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Splash Mountain (facts, history, & a necessary update)

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Splash Mountain (facts, history, & a necessary update)

Splash Mountain is a water ride at Magic Kingdom. You float around in a boat and eventually dive down a steep hill, in which you may or may not walk away soaking wet.

Really, it just all depends where you’re sitting (and whether or not you’re wearing a poncho).

Important Update: Splash Mountain Closing January 23, 2023

Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World will close starting January 23, 2023 to make way for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which will open in late 2024.

This means the final day to ride Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom will be January 22, 2023.

Quick Facts

  • Location: Magic Kingdom, Frontierland
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches
  • Description: What starts as a gentle boat ride through cheery scenery ends in a steep drop and a splash. Throughout the 11-minute ride, you will encounter 3 lifts and 5 drops (most of them are mild, except for the 1 big one).
  • When to Visit: Third hour
  • Recommended: Yes
  • Tip(s): Non-riders can watch from the bridge, people who want to get more wet should ask to sit in the front.
  • Genie+, Individual Lightning Lane Selection, or Virtual Queue: Splash Mountain is available with Genie+
  • Scheduled Refurbishments
splash mountain at magic kingdom

Everything You Need To Know About Splash Mountain

Location

You can find Splash Mountain in Frontierland to the left of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Here’s the location on the map.

Splash Mountain map location at magic kingdom

Height Requirement

The height requirement for Splash Mountain is 40 inches. Be sure to check out our guides on WDW thrill rides and height requirements for attractions.

Rider Switch & Single Rider

Rider Switch is 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 is not available for Splash Mountain.

History

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 is, it doesn’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.

princess and the frog attraction concept art

So much so that Disney announced in June 2020 that Splash Mountain is being rethemed as a Princess and the Frog attraction. (This also goes for Disneyland Park’s Splash Mountain.)

The name of the reimagined ride is: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which Disney confirmed in July 2022.

Princess and the Frog attraction concept art

The updated attraction will pick up after the end of the 2009 movie, meaning guests will get to see Princess Tiana in human form rather than as a frog.

The ride will also follow Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance. There will also be music from the movie.

tiana's bayou adventure - splash mountain

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.”

A closing date for Splash Mountain hasn’t been announced, but we do know that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is set to open sometime in late 2024.

Queue

The majority of Splash Mountain’s queue is outside with parts of the line going inside prior to guests being loaded onto the boats.

This attraction doesn’t have an interactive queue, but there are a lot of details to take note of as you walk through.

Take note that there are also a set of stair that you’ll have to climb.

And with a big portion of the line wrapping around outside, it can get very hot during those warmer Orlando days.

showboat scene on magic kingdom's splash mountain

Motion Sickness

Overall, Splash Mountain is a slow-moving boat ride. There are several little drops, but the big one is right at the end, which may cause motion sickness. That said, feel free to check out our guide on motion sickness that’s filled with information and tips.

Ride Vehicles

Each boat has a total of four rows, which can fit two adults or possibly two adults and a small child.

Depending on your group size, there’s a chance you could have a party of eight in one boat.

There’s also a lap bar for you to pull down for safety.

splash mountain boats at magic kingdom

Is It Kid-Friendly?

Splash Mountain is a slow-moving boat ride with several drops, including both small and big.

The most thrilling (and biggest) drop happens at the end and it could easily frighten little ones. The drop is fast, but still can be scary for some.

There are also some darker scenes throughout the ride that may end up scaring children. And if your little ones don’t like getting wet, you should probably avoid.

We have a full guide on several other things that might scare little ones at WDW.

PhotoPass/On-Ride Photos 

When riding Splash Mountain, your photo will be taken on the attraction.

When you ride with a MagicBand and a linked Memory Maker entitlement, your photo will automatically be uploaded to your My Disney Experience account. The same can be said if you’re a WDW Annual Passholder.

Be sure to read more on PhotoPass and how Memory Maker works.

At the end of the ride, there’s also a touch point for those without a MagicBand to tap their park ticket or Memory Maker card. Your photo will then be added to your account.

Your photo is taken as your boat goes down the big drop. The flash goes off about one second down or so and the camera is on the left.

So, you’ll definitely want to get your pose ready prior to dropping — or, you know, just hold on for dear life.

Video

Here’s what it’s like to go down Splash Mountain’s hill (and without getting wet).

Other Fun Details

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