A log-flume ride through the animated world of Br’er Rabbit. One of the three mountains at the Magic Kingdom, Splash always commands a long wait and will have you singing Zip-a-dee-doo-dah for the rest of the day. The drop can be pretty intimidating and can make you very wet. Many consider this to be the ultimate Disney experience.
Theme Park: Magic Kingdom
Opened: October 2, 1992
Capacity: 8 per log
Type: Log Flume, Dark Ride, Disney Classic
George’s Rating: 5 Ears
Height Restriction: 40″
Chickapin Hill looms in the distance as you cross into Frontierland. You can hear the screams of the riders and you can see the splash as they reach the briar patch. You cross over the bridge in front of Splash Mountain to get a close up view of the riders as they hurtle into the water. This is definitely a not-miss attraction!
Located on the west side of the Rivers of America, Splash Mountain appears to share space with Big Thunder Mountain. The deep-hued oranges and greens of the mountain give it more of an animated feel, almost as if it were taken from a cartoon world.
A Note from Imaginerding
Eisner is credited with naming the attraction as well as suggesting it be presented as a mountain. Its working name was the Zip-A-Dee River Run. Marty Sklar recalls Eisner wanting to name the ride after the surprise hit Splash with Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah that Disney lucked into. He even suggested adding Hannah’s mermaid character to the attraction. Imagineers waffled on the name but held fast to the long understood and respected “Darryl Hannah ruins any attraction….guaranteed” mentality that permeated flume ride construction methods since the early 1400’s.
Splash Mountain at Disneyland opened three years earlier than its counterpart at the Magic Kingdom. The Disneyland version features single-file seating while the Magic Kingdom has side-by-side seating. In January 2011, lap restraints were added to the Florida version.
Being a signature attraction at the Magic Kingdom, it is one that you will want to get a FastPass for. The Magic Kingdom has so many fantastic rides that the crowds will almost always go to Splash, Big Thunder or Space Mountain first thing.
Tip: If Splash is your must-do attraction, grab a Fastpass first thing and then head over to Big Thunder Mountain for one of the first rides of the day.
The queue for Splash Mountain has three separate areas. It starts underneath the Frontierland Train Station in an outdoor courtyard area that is set up with traditional cattle call stanchions and posts. You meander through a semi-shaded area with treehouses of the denizens of the ride. The second part of the queue is in the barn. This is also where you will have to climb a set of stairs. If you have any mobility issues, make sure to speak to a castmember. The third part of the queue signals that you are getting close. You enter the mountain, itself, and you immediately notice the cooler air, darkened tunnel and rockwork. The queue also slopes slightly down as you make your way to the load area.
The load area is one of my favorite parts of the attraction. Take a moment to look at the buildings that surround you and take in their details. The castmember will ask you the number in your party and assign you a row.
Tip: Deciding where to sit can make the difference in how wet you get. Usually, the second seat gets the wettest. If there are heavier people sitting in the front, then they will take the brunt of the water.
There are four drops that separate the various scenes in Splash Mountain. When you board your log, you go up the first lift hill and you are taken around the Chickapin Hill. This is a great place you get an up close view of other riders taking the plunge down Chickapin Hill. Disney experiments with the water cannons in this area. In 2010 and earlier, the cannons shot water on every other log before the second lift hill.
Tip: Before you head up the second lift hill, you get the opportunity to wave at people waiting on the bridge. The bridge is a great spot for family members (especially kids too short to ride) to watch for friends and family.
The first drop is called Slippin’ Falls and takes you into the first major portion of the ride. You meet Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox; during this section, you also meet the other critters that make Splash Mountain their home. How Do You Do and Laughin’ Place are the two major songs played in this area. You will be singing these songs the rest of the day.
A Note from Imaginerding
You will come across a show scene with Br’er Bear caught in a trap. Make sure to notice the book on the ground. It is How to Catch a Rabbit by Br’er Wolf.
To the Laughin’ Place Drop is the second drop. It is in the dark and it is my personal favorite. This is also where the tale turns a little bit for our friend Br’er Rabbit. The third drop is a double dipper-drop and takes you to the lowest point of the showbuilding. Jumping fountains, pop-up gophers and spinning turtles sing Laughing Place to you.
The final drop is next after you ascend to the highest point. Make sure to pay attention to the buzzards and the show scenes as you head up. The view at the top of Chickapin Hill is one of the best in the entire park. Do your best to keep your eyes open to take it all in. The final drop is 52 feet long and at a 45 degree angle. You reach a top speed of 40MPH. There is also a ride photo opportunity, so make sure you are smiling!
At the bottom of the Briar Patch, you head around the mountain and back inside for the finale.
You have to see it for yourself.
Best. Ending. Ever.
As you head out, there will be bathrooms past the gift shop. That way you can try to dry off, if you need to.
What if Your Children are too Short to Ride Splash Mountain?
If you are travelling with children that might be too short or not ready for Splash Mountain (or adults that don’t want to get wet), there are some other things in the area you can check out while you wait.
|Toddlers will enjoy the Laughing Place play area.
- Visit the Laughing Place! Toddlers and very young children will enjoy this small play area under the Frontierland Train Station. It is a small house the kids can walk through. There is also a small slide. Most kids will enjoy this for about 10 minutes.
- Watch Chickapin Hill! Stand on the bridge in front of Splash Mountain and watch the logs as they disappear into the briar patch. This is also the best place to wave at friends and family as they start their ride.
- Shop at the Briar Patch! Between the bridge and the entrance is a quaint shop that sells merchandise based on Splash Mountain and Winnie the Pooh. Make sure to point out the theming located on the back wall.
|Make sure to look up while you are shopping at the Briar Patch.
- Enjoy a snack or dessert! Head across the bridge towards Pecos Bill’s where you will find a few food carts serving popcorn, churros, cookies, hot dogs and the ubiquitous turkey legs. You can sit by the Rivers of america and watch the boats go by.
- Visit the Forntierland Shootin’ Arcade! Spend some time practicing your shootin’ at this infra-red shootin’ gallery. You get 35 shots for a dollar.
- Take the Grand Circle Tour! The Walt Disney World Railroad departs from the Frontierland Station every 15-20 minutes and takes about a half hour. If there is a long wait for Splash, this is a great alternative to just waiting.
- Tom Sawyer Island. I am a big fan of Tom Sawyer Island, but it can take 15 minutes just to get there on a busy day. Also, the island is fairly big and it might be difficult to meet up. I would choose this option for older kids that don;t want to ride Splash Mountain and need to burn off some energy.
More about Splash Mountain