1992: Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom Park)
Editor’s Note: This post is part 22 in a forty-part blog series in celebration of Walt Disney World Resort’s upcoming 40th Anniversary. Please welcome to The Window Seat Allison Valdes, Walt Disney World Moms Panel Guest Author.
In 1992, Splash Mountain rounded out the Magic Kingdom mountain range, turning the concept of a “traditional water ride” on its side. Grab your ponchos and float through some of Walt Disney World Resort’s best aquatic attractions.
Walt Disney World is home to some amazing shows, rides and attractions. There is something for everyone and if you’re into water rides, you’ve come to the right place.
First up, Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom. Walt Disney believed that every attraction should tell a story and Splash Mountain does this like no other. Located in Frontierland, Splash Mountain is based upon Walt Disney’s 1946 classic movie, “Song of the South.”
In this story, Br’er Rabbit leaves his home in the briar patch “lookin’ for a little more adventure,” a bit of fortune and his laughing place. In this 11-minute adventure, guests truly experience Br’er Rabbit’s adventures firsthand as they plunge 52.5 feet at approximately 40 mph. The odds of getting wet are pretty high. If you want to increase your chances, request a seat in the front or sit on the right side of the ride log.
Splash Mountain has a minimum height requirement of 40”. In addition to the big drop, there is a smaller drop in the dark. Parents should take these things into consideration when deciding if this attraction is right for their children.
Next up, Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Located in Asia, this white water adventure takes guests through the rainforest on the churning Chakranadi River.
A 12-passenger raft journeys through a lush, misty jungle before dropping into gushing geysers and floating under waterfalls. But, the scenery quickly changes to a landscape where hazardous debris left behind by illegal logging companies litters the riverbanks, threatening wildlife and destroying delicate rainforests. The exciting climax of this adventure is escaping the devastation by rushing down a 30-foot waterfall.
Kali River Rapids has a minimum height requirement of 38” and has almost a 100% chance of getting you soaked, especially your feet. There is a compartment in the raft to store items, but if you have items that you don’t want to get wet (e.g., cameras and phones), bring along a plastic Ziploc bag to help protect them. Another option is storing your items in one of the lockers available to rent near the front of the park. Ponchos will protect you a little. For those who don’t want to walk around in wet clothing and shoes, bring a change of clothes.
Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids are both very popular attractions so the lines build fast, especially during the warmer months. You can beat the crowds by heading to them first thing in the morning or utilizing Disney’s complimentary FASTPASS Service. Guests with Mobility Disabilities must be able to transfer from wheelchairs and ECVs to the attraction vehicles to experience these rides.
While the “thrill factor” for Splash Mountain and Kali River Rapids is higher, there are other awesome attractions located in the theme parks that involve traveling on the water by boat, and are considered water rides as well.
When visiting the Magic Kingdom be sure to check out:
• The Jungle Cruise
• Pirates of the Caribbean
• “it’s a small world”
• Raft to Tom Sawyer’s Island
• Liberty Square Riverboat
At Epcot, look for these attractions:
• Living with the Land in The Land
• Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros in the Mexico Pavilion
• Maelstrom in the Norway Pavilion
Whether it’s being in or on the water, Disney’s water attractions offer options to excite every guest. Climb aboard and prepare for an adventure of a lifetime.
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1989: Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then the Disney MGM-Studios) (The Window Seat)
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