Fun Facts About Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain happens to be my all-time favorite ride. At least, the Splash Mountain located at Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. Though I have personally never been to Tokyo Disneyland to ride the Splash Mountain there, I can say with confidence that the one located in Disneyland absolutely terrified me!
To be fair, though I love Splash Mountain, I am an annual passholder at Walt Disney World and ride it every chance I get, but I regret my decision the moment I pull down the lap bar. Why is that? The fifty-foot drop… Anticipation builds up through the entire ride wondering if the inevitable drop is about to happen.
With poor attendance for America Sings, the attraction was shut down and Disneyland was left with Audio-Animatronics not being used. The land of Bear Country had little foot traffic and only had one attraction at the time, Country Bear Jamboree. Dick Nunis, chairman of Walt Disney Attractions, went to Imagineers to create a log flume ride for Disneyland. While driving through rush hour traffic in 1983, Tony Baxter had the brilliant idea of combining the want for the log flume ride with the need to reuse the Audio-Animatronics into the idea for Splash Mountain.
Going far over budget, at $75 million, Splash Mountain was the most expensive projects that Walt Disney Imagineering had ever created. The original concept had the name Zip-a-Dee River Run, which was changed later to Splash Mountain.
Splash Mountain opened July 17th, 1989 in Disneyland and the earliest riders happened to be company executives. The executives were getting quite soaked from the ride, when it was supposed to be a light spray. Opening day was pushed back to redesign boats to hold fewer passengers.
With the success of Splash Mountain in Disneyland, construction began in 1991. On July 17th, 1992 Magic Kingdom began soft opens for the ride and officially opened October 1st, 1992 while Tokyo opened October 2nd, 1992.
Different Boats, for Different Folks
Though Disneyland still has the single log flume without the placement of lap bars (part of the reason I am terrified of Splash Mountain in Disneyland, though I still ride it), Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain added lap bars to their double seated log flumes in 2011. Tokyo Disneyland also received lap bars, but for individuals pushing their height restriction down to 5 inches shorter.
Each drop is a little different depending on where you ride it. In Disneyland and Walt Disney World the drop is 52.5 feet while in Tokyo the drop is 60 feet tall! The drops occur at just over 40 miles per hour!
“Song of the South”
The ride is loosely based on the Walt Disney film “Song of the South” which was released in 1946. With its controversial racist topics, the film has been sent straight into the Disney Vault without ever having plans of being released again. Much of the storyline was altered to fit the ride itself and avoid any retelling of the original story. Splash Mountain is one of the only reminders left indicating “Song of the South” was ever made to begin with.
Satisfactual Hidden Mickey’s!
There are many “Hidden Mickeys” on Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom! Just a few to look out for:
- On a barrel labeled “Muskrat Moonshine” just before your flume log takes off, look about the “s” in muskrat that is where you will find your first “Hidden Mickey”.
- There is a scene where Br’er Frog is fishing with his toe. Next to the picnic basket you will see three red fishing bobbers that form Mickey!
- Just before the final drop, the outline of the rocks makes up Mickey’s profile!
- This next “Hidden Mickey” is my husband’s favorite! During the final scene with the riverboat, look over to the right in the clouds where you will see Mickey sunbathing looking at the clouds!
- The name Splash Mountain literally came from the movie “Splash” starring Tom Hanks and Darryl Hannah. Disney CEO Michael Eisen wanted to ride to promote the film. Though Imagineering was against this idea, the name was better than the original Zip-a-Dee River Run”
- Jess Harnell voices Br’er Rabbit in Splash Mountain, and is the same voice actor who provides the voice to Wakko Warner on “Animaniacs”.
- Nick Stewart voices Br’er Bear on Splash Mountain and happens to be the original actor to voice him in “Song of the South”
- There are approximately 965,000 gallons of water on Splash Mountain! No wonder you are “guaranteed to get wet”!
- The flashing street lantern located in the loading area assist the cast members with the loading process. It lets them know the boats will be moving and guest will be getting out!
- In season 3 episode 21 of Boy Meets World, titled “The Happiest Show on Earth”, main characters Corey Matthews and Shawn Hunter are without a hotel room and find themselves a nice “bed” on Splash Mountain in Magic Kingdom. Unable to take a shower, they get a nice rinse with the help of the ride!
- As a promotional tool for the ride itself, Disney released the 1989 film Ernest Goes to Splash Mountain
- Our friends at MickeyTravels can book your Disney vacation and Splash Mountain FastPass for free!
- And let’s not forget the amazing “Splash Mountain Rap”
Special thanks to Ashley Dion for writing this article! Former cast member turned annual pass holder, I am a native Michigander who moved her entire life to Orlando, FL to be surrounded by all things Disney. I met my fellow Disney-lover husband while working for the Mouse and now we frequent the Walt Disney World theme parks and resorts as pass holders as often as possible!