What You Didn’t Know About Splash Mountain

Magical Blogorail Red

Welcome to the first stop aboard Magical Blogorail Red. Enjoy the ride as we share. This week we are sharing little known facts about some of our favorite Disney attractions.

What You Didn't Know About Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain opened at Walt Disney World in October of 1992 and has been one of favorite attractions since the very first time I experienced it. I love the unique story the attraction tells, the adorable characters, the attention to detail, and the thrill of the plunge into the briar patch. Let’s take a look at some of the trivia about this thrilling Disney attraction.

  • In 1983, imagineer Tony Baxter came up with the idea for Splash Mountain while stuck in traffic on Interstate 5.
  • Zip-A-Dee-Do-Dah River Run was the planned name for this Song Of The South inspired attraction.
  • CEO Michael  Eisner wanted to name the attraction Splash in an effort to help promote the current film Splash. Though his suggestion was largely ignored, the word “splash” did end up remaining in the attraction’s final name.
  • The original version of Splash Mountain opened at Disneyland on July 17th, 1989 marking the park’s 35th anniversary.
  • A second and third version of this popular attraction opened at Tokyo Disneyland and Walt Disney World within a day of each other.
  • Both the Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland attractions are located in Critter Country. Walt Disney World’s version of Splash Mountain is located in Frontierland.
  • The thrilling drop into the briar patch is 52.5 feet at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World. The drop at Tokyo Disneyland is 60 feet.
  • While plunging down Chickapin Hill into the briar patch, logs can reach speeds of up to 40 mph, making Splash Mountain the fastest attraction at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
  • Measuring 50 feet wide and 30 feet high, the Zip-A-Dee Lady showboat at Disneyland is the largest animated prop created for an attraction. Walt Disney World’s version of this showboat measures 36 feet wide and 22 feet high.

Splash Mountain Trivia: How To Catch A Rabbit By  Brer Wolf

As with any Disney attraction, the imagineers put an enormous amount of detail into the creation of Splash Mountain. These details really help to bring the attraction to life.

  • As you are waiting in the queue for Splash Mountain, be sure to listen as you pass by the little houses hanging in the trees. You might just hear some critters talking to each other. I think I’ve even heard Chip & Dale coming from one of the houses at Walt Disney World.
  • Nick Stewart who provided the voice for Br’er Bear in Song of The South also provided the character’s voice for Splash Mountain.
  • Speaking of voices, Jess Harnell who is best known for voicing Wacko from Anamaniacs also provided the voice for Br’er Rabbit.
  • While standing on the bridge in front of Splash Mountain, you may notice a larger splash with every few logs. The splash is not actually caused by the logs plunging into the brair patch. With every third log, water cannons located next to the flume shot blasts of water into the air.
  • As you log passes Br’er Bear hanging from a tree, take notice of the ground near by. You’ll find a book entitled How To Catch A Rabbit. This book which Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox look to for instruction was written by Br’er Wolf.

Splash Mountain Trivia: America Sings Geese

Splash Mountain, like many other Disney attractions, also features a few tributes to past Disney attractions and other Disney characters.

  • In 1988, the Disneyland attraction America Sings was closed due to poor attendance. At the same time, the construction of Splash Mountain was well over budget. In an effort to reduce costs, some of the animatronics, such as the geese pictured above, from America Sings we re-used in Splash Mountain.
  • Before Disneyland’s Splash Mountain was built, the location was home to the cave of a bear named Rufus at the entrance to what was then called Bear Country. Outside of his home was a sign stating “Sleeping Bear – Quiet!” In tribute to Rufus, guests can hear a bear snoring as they pass by Br’er Bear’s home.
  • Near the Zip-A-Dee Lady, you’ll notice some clouds in the sky. One rather large cloud is in the shape of Mickey Mouse. This hidden Mickey used to be painted on the wall, but is now projected onto the wall. You can also see this hidden Mickey aboard the Walt Disney World Railroad as you pass through Splash Mountain.
  • At the Walt Disney World version of Splash Mountain, listen carefully as you near the big drop. You will hear a gopher exclaim “Go FSU!” as he pops out of the ceiling. This exclamation was added by an imagineer as a tribute to his alma mater, Florida State University.

Do you know any other interesting trivia about Splash Mountain? If so, we would love to hear it in the comments below!

Thank you for joining me today. Your next stop on the Magical Blogorail Loop is A Disney Mom’s Thoughts.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail should you happen to have to make a stop along the way and want to reboard:

1st Stop ~ Frontierland Station – Splash Mountain
2nd Stop ~ A Disney Mom’s Thoughts – TTA PeopleMover
3rd Stop ~ Magical Mouse Schoolhouse – Haunted Mansion
4th Stop ~ The Disney Point – Space Mountain
Final Stop ~ Adventure in the Great Wide Somewhere – The Disney Magic

Photo credit: rocket2722 / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Photo credit: Express Monorail / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND
Photo credit: ATIS547 / Foter / CC BY-NC-SA

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Kimberly's love of Disney began at an early age and grew even more when her family won a Walt Disney World vacation from a local radio station. She grew up visiting the parks every one to two years and is fascinated by Disney history and trivia. Whether at the parks or at home, Kimberly is constantly looking for hidden Mickeys. She enjoys sharing tips and helping others plan their Disney vacations. In addition to Frontierland Station, her writing can also be found at The Magical Blogorail, Sand 'n Sea Adventures, and Blogsprout.
  • I wish I had this good of ideas when I get stuck in traffic. I love this ride but hate getting wet. Where is the driest part of the log?

    • Haha! Me too! The best idea I come up with while stuck in traffic is usually what to have for dinner. I think how wet you get really just depends on how the weight is distributed in your log. I have noticed the water cannons are more likely to get you on the right side of the log, but I’ve also gotten pretty wet sitting on the left sometimes.

  • Rosanne Mottola

    What a cool article and what fun facts!! My favorite fact is the “Go FSU” gopher. I usually like telling people that one!

    • I was so excited when I finally found him!

  • Great information! I’ve never noticed the “Go FSU” gopher before or the hidden Mickey cloud. I better pay more attention!

    • Sounds like you need to ride Splash Mountain again! 🙂

  • Julie Bigboy

    It was fun to find out how this ride at the different Parks have little variations and nuances. I’ve only ridden Splash Mountain at Disneyland…perhaps I can investigate further by visiting more Parks in the future!

    • I would love to ride the Disneyland version someday! I’ve only been to the one at WDW.

  • Beth C Green

    interesting facts! I didn’t realize this was as old as it is! Time flies when you’re having fun, I guess! I do always look for the FSU gopher!

    • I know! I remember when this was brand new at WDW, but it still doesn’t seem that old to me.

  • Loved learning about all the voices that could be heard in the queue and the gopher is priceless.

    • Those are some of my favorite little details!

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