When Disney World notes that Guests must always keep their arms and legs inside the ride vehicle at all times, they often do not expect a Guest to slither their way out of a set of lap bar restraints, or hop a fence and walk into an attraction’s tracks to fetch a missing hat.
On a lot of Disney attractions, Cast Members will often warn Guests to remove their hats, sunglasses, and Mickey ears, or at least remind them to hold on to them as the ride will go fast. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Space Mountain, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Test Track, Tower of Terror, and Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith are just a few of attractions that do this as an example. Another ride that gives this same warning is Splash Mountain.
As you can imagine, with multiple drops and one massive plummet, any loose article may go flying at any given point! In a Reddit thread, which you can read here, many Disney fans, Guests, and Cast Members were recounting crazy instances that they encountered with other Guests in the Park. One conversation about Splash Mountain evacuations led to a story being told of a Guest who ended up causing an emergency evacuation because they jumped back into the attraction after riding it. The post was made by someone who worked at Splash Mountain and was there to see the evacuation occur.
It seems that the Guest jumped over a fence to enter the attraction and walked right into the tunnel to try and rescue the hat. The story reads:
There are some “no-go” zones in Splash Mountain that are an automatic cue to hit the emergency stop, which will always require an evacuation. (There is also a “ride stop” we can hit temporarily, which will just stop all the belts/drops and can easily be restarted in seconds) One of those is the tunnel right at the bottom of the drop, because the force of the wave generated by logs coming down the drop is enough to knock someone off their feet and potentially into the path of an oncoming log – and those weigh around 2,000 lbs.
One time a guy had lost his hat on the drop, and decided to climb the fence and go back into the drop to get it. He was seen the moment he climbed over the fence, and the whole way to the tunnel at the bottom of the drop, the CM at the tower control board was insisting over the PA that he needed to STOP and EXIT. But he just kept going, right into the tunnel, and yep, they had to hit the e-stop. The whole ride had to be closed and evacuated, all because this guy wanted to get his hat – which was probably already torn to shreds by other logs coming down the drop anyways.
This behavior is incredibly dangerous and prohibited as it could not only injur the Guest in question, but also other Guests on the attraction. Not to mention, this Guest’s behavior led to the entire ride needing to be evacuated which meant that many Guests had their Splash Mountain experience ruined, and Guests in the queue would have had their wait extended. It was not noted what happened afterward, but as we have seen with other instances in the past, this action could have you removed from the Park, or worse, banned from Disney for life.
We have seen Guests jump out of the Living with the Land attraction to attempt to steal a cucumber in the past, as well as slip out of Splash Mountain due to fear of the drop. If you feel you would be unable to ride an attraction for any reason in the correct way, which means keeping your arms and legs inside the vehicle at all times, please do not board the attraction as these safety precautions are set in place for a reason.
Splash Mountain will soon be undergoing a massive change as it will be rethemed to The Princess and the Frog to remove the racial undertones that the Song of the South characters bring into the attraction’s narrative. We do not yet know when this refurbishment will begin, but Disney has announced that they are working on the retheme behind the scenes.
Have you ever seen someone jump out of a ride at Disney, or in this case, back into one?
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