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Today in Disney History: Splash Mountain Marks 20 Years

Jennifer Fickley-Baker

by , Editorial Content Manager, Walt Disney World Resort

On this day, July 17, in 1992, Magic Kingdom Park unveiled a major attraction that forever changed the landscape of Frontierland – the 86-foot-tall Splash Mountain.
Splash Mountain at Magic Kingdom Park

Inspired by the 1946 Disney film “Song of the South,” the attraction tells the story of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox and Brer Bear.

Several milestones were reached in the history of Disney attractions when Splash Mountain made its debut. For instance, this attraction features more than 70 Audio-Animatronics, which is one of the largest animated casts ever created for a Disney attraction. Splash Mountain also sports one of the biggest animated props ever built with its 35-foot-wide showboat. Also, the 52 ½-foot drop down Chickapin Hill at the end speeds guests at up to 40 miles per hour, one of the fastest speeds achieved at a Disney attraction.

So which do you enjoy more: Getting soaked on the attraction, or watching others get soaked from the viewing bridge?

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  • My Dad was one of the first test riders 20 years ago. I remember that day so clearly! Happy Birthday Splash Mountain!

  • When I first went on it in 92, you didn’t get wet at all. We were there during an off time and went on it about 10 times in a row with no lines, never got wet. Fast forward to 2008 and i’m telling my family how you don’t get wet on it at all and wow, we got soaked. Three years later in 2011, I was prepared to get soaked and didn’t get a drop on me. It seemed like certain water elements that were turned on prior to this, were now off.

    I personally prefer not getting wet on a ride.

  • Happy Birthday Splash Mountain what a fun and imaginative Ride

  • It’s the best attraction in the world. It clocks around 20 minutes of adventure and fun and it’s a wonderfull story. I love how you see the splash very prominent when you go there to stand in line but I forgot it totaly the first time because of the fun the rides delives. When the moment comes you’re like “o dear that HUGE plunge is comming now”. I thought that would be the end but then you get the finaly that is awesome!!!
    I always try to do this one with my mom in the morning and ride it at least 3 times before doing the rest of the park.
    Happy birthday Splash mountain and I hope you’ll be there at least another 20 years!

  • Gotta say that as much as the drop is cool refreshing and fun – this ride to me is about all the detail on the interior. Every time I ride, I spot something different (has everyone seen/heard FSU guy?!) that makes me love the ride even more. Floating through the colorful sets of Splash Mountain is absolutely MY Laughing Place!

    • That’s true! There’s a ton to look at here at Splash Mountain.

  • Thanks for this post! I already knew that Disneyland opened on July 17, but I didn’t know that Splash Mountain did as well. Learn something new every day!

    My favourite parts are actually the references to the original film. I can understand the reluctance to release it, but it’s too bad that it can’t get some kind of exposure.

  • I agree with you Salvador! Happy 57th Anniversary Disneyland!

  • It’s worth to note that that the original Splash Mountain also opened on July 17 at Disneyland in 1989.

    I have to ask, why no mention of Disneyland’s 57th Anniversary on the blog today? That’s a much more important milestone on this date.

  • This post should be “Today in Walt Disney World History”. Today in *Disney* history, Disneyland opened. That’s far more important. 🙂

    • Happy Birthday, Disneyland!

  • This is the perfect hot-day attraction! It’s one of those attractions you wish you could ride forever. I do enjoy watching people get soaked on the bridge, but I feel like those soakings has been toned down unfortunately

  • If only Disney would let us see Song of the South here in America. Granted, it has its cultural flaws, but as the awesome Splash Mountain shows, it also has lots of great things–music, characters, story–to offer.

  • I remember being one of the first guests to ride the original at Disneyland when I was 8. We just happened to be in the park the day they were doing preview runs before it opened. We waited 2 hours in line to ride. Still one of my favorites to this day.

    • That’s a very cool memory to have. Thanks for sharing, Colin!

  • Splash Mountain was the last true E-ticket added to the Magic Kingdom, it truly is Imagineering at it’s best.

  • On a cold day I like to see others on the bridge get soaked, if its hot…I like to get in the front and come off the ride cooler!

    • It’s so much fun to watch people get soaked on this ride, isn’t it?

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