Splash Mountain! I have officially…
Got the T-shirt:
(Editor’s note: I didn’t actually get the T-shirt ;) )
I never really enjoyed flume rides as a kid. For whatever reason, this has stemmed into a full-on fear of sorts. So, I just developed my own Disney tradition of strolling right past Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom’s flume ride noted for its fifty-foot drop) on my way to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. However, I’m really drawn to the Story in every Disney attraction, and I heard Splash Mountain’s was so well done, that I decided it was time to face my Flume Fear.
Oh, did I say fifty-foot drop? It’s actually 52.5. And it’s that “.5” that’ll get’cha every time…
Splash Mountain is extremely popular. Typically, it’s recommended to pick up a Fastpass to enjoy this attraction. However, while walking through Frontierland to check out the refurbishment progress on my much-beloved Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I saw something you almost never see:
It’s difficult to see with the sun glare (I know, I know– “poor Floridian” ;) ), but it says “Standby Entrance: 10 Minutes.” I knew my date with destiny had arrived.
I can’t say it really calmed my nerves to see more than a few of these throughout the queue:
- Note: It’s good to know that for the more-intense attractions, you can ask a cast member for the last-minute exit should you change your mind and prefer not to ride. They’ll gladly show you.
Finally, it was my turn to board. The cast member kindly placed me in Row 1—exactly the row I didn’t want, but what are you gonna do? Go big or go home, I guess!
The story of Br’er Rabbit is, as expected, wonderfully told throughout this attraction, which really gives you a lot of bang for your buck—it’s 11 minutes long! As always, Disney explains the story best…
From the Walt Disney World website:
“Say goodbye to Br’er Rabbit; he’s leaving his home in search of a little more adventure, a bit of fortune and his laughing place—where he can live the life that suits him best. Watch as he outwits Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox, escapes their clutches and slips out of sticky situations. Plummet into dark caves and tumble over gentle waterfalls… until Br’er Rabbit’s taunting catches up to him—and he’s finally caught!
From the confines of Br’er Fox’s cave at the top of Chickapin Hill on Splash Mountain, Br’er Rabbit tricks Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox one more time. Don’t throw me down, down, down into the briar-brimmed pond, he pleads. Anyplace but there!
Of course, this is exactly what they do. Follow him as he plummets over the mountain peak on a 5-story (52.5 feet) fall that ends in a massive splashdown into the refreshing pond: Br’er Rabbit’s home, his laughing place.”
Through slow twists and turns along the river, I was able to relax a bit and enjoy the beautiful characters and lively music throughout this attraction. You even take a few fun smaller dips before the big drop. Of course, I didn’t know about those, assumed they were all the big drop and ended up as the only person screaming in my boat as we went down about 10 feet… Way to keep my cool ;).
Finally, the BIG PLUNGE came… and it wasn’t that bad! It was even kind of fun :). I still can’t say it’s my favorite attraction—a flume never will be. But I’m glad I did it! I got to experience characters that I would never otherwise see, and I am that much closer to completing #65 on my Disney Bucket List: “Experience every attraction in Walt Disney World.” And you sure can’t complete Magic Kingdom’s Triple-Mountain-Whammy without it (Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad).
Have you joined Br’er Rabbit on his adventure? If not, maybe YOU should take the plunge next time you’re in the Magic Kingdom! Just remember…