Splash Mountain. A good ol’ time for (almost) the whole family. Let’s head on down to the South and explore this ride! Splash Mountain is one of Walt Disney World’s classic attractions and a favorite of many. It is located in Frontierland and is fairly easy to find with it’s mountain-like appearance, signs directing you to the ride, and the large drop that is very visible to passers by.\
Before we get started, it’s important to note that Splash Mountain isn’t necessarily for everyone. So, if you have back or neck problems, heart conditions, or are an expectant mother you should not ride.
If you want a spoiler free Splash Mountain review of the ride, I encourage you to skip this first section and proceed to the next section entitled “Review of Splash Mountain.”
Riding Splash Mountain: What to Expect
The ride Splash Mountain is based on the 1946 movie Song of the South, which is considered to be a racially insensitive movie at best and simply racist at worst. With that said, the ride its based on has stripped away any racist imagery from the ride so that guests can simply enjoy the thrill ride for what it is. Through the ride, you get to see Br’er Rabbit’s journey away from home to find the “laughing place” and how things don’t quite go as planned.
Starting out, we’ll enter the line and start hearing Southern style banjo music. We’ll enter a covered area and come along to what is probably my favorite part of the line. This part is an area where the walls are covered with various portraits of the characters from the ride.
With these portraits there is a short description so you’ll get to “meet” the characters before actually getting on the ride. As you approach the loading area you’ll notice several “last chance to exit” signs, so if you, or a little one, decides at the last minute not to ride this ride, you’re covered. For the ride vehicle you’ll be sailing along in a log. It is quite spacious and will comfortably seat two adults in each row.
The ride begins somewhat slowly and could even be called relaxing at times. You’ll first be taken outside where you will experience a nice sail through the area. But Disney doesn’t want you to get too comfortable, as they have the ride go right by the big drop at the very beginning. And logs seem to continuous be going down the drop so you’ll surely see one go by. After this we’ll start to see some of the ride’s characters and begin to hear music. I think the music and the characters are cute and fun. This is definitely a part kids will love.
We’ll then enter the indoors area which is quite expensive. We meet Br’er Rabbit here and find out his intention to find the laughing place. Some of the other characters seem to think this is a silly plan, but still Br’er Rabbit sets off. Soon we find out about the ride’s villains, Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear. Br’er Fox intends to catch Br’er Rabbit, to inevitably eat him, and gets the help of the bumbling Br’er Bear to do this.
Br’er Fox unfortunately catches Br’er Rabbit before he can find the laughing place. We enter Br’er Fox’s lair where we see him preparing to cook Br’er Rabbit. Br’er Fox’s lair is a pretty dark area, and there are also animatronic vultures over head. This could be a scary part of the ride for younger kids.
After making our way through Br’er Fox’s lair, one realizes the only way out is down, as in 50 feet down. At the exit of the lair is the big drop that the ride is well known for. At the drop you land in the thorns, where no one wanted to go.
After the drop, we’re back to the light sailing around the ride. We enter another character area and find a welcome home party for Br’er Rabbit. There are so many different animals singing and dancing to Zip A Dee Doo Dah. We don’t actually find out how Br’er Rabbit escapes Br’er Fox’s plan to eat him, but nevertheless I’m glad he makes it out!
In the end Br’er Rabbit is back at his home and we find out that he has learned there’s no place like home. Or maybe that was Dorothy in Kansas. Well, at last Br’er Rabbit is happy to be home and plans to stay there from now on.
Review of Splash Mountain
Splash Mountain is one of my favorite types of Disney rides: the combination of a thrill ride with a character story along the way. The main thrill of this ride is, of course, the large drop. There are a few smaller drops and areas that get pretty dark so there are some smaller thrills in this ride as well.
If you like thrill rides, I think Splash Mountain will be a ride for you. Keep in mind most of the ride is not as intense as a typical roller coaster thrill ride would be, and a lot of the ride is more on scale with an attraction like It’s a Small World.
As I mentioned previously, the ride is based on the movie Song of the South. I have never seen this movie, as I’m sure is the case with a lot of guests. The movie experienced a lot of controversy so Disney has never really re-released it. This seems like an odd choice to base a ride around, still I do think Disney did well with creating Splash Mountain. The characters we see in the ride are fun and the story is understandable.
These characters aren’t the typical Disney World characters we’re used to, but if you spend some time in Frontierland you may actually see them wandering about. I think Disney does bring in that old south atmosphere well from the sets in the ride and the southern accents of all of the characters. The ride also contains several songs from the movie that you’ll be singing along to, and probably singing the rest of the day, like Zip A Dee Doo Dah.
If you’re curious about the movie’s controversy when it comes to race, you can read about it here.This is especially a really great read if you’re someone that simply cannot understand why anyone would have a problem with the film and its depiction of Black Americans.
So let’s talk about the splash. You will get wet on this ride, especially if you ride in the very front of the log. On hot days this isn’t a big deal, you really will dry off quickly. It does take some time to weave yourself out of the ride area and the last time I rode I was mostly dry by the time I made it back outside of the ride.
On colder days this might not be so fun, so you may want to skip this ride if its a 60 degree or lower day. Many people do consider this ride a favorite and one of the best rides at Disney World. You can find more guest reviews here.
Tips and Tricks
I think it’s always a good idea to get a Fastpass for Splash Mountain. It’s one of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, given it’s both a classic ride and a thrill ride. Wait times can reach well over an hour, so unless you’re planning on heading to the park as soon as it opens and heading straight to Frontierland, a Fastpass is your best bet.
Splash Mountain also happens to be right by Big Thunder Mountain, which gets long waits as well, so it’s a fairly popular area of Magic Kingdom. Fastpasses for this ride can be secured fairly easily so you should be able to ride this ride sometime during your trip.
Some people like to wear rain jackets or ponchos on this ride. I don’t think the splash is that bad, but if you want to ride and really don’t want to get wet, this can be an option.
There is a photo opportunity on this ride. It happens right as the ride car is going into the big drop. A lot of people will try to pose or do something funny for the photo before they get drenched. If you’re nervous about the drop, you may forget this is here so it may be harder to get a fun photo.
My last tip also involves going into the big drop. If you remember to think about it, during the big drop, look out rather than down. You’ll get a pretty cool view of Cinderella’s Castle.
Who is this Ride For?
As I already mentioned, if you fall under any of the categories in Disney’s health warning you will want to sit this one out. The big drop can be pretty intense raising adrenaline, and blood pressure too I’m sure. There’s no point in making yourself sick to participate in an attraction.
I would advise that you probably wouldn’t want to bring really young kids on the ride. Disney’s rule is that kids are at least 40 inches (or 102 centimeters) tall to ride Splash Mountain. I also do think the scenes in Br’er Fox’s lair could be a little scary for young kids, and there are some spots that get quite dark that some kids probably won’t like.
There is also a lot going on on this ride with all of the characters and music. If your children are easily over-stimulated this probably wouldn’t be a good choice for them. Because of these reasons, I think this ride is best for older kids, teens, and adults.
An additional reason this ride may not be the best for some, is that there is a 50 foot drop. Yes 50. It’s steep, a little scary, and goes quite fast. You’ll hear screams coming from Splash Mountain as soon as you walk into Frontierland. But don’t get me wrong, it’s also a lot of fun if you’re a fan of this type of thing.
If you’re not a fan of heights, big drops, or getting wet, I would suggest skipping this ride. If these things are not your idea of a fun ride, I think it’s still fun to watch the ride. The big drop is right at the front of the ride where passers by can watch. So it would probably be fun to watch if friends or family are on the ride.
Quick Pros and Cons
Here are the highlights to help you decide if you’d like to ride Splash Mountain or not.
- Fun character story complete with cute characters and fun songs.
- It can be pretty nice to get “splashed” on Splash Mountain when it’s a really hot day.
- The drop is fun if you like thrill rides
- It’s a longer ride, so if you have to wait, it seems worth it.
- Getting “splashed” if you don’t like getting wet or if it’s a colder day.
- The drop, if you’re not a fan of thrill rides.
- The possibility of the ride getting backed up and your car being stopped for a moment.
- Long wait times if you don’t have a Fastpass.
As you can probably tell, my pros and cons are quite similar. I think this ride is really dependent on the type of ride you like. Many people will absolutely love it while others will hate it.
Splash Mountain is a classic Walt Disney World ride that many love. I think as long as you are tall enough and healthy enough, it is worth giving it a try. Have an amazing time at Walt Disney World and happy riding!
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