Top 10 Interesting Facts About Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain may be one of the most popular and beloved attractions in the history of Disney Parks, however, there are a lot of historical facts and hidden details about the ride that the average guest or even some fans probably aren't aware of. So without further ado, here are some interesting facts you might not have known about Disney's famous flume ride.
The Top Ten
1 The idea of Splash Mountain was conceived during a traffic jam

One day in 1983, when Imagineer Tony Baxter was driving to work, he got stuck in rush-hour traffic. At the time, there were thoughts about what to do with the often empty Bear Country area, as well as figuring out what to do with all the animatronics from a show called America Sings, which was receiving poor attendance at the time. Finally, there was also the issue of trying to fit in a log flume in the Disneyland park. Taking all these things into consideration, Tony Baxter caught his attention on Song of the South and the lively characters of Br'er Rabbit, Br'er Fox, and Br'er Bear. There was concern at the time that adding a log flume was "beneath" Disney, as it was something that could be found at any regular amusement park. However, a decision was made that this log flume would be different and stand out among the crowd due to the strength of its story. Not the first major feat for Baxter, as he is also responsible for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and Star Tours among some ...more

2 The ride was originally going to be called "Zip-a-Dee River Run"

When the idea for the ride was first conceived back in 1983, this was the planned name. However, in 1984, though the ride was going to be based on the animated segments of Song of the South, CEO Michael Eisner threw out the suggestion to change the name to Splash Mountain in order to promote the film "Splash." He also threw out the suggestion to put a mermaid somewhere in the ride, which was of course rejected. However, the new name he came up with stuck, and aren't we all glad it did? There was also a thought at the time that "Zip-a-Dee River Run" wouldn't sound appealing to teenagers, and considering there was already Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I think everyone can agree that Splash Mountain was the best name choice.

True fact, my dude

3 Splash Mountain is made almost entirely out of concrete

That's right, outside of the greenery, animatronics, showboat prop, and a few other things, this "mountain" largely consists of rebar, wire mesh, and concrete. It was constructed using a sophisticated computer system that involved plotting points onto a scale model, and then using a special machine to bend the rebar into the correct shapes. Once all the rebar and wires were put into place, concrete was sprayed on, and then eventually painted. With all the intricate, almost lifelike structures along the ride, it really is quite impressive what paint can do. So really, Splash Mountain is pretty much just a giant concrete sculpture. Perhaps one of the most popular sculptures too.

4 Splash's flume holds up to approximately 950,000 gallons of water, all of which can be completely drained within just 5 minutes

Of course a ride named "Splash Mountain" is going to need a ton of water, right? As it turns out, about 950,000 gallons of water can fill up the half-mile of flume. Behind the mountain is a large water reservoir that holds around 1,000,000 gallons of water. Speaking of which, the water on Splash Mountain (and Pirates of the Caribbean for that matter) is treated with not chlorine, but bromine, which is what gives it that interesting smell it has. Though it may seem hard to believe, it only takes around 5 minutes to drain the 950,000 gallons of water, and it can be refilled within just 10 minutes or so. Quite impressive if you ask me.

5 Most of the animatronics in the Disneyland version of the ride are reused from an old attraction called "America Sings"

Around the time Splash Mountain was being planned out, there was an animatronic show in Tomorrowland called "America Sings," which at the time had been receiving poor attendance. As well, the area where Splash Mountain sits now known as Critter Country was called Bear Country at the time, and because it only had one attraction there (Country Bear Jamboree), the land was often empty. Finding a way to reuse the animatronics was just one issue the Imagineers were trying to solve at the time, as well as the emptiness of Bear Country and the idea that the park needed a log flume. The idea of Splash Mountain single-handedly took care of all of this, and if the wait times are any indication, definitely brought some much-needed attention to that part of the park. Unfortunately, the fact that the animatronics are reused is kind of a drawback to the Disneyland version in a way, at least in my opinion, as the ones in Magic Kingdom and Tokyo look so much better in comparison, which is no surprise ...more

6 Towards the final lift hill, there is a gopher that pops out from the ceiling saying "FSU!"

Right as you approach the end of the "Laughin' Place" and towards the part where Br'er Fox has Br'er Rabbit by the ears, make sure to look up, as there is a little gopher animatronic that pops out exclaiming "FSU! " This of course stands for Florida State University, and is just a fun little way of giving a shoutout to the school that some of the Imagineers who worked on the ride attended. Many people believe that he is just sneezing, but if you listen real carefully, it is clear that he is saying FSU.

7 There are a total of 36 hidden cameras on the ride

Pretty much everyone knows about the cameras on the drop, as proven by the many hilarious poses floating around the web, but did you know that there are dozens of other hidden cameras across the ride? They're there of course for security purposes and making sure everything is going good on the ride, and if someone where to try to do something such as exiting the ride prematurely, a cast member could probably catch it on camera and send an announcement to stay in their seat. For some people, it might be a good thing to know about these hidden cameras because if you were to do something like flipping the bird, you could catch yourself in some trouble with the CMs. Speaking of inappropriate gestures, the ride was once given the unfortunate nickname of "Flash Mountain" due to girls flashing their chests on the final drop and things of the like. Thankfully though, these photos never make it past the filter. So with all these things considered, better watch what you do!

This reminds me of Five Nights at Freddy's...

8 The voices of Br'er Rabbit and Br'er Fox are provided by Jess Harnell

Most famous for his role as Wakko Warner in Animaniacs, Jess Harnell actually got is big break voicing the main characters of Splash Mountain. He's fairly well known for providing the voice of Br'er Rabbit, but he also voiced Br'er Fox as well, along with some other characters on the ride such as Mr. Bluebird. So the whole ride is basically Jess having a long conversation with himself! As a side fact, Br'er Bear is voiced by Nick Stewart, who was the original voice actor for him in Song of the South and lived to reprise the role over 40 years later.

The voice of Wakko Warner voices the characters of Splash Mountain? My, my! Intriguing! It's amazing how much interesting facts are behind the iconic ride at Disneyland. Great list, Kate.

9 Splash Mountain shares its anniversary with Disneyland

Indeed it does, the original attraction at Disneyland officially opened July 17, 1989, exactly 35 years after the Disneyland park first opened its doors to the public. Talk about a way to celebrate a birthday! The new ride was such a success that there became immediate plans to bring the thrilling flume to Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland as well. The latter two rides officially opened October 1st and October 2nd of 1992 respectively, just one day apart from each other, and the Magic Kingdom version had its soft opening on, you guessed it, July 17th.

10 The real name of Splash Mountain is "Chickapin Hill"

Or to be more precise, it's the name of the top of the mountain in which Br'er Fox's cave resides. In Song of the South, Br'er Fox looks out through a hole in the tree stump of Chickapin Hill so that he can watch out for that biggity rabbit. However, since most parkgoers (or people in general) haven't seen the film, they probably don't know this. The Walt Disney World version has a painting of Chickapin Hill in the queue, and there is a sign on the ride pointing to "Chick-a-pin Falls," but I don't believe the Disneyland version makes mention of the name once. Now if you're as big of a fan of the ride as I am, this may seem pretty obvious, but you've got to keep that average guest in mind, you know? Either way, this linkage to the film is still pretty neat.

The Contenders
11 Splash Mountain opened 3 years after Song of the South was banned
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