A Day In The Life Of A Walt Disney World Aquarist

noel moul disney world aquarist epcot world ocean day
Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Happy World Ocean Day! This annual global holiday is meant to promote public awareness of the vital role that oceans play in sustaining life on Earth. It celebrates the beauty, wealth, and potential of the oceans while raising awareness of the challenges faced by the oceans, like pollution, overfishing, and climate change. The goal of World Ocean Day is to encourage individuals and organizations to take action to protect and restore the ocean.

The Disney Parks Blog celebrated the occasion at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida with aquarist Cast Member Noel Moul. An aquarist maintains aquariums by managing the water and the aquatic life. Sometimes they help breed aquatic species and educate about aquatic conservation.

noel feeding sea animals the seas nemo and friends epcot aquarium underwater

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Noel has gladly worked with Disney in its conservation efforts for about four years. Starting in Hawai’i, Noel loves sea creatures and the diversity of animals she gets to work within an aquarium setting. At Disney World, Noel cares for the creatures in the main tank at The Seas with Nemo & Friends in the EPCOT theme park. She starts before sunrise!

The Sharks at EPCOT’s The Seas with Nemo & Friends

The Disney Parks Blog highlights Haliaka, a “quick-witted” hammerhead shark described as “social” and a “curious problem solver.” Noel says Haliaka is one of her favorites because she is different from any hammerhead she’s met. Apparently, Haliaka is very “in-your-face!”

Haliaka hammerhead shark the seas nemo and friends epcot aquarium mickey mouse head

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Light cues are used to alert the sharks to feeding time and direct them to their breakfast because it is still dark outside. Noel admits feeding them can be a bit tricky because sharks can’t stop swimming! Disney Parks Blog explains that “sharks need to continue swimming to allow water to pass over their gills to breathe.” Even trained sharks have to eat on the go, so Noel goes along underwater with them as they do.

Caring for The Seas’ Other Aquatic Life

On the water’s surface, Noel uses a ramp to feed smaller rays and stretchers for larger ones, all while keeping track of their diets and behavioral patterns. Apparently, Noel can recognize them all upon sight! She shares that Buttercup, a cownose ray, always adorably comes up the ramp the wrong way first! She later gets in the water to feed species like the shovel-nosed guitarfish, cowtail ray, and porcupine ray.

noel feeding rays the seas nemo and friends epcot aquarium

Credit: Disney Parks Blog

Noel assures that the feeding methods are “designed to mimic their most natural behaviors [and] accurately reflect the environment of the ocean.” Things like biodiversity engage and stimulate Noel’s fish friends.

Here’s how Noel recommends celebrating oceans every day:

Everyone remember to love our planet’s oceans and, like Haliaka, just keep swimming!

About Lana Porter

Lana has never lost a Disney Trivia night. Maybe it’s the hundreds of times she’s been to Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, her love for Disney’s ’90’s era hand-animated musicals, or the fact that she’s often likened to cartoon characters, but Disney and its magic have a special place in her heart. Her favorite Disney experiences include the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, eating Mickey Bars on the PeopleMover, and crying during the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. One day she hopes to be chosen as the rebel spy on Star Tours. When Lana isn’t Park Hopping, she’s at home reading books of all topics, watching her favs on Disney+, or snuggling her two cats, which she swears are not named after Disney characters. She loves surprising people with her knowledge of the Marvel Cinematic Universe but admits she is still catching up with Star Wars. She is happy to combine her excitement for writing with her love for Disney-style storytelling and share what she can with the world!