Opened: October 2, 1992
Location: In the back of Frontierland to the left of the entrance to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
Extra Magic Hours: Evening
FASTPASS: Yes. When high temperatures are 85+ degrees, you’ll want to rely on FASTPASS between 10:30am and 9pm when lines are long. Along with Space Mountain and Peter Pan’s Flight, FASTPASS return times will be two or more hours out by noon when it’s hot out.
Type: Log flume
Similar To: Unique, though the drop is similar to other log flume rides
Requirements: Must be 40” or taller
Scary Factor: Medium. The “big drop” is clearly visible to all Disney World visitors and may make some guests apprehensive about riding. It’s really not that bad though and if you could handle any of Disney’s other roller coasters or a similar attraction at another theme park then you should be fine. The drop is a little over 50 feet at a 45 degree angle and is a lot more fun than it is uncomfortable or unpleasant. Even people who adamantly “hate” roller coasters enjoy Splash Mountain. I would try to work up the nerve to ride Splash Mountain, even if it looks like the drop is too intense. You’ll be fine.
What to Expect: There is a lot more to Splash Mountain than “just a drop.” The ride is actually about 12 minutes long and follows the story of Br’er Rabbit as he attempts to leave the briar patch in search of his “laughing place.” First, you’ll have to make it through the queue, which is mostly covered but not particularly interesting. Once you make it to the front of the line, you will board the log flume which has four rows of two people, for a total of up to eight riders per log. Once aboard, your flume will take you slowly through a series of scenes featuring more than 100 animatronic characters.
The following contains spoilers:
There are three small drops before the “grand drop” which happens just before the end of the ride. If you’re anxious about the drop then it will probably be difficult to pay attention to the story. Do your best to take it all in because the story is really one of the best examples of Disney genius.
How to Stay Dry and Not Lose Anything: You won’t get anywhere near as wet as you would on Kali River Rapids at the Animal Kingdom, but riders sitting in the front row may still get a healthy dose of water. I would recommend placing purses, cameras, phone, and other electronics in a plastic bag of some kind. A shopping bag would do the trick and you can request one from any shop if you need one. I would also recommend removing any hats or loose glasses because they have a tendency to fly away.
Where to Sit: The animatronic scenes occur throughout the attraction on both sides, so riders in any row have a good view of what’s going on around them. Riders in the front row have the best view, but also risk getting the most wet after the drop. Request the back row for the best chance of staying dry or the front row for the best view.
When To Go: Visit before 10:30am or in the final hour of operation when temperatures are 85+ degrees. When the high is closer to 75, wait times are much lower because Splash Mountain isn’t as popular in cooler temperatures. In November – February, you can visit before 12pm or after 5pm and find much shorter waits. For the shortest waits after 10:30am, use FASTPASS.
Expect to Wait: Waits of 10 minutes or less are common before 10am, regardless of season. After 10am, waits will build to 40+ minutes depending on season and temperature. When temperatures are 85+, expect peak waits in the 60 to 100 minute range. When the high is 75 or lower, peak waits are usually closer to 30 minutes unless overall crowd level is an 8+, in which case waits will still be 60+ minutes even with the low temps.
Length: 12 minutes
Commentary: Splash Mountain is one of Disney’s most prolific attractions and a must-do for all visitors tall enough to ride. The drop may be off-putting to some, but it’s not nearly as “bad” as it looks. While you may see some people swearing off the Tea Cups or Space Mountain after riding, it’s rare to hear about anyone who doesn’t want to ride Splash Mountain again immediately after disembarking. I would recommend it, even if you don’t like roller coasters or thrill rides because there’s so much more to it than the drop. Do your best to get here before 10am or use FASTPASS.