July 1989 – present
Critter Country – When you first arrive in Critter Country from New Orleans Square, you will see the mountain on your left. The entrance is tucked away on the far left, just after the exit from the Haunted Mansion in New Orleans Square.
Imagineers first began designing Splash Mountain in the early 1980’s, as Critter Country (then called “Bear Country”) needed a headline attraction to draw in crowds. Many Imagineers were concerned about installing a log flume ride in the park, due to its common presence in standard theme parks. To remedy these concerns, Imagineers created animatronic characters, modeled after those in the 1946 film Song of the South, thus combining the log flume ride with the classic dark ride experience. Splash Mountain officially opened in 1989, and to celebrate it’s opening, Bear Country became Critter Country. To this day, Splash Mountain is one of the most heavily visited rides in the park, and sits in the heart of western Disneyland.
Single Rider Line – yes
Fast Pass – yes
Height Requirement – 40″ (102 cm)
Duration – 9:20
Guests board onto logs after winding through the inner caves of Splash Mountain. The river bends around the marshes of the mountain’s base, and then the logs ascend the first hill of the journey. Riders take a scenic tour of the mountainside, and see the homes of the main ride characters: Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox, and Br’er Bear. The logs turn a corner and riders experience the first mini drop, before entering the interior portion of the ride.
Inside the mountain, riders pass animatronic characters and watch Br’er Rabbit take off on his adventures, narrowly escaping capture at the hands of Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear. Songs from the film provide a cheerful mood, and guests experience three more mini drops inside of the mountain. Finally, the ride shifts into a more ominous climb to the top of Splash Mountain, where guests are warned not to go to the laughin’ place. But before they have time to escape, riders take the 53-foot plunge into the briar patch! Finally, the ride ends with one more interior room, where they witness a celebration aboard a riverboat and say goodbye to Br’er Rabbit.
MY RATING – ★★★★★
I absolutely LOVE Splash Mountain. For a long time, I avoided riding because I’m fairly scared of heights, but on one trip to the park I was finally peer pressured into riding. I couldn’t believe how fun it was, and I’ve never missed a chance to ride since! The interior is really exciting and full of animatronics; the final drop is just one part of the Splash Mountain ride experience.
Let me be clear: the final drop is HUGE, fast, and steep. But take it from a serious chicken: it’s every bit as fun as it is scary. The other drops are small, and mostly dark, so the final drop is the only one that is at all daunting or intimidating. Trust me when I say the big drop is over before you know it, and you’ll be so glad you gave Splash Mountain a chance.
Splash Mountain is definitely a seasonal ride in Disneyland. During the summer, wait times are consistently an hour or more, but during the winter, you can walk on repeatedly, even during the busy holiday season. If you visit during off-season, and there is little to no line, cast members will invite you to ride again without offloading; I’ve been on the ride three times in a row without getting out of the log!
If you are visiting during the summer, on a weekend, or during a more crowded day, you have a few options. You can grab a fast pass, use the single rider line, or visit later. After dark, the line for Splash Mountain shrinks drastically, so the later you can ride, the better.
And this may seem obvious, but you WILL get wet. Some guests leave Splash Mountain a little soggy, while others leave completely drenched, but I promise you that no one leaves dry. If you’re not okay with dripping for a bit after you ride, do not go on Splash Mountain.
The plot of Splash Mountain comes directly from Song of the South, and follows the life of Br’er Rabbit as he seeks adventure and runs from Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear.
During its construction, Splash Mountain was the most expensive Disneyland project to date, at a cost of $75 million.
The mountain itself is actually called “Chickapin Hill”.
Splash Mountain originally had the name “Zip-a-Dee River Run”, but was changed in anticipation of marketing the film Splash (although this never happened).
This is the fastest ride in Disneyland, with a peak speed of 40 mph.
Splash Mountain is also one of the longest rides in the park, with a ride time of roughly nine and a half minutes.
Though the Disney World version in Florida runs about a minute longer, the Disneyland version has one additional drop!