Riding Disney’s Closing Splash Mountain One Final Time
We traveled from Atlantic City, New Jersey and almost missed it, forever.
Disney World and Disneyland's "Splash Mountain" rides will permanently close on Monday, on January 23, 2023.
In its place will be Tiana's Bayou Adventure, which is currently set to open in late 2024.
The new ride will be based upon the Disney movie, "The Princess and The Frog."
On the last day of our recent Disney World annual family vacation, (January 18, 2023), the iconic “Splash Mountain” ride attraction was closed for most of the day, due to mechanical issues.
Our flight for home was fast approaching. It looked like we would not get to ride ”Splash Mountain” one last time before the wrecking ball demolishes it into the history books.
We had one last tiny window, before having to leave The Magic Kingdom for Orlando International Airport.
We checked all throughout the day to see if the ride had opened. No luck. At about 4:00 p.m., our son Rob said ... "It's open." Everyone, especially our Grandson Noah was so excited. He held out high hopes all day that "Splash Mountain" would re-open.
In an act of true "Disney Magic,” Splash Mountain had opened and we were able to quickly make a "lightning lane" reservation and we got to ride “Splash Mountain” one final time.
Knowing that we were riding "Splash Mountain" for the very last time, made it an extra special experience.
We were also fortunate to be in Disney World a number of years ago and had a final opportunity to ride Maelstrom ... which is now called "Frozen Ever After,” modeled after the Disney movie "Frozen."
”Splash Mountain” is arguably the most popular ride in Walt Disney World history.
It opened on October 1, 1992, with the opening of Disney World in Florida.
Disneyland opened its ”Splash Mountain” ride on July 17, 1989 in California.
Ironically, as I began writing this article on Thursday, January 19, 2023, ”Splash Mountain” at Disney World was closed.
This no doubt left more guests wondering if they would be denied their opportunity to ride "Splash Mountain" one last time.
The reason for permanently closing down “Splash Mountain” is because it is based upon what Disney calls the "problematic" 1946 Disney film "Song of the South," based upon "Uncle Remus" tales that date back to the late 1800's.
Disney announced in 2020 that ”Splash Mountain” would close over its "perpetuation of racial stereotypes."
“Splash Mountain” is a 1/2 mile trip that lasts for 12 minutes ... the longest ride in Disney history. It features a final 52-feet high, 40-mile-per-hour plunge, at a steep 45-degree angle.
It is so exhilarating. Also, the sheer length of the ride makes it such a tremendous experience. By comparison, the Peter Pan ride is about 3 minutes long.
We love "Peter Pan," but we feel like it's over before it begins. It goes by so fast. It leaves you wanting for more.
The fact that the ”Splash Mountain” ride was not available earlier on the last day of our vacation enabled guests (including us) the opportunity to walk around the ride area, with almost no one in sight.
We were able to take some photos that soon will not be available to ever take, again.
The public is divided over the closing of “Splash Mountain.“ The overtly racist tone of the Disney movie "Song of The South" is understandably deeply disturbing.
However, many argue to the contrary that canceling each and everything from days gone by is the wrong approach to take in today's modern, more inclusive era.
I recognize and respect the concerns about the racial aspects of this debate. The current ”Splash Mountain” theme is not defendable.
But, the ride sure was fun while it lasted and many are going to mIss it.