Splash Mountain was a water ride at Magic Kingdom. You floated around in a boat and eventually dove down a steep hill, in which many walked away soaking wet.
While the attraction is no longer in operation, below are historical facts, including what the ride included, why a change was necessary, and more.
Splash Mountain Quick Facts
Description: What started as a gentle boat ride through cheery scenery ended in a steep drop and a splash. Throughout the 11-minute ride, you encountered 3 lifts and 5 drops (most of them were mild, except for the 1 big one).
You could find Splash Mountain in Frontierland to the left of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Here was the location on the official Disney World map.
How you could ride Splash Mountain
When it was open, guests could access Splash Mountain by entering the Standby Line or the Lightning Lane (only available with the purchase of Genie+).
Rider Switch/Child Swap
Rider Switch was offered for Splash Mountain. This is Disney’s system allowing guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one.
As for a Single Rider Line (meaning you’d ride alone and enter this queue, instead of the Standby Line), it was not available for Splash Mountain.
Splash Mountain first opened in 1992 and quickly became a fan-favorite. There were several milestones with the opening of the water ride, including:
- Featuring more than 70 audio-animatronics, making it one of the largest animated cast ever designed for a Disney attraction
- Has one of the biggest animated props ever built with its 35-foot-wide showboat at the end of the ride
- The 52 ½-foot drop speeds guests at up to 40 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest speeds achieved on a Disney attraction
As beloved as the ride was, it didn’t come without controversy and racially-insensitive depictions. Splash Mountain was inspired by the 1946 film Song of the South, which is a problematic and racist text.
So much so that Disney announced in June 2020 that Splash Mountain was being rethemed as a Princess and the Frog attraction (same for Disneyland Park’s Splash Mountain.)
The name of the reimagined ride is: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which Disney confirmed in July 2022.
The updated attraction picks up after the end of the 2009 movie, meaning guests get to see Princess Tiana in human form rather than as a frog.
The ride also follows Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance. There’s also music from the movie.
At the time of the retheming announcement, Disney stated, “The new concept is inclusive – one that all of our guests can connect with and be inspired by, and it speaks to the diversity of the millions of people who visit our parks each year.”
The majority of Splash Mountain’s queue was outside with parts of the line going inside prior to guests being loaded onto the boats.
There were also a set of stairs that you had to climb.
And with a big portion of the line wrapping around outside, it could get very hot during those warmer Orlando days.
Overall, Splash Mountain was a slow-moving boat ride. There were several little drops, but the big one was right at the end, which sometimes caused motion sickness. If you’re worried about motion sickness for any Disney World attraction, check out our guide on motion sickness.
Each boat had a total of four rows, which could fit two adults or possibly two adults and a small child.
Depending on your group size, there was a chance you could have a party of eight in one boat.
There was also a lap bar to pull down for safety.
Was It Kid-Friendly?
Splash Mountain was a slow-moving boat ride with several drops, including both small and big.
The most thrilling (and biggest) drop happened at the end and it could easily frighten little ones. The drop was fast, but could still be scary for some.
There were also some darker scenes throughout the ride that may have scared scared children. And if your little ones didn’t like getting wet, we always recommended avoiding.
We have a full guide on several other things that might scare little ones at WDW.
When riding Splash Mountain, your photo was taken on the attraction.
When you rode with a MagicBand and a linked Memory Maker entitlement, your photo was automatically uploaded to your My Disney Experience account. The same was said for Annual Passholders.
At the end of the ride, there was also a touch point for those without a MagicBand to tap their park ticket or Memory Maker card. Your photo was then added to your account.
Your photo was taken as your boat went down the big drop. The flash went off about one second down or so. The camera was on the left.
Here’s what it was like to go down Splash Mountain’s hill.
Other Fun Details
- Easter Eggs: At the top of the big hill, if you looked closely, you could see a Hidden Mickey profile on the left. The rock juts out in the shape of Mickey’s nose.
- Play Disney Parks: N/A
- Movie Connections: Splash Mountain was inspired by the 1946 film Song of the South. Please note that this is a problematic and racist text, which is one of the reasons the ride was reimagined as a Princess and the Frog attraction.
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