Header photos by Grise Torres and Kristy Addison
This ride will be re-themed to the Princess and the Frog.
Facts at a Glance About Splash Mountain:
|Park: Magic Kingdom. Location: Frontierland Height Requirement: 40″ (102 cm) or taller Fastpass: No|
|Quick Notes: Part calm boat ride, part water flume thrill ride.|
|Disney Warnings: You may get wet. Splash Mountain is a turbulent flume adventure with high speeds, heights, and sudden drops and stops. WARNING! For safety, you should be in good health and free from high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride.|
|Cautions: Includes multiple flume drops (sometimes in darkness) with a five-story plunge, sharp turns, high speeds, sudden stops and sudden drops. The ride car is a boat in the form of a log which is free floating in a narrow, shallow ‘river’. It frequently hits the side as it travels. Mild jolts and bumps are possible. Ride cars can hit one another as they approach the disembarking area. Some parts of the ride may be scary for sensitive people. Also includes some very dark areas, musty smell, the boat moving from dark indoors to outdoors (into bright light on sunny days), Audio-Animatronics cartoon bear, fox, bees, alligators and buzzards. Some areas overlook down from height. The stop at the top of the final drop gives a view of the bottom of the drop which includes a large “thornbush’. Low seat with little legroom. Ride cars are tight and people of size or who have difficulty with movement may find it challenging to get in and out of the attraction boat. You’ll most likely get soaking wet. Be sure to protect medical equipment you don’t want to get wet. To board the boat you must step over the side of the log, which is approximately two feet high.|
|Length: The ride lasts approximately 18 minutes.|
|Special Needs Info: You must transfer from your wheelchair or ECV to the ride car. Service animals are not allowed on this ride. Automated External Defibrillators. Children under age 7 years must be accompanied by a person age 14 years or older.|
Overview of Splash Mountain
This popular ride starts out as a slow and pleasant boat journey through Audio-Animatronics–filled scenes from Disney’s Song of the South, and then turns into a water flume thrill ride. It follows Brer Rabbit as he outfoxes Brer Fox and Brer Bear. You’ll be humming the famous tune Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah all day… that is until you ride “it’s a small world”!
Queue and ride car information for Splash Mountain
Part of the queue is outside and well shaded with mature trees, but there is some sun exposure possible. People in wheelchairs and ECVs will start out in the regular queue. It leads to an indoor section that’s first a wooden building, and then gives way to an area that’s made like a cave. It’s cool inside, with natural light and a lot of pictures. Most people shouldn’t get a closed-in feeling. The floor is uneven.
On reaching the stairs, those in wheelchairs/ECVs and those who need to avoid the stairs will be redirected to a waiting area near the ride exit. From there they’ll wait to be directed to board the ride from the unload platform. The wait can be fairly lengthy if the area is already filled with other guests with disabilities waiting to board. When called for boarding, guests can bring their wheelchair or ECV to the boarding area and park as close as needed to the ride log. The ECV or wheelchair will be moved to the side after you’ve boarded, and you’ll return to the same place when the ride is over. The transfer can be difficult because of the high log sides and tight space, especially if the person needs to be lifted in and/or out. Guests with GACs should show it to the Cast Member at the entrance for instructions.
The ride car is made to look like a hollowed-out log. It seats eight, with four rows of two seats. The seats are hard bench seats with a back and lap bars, and they’re on the small side. You must transfer from your wheelchair or ECV to the ride car. There are handles in front of you to grab onto. You must step over the side of the log, which is approximately two feet high. It can help to use the seat as a step. You then sit down in a low seat that has very little legroom. It may be a challenge for some people to get in and out of this ride car.
Additional details about Splash Mountain
The first part of the ride is cheerful as you pass through a swamp by the various happy scenes. The music is pleasant and upbeat. Then this changes. The scenes, sound effects and character comments become somewhat more ominous. The ride becomes dimly lit and very dark at times. That combined with some of the drops may seem scary to young kids or the very sensitive.
You’ll get wet on this attraction! In fact, some riders get drenched, and the wettest seats seem to be random. Seats that were not occupied on the last trip may be wet when you sit down. Use caution on cooler days, especially if you’re wearing heavy, slow-drying clothes. A quick ride in the warm afternoon may seem fine, but it could lead to misery if the temperature drops after dark and your clothes are still wet. If you want to minimize getting wet, consider wearing a rain poncho on this ride. You can buy them in most of the stores throughout the park. But keep in mind that even with a poncho you still may get wet.
Sometimes people think that sitting in the back will keep them dry since they imagine that the front row riders will block the splashing water. Nope. You can get just as soaked throughout the entire length of the ride car. Throughout the ride, there are water jets along the walls. These spray in a seemingly random pattern, so depending on where your log is when one sprays, the jet could end up hitting your seat directly, no matter where you’re seated. Also, at the bottom of the big drop, there are large and powerful water jets that spray one log out of a certain number of logs. The number of logs between sprays is adjusted according to ride capacity and weather, so it could vary several times during the day. These jets are designed to soak the entire log, and there’s absolutely no way to predict whether your log will be hit or not.
The ride has four main drops. There are three smaller flume drops, and then the real thrill-ride portion comes with a high-speed but smooth five-story drop down a water flume. The first drop happens outdoors. You can see it coming and see the bottom. The drop is comparatively small. The second and third drops are back-to-back. You rise up and go over one drop, and then shortly after that you rise up and drop down the next one. It’s quite dark, which might make it difficult to see the drops coming so that you can brace yourself. However, you can hear the sound of rushing water as you enter the dark tunnel, which is a good clue that it’s coming.
The fourth drop is heralded by scary music, noises and vultures. The other tip-off that it’s coming is the fact that you’re going up a 50-foot lift with the sunlight pouring in from the top if you’re riding during the day. This drop is quite steep and 52-1/2 feet high. Since you can see it coming and see the bottom, you can brace yourself for it. Those with fear of heights or darkness may be challenged by some of these drops.
The very beginning of the ride feels bumpy, like driving over cobblestone. This is fairly brief. As you’re riding, the log car frequently hits the sidewall, especially as it’s making turns. This creates a mild jolt. At the end of the ride, boats often hit each other, creating unexpected jolts. Be prepared!
You can feel jolted at the bottom of the drops as the ride car lands. Since there’s a lot of splashing as the ride car goes down the flume and lands, the ride gives the appearance of a rough landing. However it may not be as rough as it looks. At times you’ll ride at angles similar to those on roller coasters. The upward angle to the big drop is very steep. There are sharp turns, high speeds, sudden stops and sudden drops as well. Your head and neck are not supported in any way.
Disney includes back and neck problems in their warning for this ride. We’ve heard from several people with back and neck issues who don’t feel any discomfort, or feel what they would consider tolerable discomfort with this ride. Still, we recommend that those who are at all sensitive avoid this ride. If you’re unsure about whether to ride or not, talk to a cast member or have someone who knows your condition try the ride first.
On a sunny day you’ll go in and out of dark caves into bright light since part of the ride is outdoors. There’s a flash when your photograph is taken as you’re starting to go over the large flume drop.
There’s a bee hive in one scene (of course it’s not real). This ride can smell musty. The ride can get very crowded; this may be a ride to go to on first thing in the morning, during fireworks and parades or in the late evening. The crowds may be lighter at these times. The ride closes if lightning is in the area (within five miles). During a rain shower, however, crowds thin and the ride can be pleasant. You’ll be getting wet anyway!
Tip: Bring a plastic, sealable baggie to protect your camera and anything else you don’t want wet, including medical equipment such as hearing aids and insulin pumps.
Tip: If you’re waiting for someone to come off the ride, a good spot to wait is near the restroom area where there’s an overhang. You can even go just beyond the restrooms into the small gift shop, which is air-conditioned and wheelchair accessible. You’ll be sure to find the person you’re waiting for, as guests must pass by this area after disembarking the ride.
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