Guests Sneak into Splash Mountain Construction Site, Share Stunning Footage

in Walt Disney World

A "Do Not Enter" sign superimposed on an image of Splash Mountain under construction.

Credit: Inside the Magic

As Walt Disney Imagineers complete the finishing touches on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure at Magic Kingdom Park and Disneyland Park, a resurfaced video inspires nostalgia for the now-shuttered Splash Mountain.

Walt Disney World Resort and Disneyland Resort’s versions of Splash Mountain shut down in 2023 to make way for Princess Tiana. Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will open first in Frontierland at Magic Kingdom Park this summer, followed by its sister attraction in Critter Country at Disneyland Park. Tokyo Disney Resort now operates the last remaining log flume ride that Imagineers aren’t retheming to The Princess and the Frog (2009).

Splash Mountain sign at Magic Kingdom
Credit: tewphotography / Flickr

The attraction is set after the events of the Disney Princess film. Princess Tiana and Prince Naveen expanded her dream restaurant into an employee-owned food co-op, and they need guests’ help gathering ingredients for a special celebration in New Orleans! Anika Noni Rose (Tiana), Bruno Campos (Naveen), Jenifer Lewis (Mama Odie), and Michael Leon Wooley (Louis the Alligator) will reprise their roles for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. Keith David (Dr. Facilier) is not expected to return.

The Splash Mountain retheme is one of Walt Disney Imagineering’s most controversial projects in recent years. Despite its ties to the racist, banned film Song of the South (1946), many older fans held nostalgia for the decades-old log flume ride. While most agree it was time for a culturally sensitive update, it was hard for some guests to say goodbye!

Mama Odie surrounded by glowing bottle lamps on Tiana's Bayou Adventure
Credit: Disney

If you long for one last trip into the Briar Patch, you’re in luck. TikTok user @disneycorecore resurfaced this video of “brave” urban explorers sneaking into Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World Resort before it opened in 1992. The two men filmed themselves traversing the unfinished attraction, risking life and limb for a sneak peek at the construction site.

@disneycorecore

They definitely were brave for this one…

♬ original sound – Disney Parks Core

The video shows the men walking down the dry tracks, pointing out animatronics and other ride mechanisms in the dark. “Oh, great,” one of the guests sarcastically replies when he realizes they’re approaching one of Splash Mountain’s indoor drops. The clip cuts off as they climb onto the “set” of the attraction and down the emergency evacuation stairs to the lower level.

Splash Mountain was almost complete when the urban explorers broke in, but it wasn’t yet the attraction fans knew and loved. Many animatronics weren’t yet installed. Tarps and scaffolding covered much of the ride’s sets to protect them during painting sessions.

A hand painting a mural near Tiana's Bayou Adventure.
Credit: Disney

Fans were delighted at an inside look inside the now-defunct Splash Mountain.

“True legends,” said @tylerwilliamglav.

Inside the Magic doesn’t endorse urban exploring or trespassing at Walt Disney World Resort or Disneyland Resort. Always follow Disney cast members’ instructions and never enter a prohibited area.

How different will Tiana’s Bayou Adventure be from its predecessor, Splash Mountain? Share your theories with Inside the Magic in the comments. 

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