. A proud catchphrase / fact which was often cited about the attraction was that “there are more Submarines in West Edmonton Mall than there are in Canada’s Navy”.
The attraction featured four submarines which would travel around the world’s largest indoor lake, the same one which hosts the Santa Maria replica, and is connected to the Sea Life Caverns and Sea Lion’s Rock.
Riders would board a submarine, and sit in front of a port hole which looked out into the lake. The sub would travel along a track around the lake, which was filled with undersea decor, ornaments, and even views of live fish. An operator would guide guests with a verbal tour of the expedition.
In 2005, after 20 years of service, the rides were halted. Then, in 2012, it was determined that it would not be feasible for the attraction to ever resume, and the vessels were removed completely.
On March, 19, 2012, the Mall announced it would be removing the submarines from the mall, after they had been sitting stagnant for years. The Deep Sea Adventure ride had been closed since the mid 2000’s, though the vessels were still present in the lake in a decorative capacity. Until this date, the mall’s plans for the fate of the attraction had been unknown.
In a media release from the mall, West Edmonton Mall General Manager Stacey Claffey stated “We spent time looking at how we might be able to use the submarines again, but there weren’t any options that could meet the standards we want in an attraction, […] Our revitalization plans include all areas of the shopping center and the removal of the submarines will certainly help us to better identify a variety of options for Deep Sea Adventure Lake and area.”
While many thought a new exciting attraction would be implemented, the removal of the submarines was followed by a brief implementation of the Deep Sea Derby. Following this, the area around the launch dock and former flamingo viewing area were removed, to make way for more kiosks selling cell phones, investments, and beauty products.