Splash Mountain is one of the most iconic rides in Magic Kingdom. This flume ride is known for it’s 50 ft watery drop, prompting first-timers to ask how scary it really is.
Splash Mountain is one of our most favorite rides in the park, so we have loads of information to share as you determine whether to include it in your Walt Disney World plans.
IS SPLASH MOUNTAIN SCARY?
The only thing scary about Splash Mountain is its iconic 50′ drop at the end of the ride. The rest of Splash Mountain isn’t scary at all. The theme is lighthearted and the ride vehicle moves along at a relatively slow pace.
Splash Mountain is a happy ride based on the 1946 movie Song of the South. Whimsical characters from the movie guide you along your slippery journey to a briar patch, set it Georgia clay. Most would agree that the overall ride is not scary, but the drop can be intimidating.
It’s one of our all time favorites and a solid “must do” on our list of 110 Things to Do at Disney World.
Most older kids, teens and adults shouldn’t have a problem. The ride isn’t too overwhelming for guests unless they have a fear of heights, as you can clearly see the end of your drop from the top.
The 50 ft drop is prefaced with a dark tunnel accompanied by two vultures and some dramatic music. The entirety of the ride is meant to be happy, and in Disney’s pursuit of family-friendliness, this darker part of the ride is not any more extreme than the villainous parts of Disney movies.
Also, you’re definitely going to get wet. Make sure you protect your stuff, especially if it’s your expensive camera gear or other valuables. It’s a good idea to bring rain gear to Disney World anyway, both for weather and for rides. Check out our complete guide to the rain gear we recommend for Disney to get some ideas on what works best.
That’s the quick answer, but we have much more information broken down for you to get a real idea of what the ride entails.
THE SPLASH MOUNTAIN EXPERIENCE
Splash Mountain is a lot of fun and it’s a family favorite for many. We love the iconic scenes and characters from the Song of the South movie and the overall theming is completely unique from any other ride we’ve encountered.
The recommended age for riding Splash Mountain is about 5 years and older, but any child that meets the ride’s 40″ height requirement will be allowed to ride. Most children that meet the height requirement will enjoy the ride, but parents should use caution with kids who fear heights or drops.
The first time I rode Splash Mountain, I was only 7 years old and scared of heights. While the 5-story drop seemed scary, I held on to my friend’s mom and enjoyed it enough to be fine riding it again. As an adult, I’m completely fine with the drop as it’s significantly less intense than other drops I’ve experienced.
For guests too young, scared or small to ride, there’s a colorful play area located at Splash Mountain’s exit called the Laughing Place where families can wait for other members to finish.
The ride is based on the 1946 movie Song of the South, taking place in a Georgia briar patch. Each of the critters you’ll find on the ride are cute and friendly, and most would agree that watching B’rer Rabbit outwit B’rer Bear and B’rer Fox (who look like caricatures of each animal, and not overtly scary) is a fun experience.
As you float down the river, you’ll encounter many happy-go-lucky animatronic creatures, from birds fishing on a log, to possum sisters hanging upside-down, to friendly frogs and more. Each scene is setting up the drop at the end as B’rer Rabbit outruns his foes in search of his Laughing Place.
Charming songs like “How Do You Do” and “Laughing Place” are played throughout the ride. Guests will be most familiar with the classic “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” which is showcased with a big performance at the end once you’ve conquered the drop.
SPEED & WATER LEVELS
There is no particular speed listed for Splash Mountain, but we’d describe the ride as having a floating, drifting feeling for the majority of the time. Typical with most log-flume rides, you glide through the water at a slower pace; the drop is where you pick up speed.
Most people will feel pretty comfortable with the speed of this ride – it’s the water you have to watch out for. I don’t think there’s been a time that we’ve ridden Splash Mountain and not gotten a little bit wet.
Because of this factor, we recommend you do one of three things: go at the hottest part of the day so you have the best likelihood of drying off in the sun, wear a rain jacket or poncho, or sit in the back row on the left side.
Splash Mountain can get a tad bumpy, causing water to spill into the sides of your ride vehicle and has a few water features that are nearly unavoidable.
For instance, you go through a series of frogs and turtles splashing in the water and “spitting” over your head, launching streams of water across the ride track. And if you’ve managed not to get wet during the drop, there’s a waterfall that inevitably splashes anyone sitting on the ride side of the vehicle.
Splash Mountain goes through several small drops to make first-timers think they’ve reached the big one. Disney calls these “dips” and we describe them more in-depth so you know what to expect.
The first dip is experienced shortly after you’ve embarked, called Slippin’ Falls. It’s located on the outside of the mountain on the backside. You know it’s not the big one but it heightens anticipation for what’s to come.
The next dip is inside the mountain as you enter the Laughing Place. It’s a dark tunnel, but the drop is fairly short – I’d compare it to Pirates of the Caribbean’s drop into the harbor scene where you find the Black Pearl. You take one last small dip into the last scene of the ride before the drop.
As mentioned before, you know you’ve reached the 50 ft drop when the music suddenly shifts from happy to dramatic. B’rer Rabbit has been caught by B’rer Fox and all hope seems to be lost.
Vultures in top hats and tuxedos (which hopefully makes it appear less serious to children) sit atop the tunnel your vehicle is about to ascend. Once you’ve reached the top of the tunnel, you’re once again on the outside of the mountain and descend into the briar patch below.
Your vehicle actually goes underneath a briar patch bridge at the base of the drop, then you float the rest of the way to a musical celebration of animatronic critters and find B’rer Rabbit safe and sound having escaped from B’rer Fox and B’rer Bear.
It’s not quite on par with Tower of Terror’s drops, but there’s plenty of fall time to give you some butterflies.
Splash Mountain ride vehicles hold about 8 guests comfortably. Similar to most of Disney’s ride vehicles, it has a lap pull-down bar to secure you in place and each seat can hold two adults or one adult with two children.
They’re designed to look like logs floating in the river and do absolutely nothing to prevent you from getting wet – so be prepared!
Hopefully you now have a better idea of whether or not Splash Mountain is a good idea for your travel group. The ride may be intimidating at first glance, but aside from the 50 ft drop, it’s a happy experience. The ride itself is actually pretty tame for a large flume ride.
My best advice for anyone on the fence would be to gain some confidence and try it out! It’s a Disney classic, and definitely worth trying if you’ve experienced Splash Mountain in Disneyland or Tokyo Disneyland to see what differences each park offers.
We also wrote a post for Space Mountain that’s very similar to this one, so check that out too. It will tell you everything you need to know to decide whether or not it’s too intense for your group.
Still Planning Your Disney Trip?
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