Complete Guide to Disney’s Splash Mountain

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

Princess and the Frog Concept Art

Credit: Disney

“How Do You Do?” When diehard Disney fans hear those words, they usually follow them up with “Mighty pleasant greeting” followed by a good Splash Mountain story.

One of every Disney fan’s favorite water rides, Splash Mountain has been a classic Disney attraction inside Disneyland (1989), Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World (1992), and Tokyo Disneyland (1992) for years!

Splash Mountain
Credit: Disney

Although the storyline and features inside Splash Mountain may be a bit different throughout each Disney Park, this thrill ride attraction follows the same layout by allowing Disney Guests to follow along on a log flume ride adventure through the peaceful outdoors of the South and invites Guests to relive a story about a mischievous rabbit followed by a 52.5-foot drop down the briar patch.

Looking for a guide to Splash Mountain? Well, you’ve come to the right place, partner! For those who have never experienced this popular Disney attraction, let us “dive in” as we explain more about this Frontierland and soon-to-be revamped ride.

Splash Mountain
Credit: Disney

Story of Disney’s Splash Mountain

It comes as no surprise that Disney theme parks immerse Guests back in their childhood memories by creating an attraction inspired by some of the most well-known animated and live-action films. One of them being the Splash Mountain ride. The attraction is now moving into the future and changing its theme. Let’s take a look back on what Splash Mountain was, and what it will be in the future.

What Disney film inspired Splash Mountain?

Walt Disney was inspired to develop an attraction based on the film Song of the South. According to Wikipedia,

Song of the South is a 1946 American live-action/animated musical drama film produced by Walt Disney and released by RKO Radio Pictures. It is based on the collection of Uncle Remus stories as adapted by Joel Chandler Harris, and stars James Baskett as Uncle Remus. The film takes place in the southern United States during the Reconstruction era, a period of American history after the end of the American Civil War and the abolition of slavery.

The story follows seven-year-old Johnny (Bobby Driscoll) who is visiting his grandmother’s plantation for an extended stay. Johnny befriends Uncle Remus, one of the workers on the plantation, and takes joy in hearing his tales about the adventures of Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear. Johnny learns from the stories how to cope with the challenges he is experiencing while living on the plantation.

Animator defends song of the south
Credit: Disney

Which characters make appearances in Splash Mountain?

Guests who visit a Disney theme park, are well aware of the briar patch talking animals who live inside Splash Mountain. You can find most of these animatronics at the very end singing and harmonizing on a massive riverboat.

Some of these southern animals include,

  • Br’er Rabbit
  • Br’er Fox
  • Br’er Bear
  • Mr. Bluebird
  • Br’er Frog
  • Boothill Boys
  • Singing Geese
  • Swamp Boys
Brer Rabbit, "Song of the South"
Credit: Disney

What is the narrative arc of Splash Mountain?

Each Splash Mountain attraction in all three Disney Parks has a similar Song of the South backstory. Disney Parks Wiki shared,

The ride presents scenes taken from the animated segments of Song of the South. It tells the story of the adventures of Brer Rabbit, a mischievous rabbit who leaves his home at the Briar Patch to look for his laughing place. Unfortunately for him, Brer Fox and Brer Bear, the antagonists of this story, are determined to catch him. The story starts off with an intro from Brer Frog, who warns of the troubles ahead. Brer Rabbit outsmarts the two a few times, but in the end, they manage to catch him and take him to Brer Fox’s cave at Chickapin Hill.

The transition into the Laughing Place takes place in the dark and the log out of the water and onto steel beams like a roller coaster.

Brer Rabbit outfoxes them one final time, by tricking them into throwing him into his home, the Briar Patch. At that point, riders are sent down the big drop into the Briar Patch. At the end of the ride, a showboat and a lot of critters sing Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah to celebrate Brer Rabbit’s safe return.

splash mountain animatronics
Credit: Disney

Future changes planned for Splash Mountain

Why are there changes planned for Splash Mountain?

Disney Imagineering is a tough job especially when it comes to retheming. As we have previously announced and in June 2020, Disney fanatics came together and petitioned that Splash Mountain be reimagined into a princess Tiana “Princess and the Frog” themed attraction.

While Splash Mountain is considered a beloved classic, its theme, storyline, and history are terribly controversial and racist. Disney agreed. The Disney Company including Disney Imagineer Charita Carter wanted the reimagined Splash Mountain in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World to have an “inclusive” theme as they stated,

The approach to retheming or “plussing” attractions (as Walt Disney referred to it) begins with Imagineers asking the question, how can we build upon or elevate the experience and tell a fresh, relevant story? It’s a continuous process that Imagineers are deeply passionate about. And with this longstanding history of updating attractions and adding new magic, the retheming of Splash Mountain is of particular importance today. 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.

Charita Carter on Splash Mountain Retheme
Credit: Disney

What changes are planned for Splash Mountain?

Princess Tiana’s presence will take over the southern style of Splash Mountain and invite her friends from the Bayou for an epic Mardi Gras adventure. Disney gave us just a glimpse into what they are planning by stating,

We pick up this story after the final kiss, and join Princess Tiana and Louis on a musical adventure – featuring some of the powerful music from the film – as they prepare for their first-ever Mardi Gras performance.

As of now, there is no mention of which Princess and the Frog songs will replace the original Splash Mountain songs or if we will see other characters such as Lottie, Mama Odie, or even our beloved firefly Ray and the love of his life, Evangeline.

Splash Mountain Concept Art
Credit: Disney

How have Disney fans responded to the planned changes to Splash Mountain?

Although seeing something change in a Disney Park can be hard for some Disney fans, many have responded with a positive outlook. After the petition, the Disney community lit up social media thanking Disney for stepping up. The Disney Company has shown year after year that they respect and care about the Disney community and their views of reimagining and reinventing to make Disney better. Disney has been an advocate for the LGBTQIA community, Black Lives Matter, and equality for all.

Furthermore, having a Disney attraction dedicated to the first black princess in Disney history, makes Disney fans proud and feel included in the Disney community. That’s a huge step up according to Disney fans. Even Anika Noni Rose, the voice of Princess Tiana was elated and shared how excited she was to see her strong and kind-hearted Tiana finally getting the respect she deserved!

Anika Noni Rose on Splash Mountain Retheme
Credit: Disney

What to see at Splash Mountain

What are the most popular parts of Splash Mountain?

Disney Guests will always return to this Disney attraction for the thrills but more importantly to cool off after a hot theme park day. True to its name, Splash Mountain prepares you with various drops and minor splashes before the extreme plunge at the end of the ride down the prickly briar patch.

Sitting in a tree log and escaping death seems scary but at the end of the ride, briar patch animals congratulate your survival after the giant drop with a “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” song and dance.

splash mountain drop
Credit: Disney

What should you see in the vicinity of Splash Mountain?

At Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, Splash Mountain is located inside Frontierland next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and right in front of the scenic Rivers of America. Keep your eyes peeled when you hit the top of the mountain, you’ll be amazed at the spectacular view of Cinderella Castle!

In Disneyland, this new Princess and the Frog theme will fit perfectly. Inside Critter Country, next to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Splash Mountain is home next to New Orleans Square. Disney fans will be able to experience the full Southern joy of Tiana’s new ride then head over for a beignet and mint julep drink at the Mint Julep Bar.

Disneyland beignets
Credit: Disney

Tips for going on water rides like Splash Mountain

What precautions should you take when riding Splash Mountain?

How can I say this, you will get wet! With 950,000 gallons of water, 3 surprising little drops, and a massive 5-story drop, you are bound to get drenched! Guests who sit in the front of the log are known to soaked, but regardless be prepared to leave feeling refreshed!

Keep your phones in your pockets (many Guests wrap them with a ziplock bag or waterproof cellphone pouch), and hats and glasses should be stored away.

Splash Mountain
Credit: Jenny Patterson at ITM

How should you keep children safe on rides like Splash Mountain?

Please keep in mind that your little prince or princess must be 40″ inches to ride. In Magic Kingdom and according to the Disney website,

Located near the Splash Mountain exit, the Laughin’ Place is a cheery play area designed for children under 40 inches tall who are too small to ride the attraction. Children must be supervised during their visit to the Laughin’ Place.

For the fearless children who cannot wait to experience this Disney ride at Magic Kingdom, keep them close and seated next to you in the log and remind them that they must hold on tight and stay seated. Preparing them ahead of time helps ensure their safety. Disneyland is much different as Guests are seated in a row and alone, much like the Space Mountain attraction in Magic Kingdom, so if you’re in Disneyland, one big suggestion would be to sit behind your child.

splash mountain
Credit: Van Eaton Galleries

What should you wear on rides like Splash Mountain?

Most Guests will be seen running towards this Disney attraction with no fear of soaking their clothes. Other Disney fans will not risk it and bring ponchos to protect themselves from the 5 story splashdown and rent lockers near the front entrance to protect their personal belongings.

I can tell you personally, Jeans are not the best item to fashion while attacking this attraction. My best advice is to wear something light and that will quickly dry in the Orlando or California heat. After experiencing the biggest tidal wave ever on Splash Mountain, my husband, best friend and I made some new friends and decided to take a picture to prove just how wet you can get!

Splash Mountain
Credit: Jenny Patterson at ITM

Are you excited to see Splash Mountain get rethemed to Princess and the Frog? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below! 

in Disneyland Resort, Walt Disney World

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