8 Things We Love About Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain / Credit: Disney

Splash Mountain is a ride that is so intrinsic to the Disney theme park experience, it’s hard to believe that it wasn’t available to guests on opening day. In fact, the original version of the ride didn’t open in Anaheim’s Disneyland until 1989, with Magic Kingdom’s version of the ride opening at Disney World in 1992. Splash Mountain elevates the standard log flume ride into an experience that truly exemplifies the meaning of “putting the Disney touch” on an attraction, and as such it tops many guests’ lists as their favorite ride. Here are some of the things that we love about Splash Mountain:

1. It’s a “Gateway” Ride

Perhaps the best thing about Splash Mountain is that for many children, it is the first “grown-up ride” that they are unafraid to experience. Kids who are afraid to make the leap from slow rides and dark rides to the more thrilling rides and attractions in the theme parks find the perfect medium in Splash Mountain. A couple of easy drops and a distracting story ease their fears and before they know it, the big plunge into the briar patch has come and thrillingly gone with little warning – assuming they don’t understand the significance of the vultures perched just above them before the final drop! After getting Splash Mountain under their belts, kids are ready to venture into even more adventurous areas of the park.

2. It Uses the Animated Parts of Song of the South

The 1946 Disney movie Song of the South is a victim of many bad decisions regarding the human characterizations in the film as well as a misunderstanding about the timeline in which the movie’s events take place. The film’s animated segments nonetheless have a lot of fans who frequently lobby Disney to make the film available on home media. Disney, though they’ve re-released the film a number of times over the years, currently seems loathe to even acknowledge the existence of the film. As such, the closest that many people can get to the elusive film now is riding Splash Mountain. Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear, along with several of the film’s other animated characters, are featured prominently in the ride and are a welcome sight for fans of the film, though younger park goers will have little idea about the ride’s origins.

3. That Iconic Song

“It’s a Small World” may be a more catchy – even infectious – song from the theme parks, and “When You Wish Upon a Star” may be more integral to the parks based on its use during the fireworks shows, but “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” has to rank right at the top as one of the most iconic Disney songs heard at the parks. On Splash Mountain it indicates that you’ve survived the drop into the briar patch and it’s time to celebrate the escape of Br’er Rabbit from Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear. Feel free to join in with the chorus as you drift by the Zip-A-Dee Lady paddle wheel boat and the dancing girls singing on deck.

4. The Story-Telling

One of the ways that Disney Imagineers turn a good ride into a great ride is through the exceptional story-telling and theming that they build into the attractions. Instead of a three-minute log flume ride that you could find anywhere, Splash Mountain uses the story of Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear trying to catch Br’er Rabbit to turn this ride into an engaging 10-minute experience that you’ll want to ride again and again.

5. It Cools You Off

If there’s one thing that you can count on at Disney World, it’s that summer days at the park are going to be extremely sunny and hot. Splash Mountain offers a great respite, with much of the ride taking place in the shade and the final plunge that gives riders a good, satisfying dousing.

6. The Revenge Factor

If there’s anything better than getting wet when you want to cool off, it’s getting someone else wet when they don’t want to! For devious guests of the Magic Kingdom, Splash Mountain offers the opportunity to get revenge on those family members and friends who made you miss rope drop or took that last Mickey Mouse waffle right as you were reaching for it. Simply offer to sit in front of them on the Splash Mountain ride, and when the final drop comes, scooch down in your seat and duck your head. The spray will fly over you and catch them full in the face!

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7. The View

It’s always fun to find a unique perspective of the Disney theme parks, and Splash Mountain definitely offers that opportunity. The view of the park around you from Splash Mountain is beautiful, particularly right before the final drop when Cinderella’s Castle, Space Mountain, and the Rivers of America stretch out before your eyes. That’s assuming you haven’t got your eyes squeezed tightly shut, of course!

8. The Pictures

Pictures of Splash Mountain riders taking the final 50-foot plunge have become iconic in their own right. So much so that there are websites dedicated to the phenomenon. Some of the photos seemingly capture riders in the act of performing tasks totally incongruous with being on a log flume ride, like playing a board game, dining at a restaurant, or even performing an operation. Other sites are dedicated to, shall we say, less appropriate ways that riders express themselves. Either way, no other Disney ride attracts as much attention with its ride photos as Splash Mountain.

Where does Splash Mountain rank on your list of favorite Magic Kingdom rides? And what is it that you like the most about it?

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About Don

Don has a huge passion for All Things Disney, and is fortunate to be the husband of a Disney-obsessed wife and father to five Disney-loving children. A former TV writer in Los Angeles, Don visited the Disneyland Resort several times a week as an Annual Passholder before moving to Orlando and becoming an Annual Passholder at Walt Disney World as well. He finally gave in to his passion and became a Disney World Cast Member, working his way up to Disney Trainer in the Transportation Department where he worked for three years. Don is excited to share his love and knowledge of Disney here on!

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