Splash Mountain Closes at Walt Disney World

Splash Mountain Closes at Walt Disney World

Bid goodbye to Brer Rabbit and his buddies with the Unofficial Guide as we take a fireworks-filled final ride on Walt Disney World’s Splash Mountain, which has now closed to undergo its transformation into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure.

Splash Mountain Brer Rabbit figure standing in front of "gone for good" sign on closing night.
Splash Mountain is gone for good, but you can relive the Unofficial Guide’s last log ride before Tiana Bayou Adventure arrives in 2024. (Photos/videos by Seth Kubersky)

In recent weeks, we’ve welcomed back the Magic Kingdom’s long-dormant railroad, and we’re getting ready for April’s opening of the anticipated Tron Lightcycle/Run roller coaster. But at the same time, Walt Disney World has said its final farewell to one of its most iconic E-Tickets, with the permanent closure of Frontierland’s Splash Mountain as of January 23, 2023.

Splash Mountain exterior with log boat dropping

When Disney announced in 2020 that the popular yet problematic Splash Mountain log flume attractions at its Anaheim and Orlando parks would be rethemed from the controversial film Song of the South to Princess and the Frog, it provoked a flood of online reactions. Fans turned out at the Magic Kingdom in large numbers on January 22, the final day of operation for the Florida version, to enjoy their final drops down Chickapin Hill prior to the renovation, which is expected to wrap up by the end of 2024.

Throughout the afternoon, some guests stood in line to take photos with the ride’s marquee, while others stood on the bridge snapping photos of falling boats.

Posted standby wait times for Splash Mountain approached four hours during its final evening, with the Lightning Lane line stretching across the bridge towards Pecos Bill’s restaurant.

Switchback queues of waiting guests filled the entire courtyard beneath the railroad tracks and beyond.

Luckily, our final lap on Splash Mountain coincided with the evening’s performance of the Disney Enchantment spectacular, so we got to enjoy fireworks overhead during the ride’s outdoor portions.

Watch our entire closing-night ride on the Magic Kingdom’s Splash Mountain with this complete 4K POV video:

Unfortunately, as you can see in the video, the Splash Mountain that shuttered on Sunday was a pale shadow of the super-headliner it once was. Nearly every show scene features malfunctioning animatronics, burned-out lights, and disabled special effects—from the blinking frog at the beginning, to the AWOL bouncing bunny figure, to the Laughing Place’s water-free fountains.

Although the basic ride path is expected to remain unchanged, and some existing animatronics could return with restyled skins, the transformation into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will at least give Imagineers a chance to make much-needed repairs to the infrastructure, as well as upgrade the scenery to modern standards. So, while we’ll always cherish our memories of Splash Mountain’s salad days, we can’t wait to see what Tiana and her friends are cooking up!

In the meantime, Disneyland has not yet announced a closing date for the original Splash Mountain attraction, which you can experience vicariously with this 4K POV video:

For all there is to see and do at Disneyland, check out The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland by Seth Kubersky with Bob Sehlinger, Len Testa, and Guy Selga Jr. All Disneyland fans should also check out The Disneyland Story: The Unofficial Guide to the Evolution of Walt Disney’s Dream by Sam Gennawey.

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