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 Review of Splash Mountain @ Magic Kingdom
0 Rating Posted by: Canobie Coaster on 7/27/2005 9:17:00 AM
Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay, my oh my what a wonderful day. One can not help but have that infectious tune ringing through their head after riding Splash Mountain, Disney’s classic log flume style attraction that simply put, is the king of the genre and puts pretty much all other examples of this type of attraction to shame.

Based on the little known movie The Song of the South, Splash Mountain stands proud in Frontierland, and while dwarfed by the far taller Big Thunder Mountain next door, Splash Mountain beats it in terms of looks. The attention to detail on the on the mountain is just amazing and its very hard to believe that this thing is manmade. Yeah, it’s just that good looking, with the beautiful rock formations, the iconic briar patch, and the view of the attraction’s dramatic final plunge.

Since its addition to the park back in 92’, Splash Mountain has been arguably the park’s most popular attraction, winning over thrill-seekers with its steep plunges and wide array of drops, and winning over those no so brave with the charming characters and story told during the ride. Because of this, Splash Mountain commonly garners lines well over an hour in length, and it’s not uncommon for them to be around 90-120 minutes. While the wait certainly is worth it for such an incredible ride experience, I highly recommend utilizing Fastpasses to cut your wait to almost nothing, or ride it within the first hour or two of the park’s opening when lines should be just 20-30 minutes long.

Once in the loading station, Disney demonstrates their orderly, no-nonsense loading procedure as usual, catering to what guests want while maintaining efficient dispatches. Of the seats, I personally prefer the back and its fuller, more thrilling drop the most by a slim margin over the unobstructed views of the front row. But wherever you sit, you are treated to a truly amazing attraction combining thrills, chills, and a dark ride all into one.

Splash Mountain can be divided into 3 parts- the outdoor segment, indoor/show portion, and the epic final plunge and finale. First is the outdoor part, which is probably the worst of the three segments, but still way better than almost anything you’d find on another flume is. In fact this segment alone is better than a majority of log flumes out there! Some great views of the rest of the Magic Kingdom and of the climatic final plunge can be had during this portion, but definitely the highlight of the first third is the sudden and surprisingly steep plunge hidden deep within the mountain. While one of the ride’s “small” drops, it is actually pretty darn big and probably the size of the big drop on many other flumes. And boy is it a tummy-tickler.

Second comes the beloved story segment which tells the story of Brer Rabbit and how he runs away from home, only to be kidnapped by the dastardly Brer Fox and Brer Bear. All of the scenes are flawlessly executed with undeniably charming animatronics and perfect audio synchronized to perfection. Heck, even if this were a standalone dark ride, it would be one of the park’s best attractions. Yes, the attention to detail is just that great. But also hidden within this portion are two steep drops hidden experienced in total darkness that are very good, with one of them having a sudden uphill portion immediately afterwards that gives a tiny moment of floater air. Eventually, riders begin the climatic climb up the lift to come face to face with the big drop.

And boy is that drop big. And not only is it big, but it’s highly enjoyable and thrilling, providing a pretty good tummy-tickling sensation in the back, followed by an incredible headchopper created by the briar patch’s ominous thorns. For a flume, it is colossal and the only flume I’ve been on with a larger, steeper, and better final plunge is none other than Ripsaw Falls. Oh yeah, and the splashdown, well it definitely gets everyone quite wet, not drenched, but wet enough to beat the heat of the Florida sun. Afterwards comes the happy finale where Brer Rabbit successfully returns home, much the content of everyone else and the riders.

Splash Mountain really is an all-around incredible experience that takes the cake as the best attraction in all of Disney. Just the enjoyment quotient of this attraction is unmatched by almost every other attraction I’ve ever been on thanks to the combination of thrills, chills, and the flawlessly executed story portion. Every time I visit Disney, I always make an effort to ride this multiple times and it never gets old. Oh yeah and to the people who say that Ripsaw Falls is better than Splash Mountain I will say this- Ripsaw defeats Splash Mountain for sure in the thrills category by a slim margin, but Splash Mountain absolutely owns it in the theming department and is just a better all-around ride. I highly recommend Splash Mountain for anyone, since a visit to Disney is simply just incomplete without experiencing arguably the pinnacle of Disney’s attractions.
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