A Brief and Incomplete History of Splash Mountain

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
A wonderful thread dedicated to a wonderful attraction. The ride was a masterpiece on both coasts. I'm sad I only got to ride the Disneyland version one time, but perhaps that'll keep up the intrigue for me for the rest of my life.

Funny Side Story: The reason I wear contact lenses to this day is because of Disneyland's Splash Mountain. On my first trip down WDW's Briar Patch, I didn't wear my glasses due to fear of losing them. As a side effect, I could barely makeout any of the show scenes. Fearing that I'd only get one chance to see the Disneyland version (funny how that turned out), I made sure to get contact lenses before my trip to California two years later. When I went on Splash Mountain, I made sure to take in everything I could. Funny how this ride has an impact on my life in the weirdest of ways.
 

PiratesMansion

Well-Known Member
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One small silver lining: unlike many older departed attractions, both versions of Splash will live on through high quality YouTube recordings, and I'm sure there will be a corresponding increase of new videos made in the days before both attractions close.

Obviously not the same thing or as good as being able to experience it in person, but it's a lot more than people who loved Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland or the original Fantasyland dark rides have access to.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
One small silver lining: unlike many older departed attractions, both versions of Splash will live on through high quality YouTube recordings, and I'm sure there will be a corresponding increase of new videos made in the days before both attractions close.

Obviously not the same thing or as good as being able to experience it in person, but it's a lot more than people who loved Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland or the original Fantasyland dark rides have access to.

Someone needs to make a high quality ride through that can be used with VR goggles. How does the Oculus Rift work anyway. Can I watch a high quality YouTube POV on those?
 

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
One small silver lining: unlike many older departed attractions, both versions of Splash will live on through high quality YouTube recordings, and I'm sure there will be a corresponding increase of new videos made in the days before both attractions close.

Obviously not the same thing or as good as being able to experience it in person, but it's a lot more than people who loved Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland or the original Fantasyland dark rides have access to.
Yes. The beauty is that Splash made it to the digital age! No other Classic was able to
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
I’ve been watching some YouTube ride throughs of Splash. This ride really does not need ANY screens. Like not even backgrounds. The set dressing and staging is so great. That is, if they plan on keeping most of it with PatF
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
One small silver lining: unlike many older departed attractions, both versions of Splash will live on through high quality YouTube recordings, and I'm sure there will be a corresponding increase of new videos made in the days before both attractions close.

Obviously not the same thing or as good as being able to experience it in person, but it's a lot more than people who loved Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland or the original Fantasyland dark rides have access to.

All you need is a friend dumping a bucket of water on you at the right time and it'll be just like the ride!
 

Brer Oswald

Well-Known Member
I’ve been watching some YouTube ride through of Splash. This ride really does not need ANY screens. Like not even backgrounds. The set dressing and staging is so great. That is, if they plan on keeping most of it with PatF
I always thought it’d be cool if they added some projected cartoon butterflies, like the effects in the new Alice Ride, in the How Do You Do section.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I’ve been watching some YouTube ride throughs of Splash. This ride really does not need ANY screens. Like not even backgrounds. The set dressing and staging is so great. That is, if they plan on keeping most of it with PatF

What are your favorites? I've found a few decent quality ones from the '90s and early 2000s I absolutely love since the lighting and animatronics actually working.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
I always thought it’d be cool if they added some projected cartoon butterflies, like the effects in the new Alice Ride, in the How Do You Do section.

Yeah some small stuff like that can work but it doesn’t need it by any means. Feel like their would be more to lose than gain. Id be worried about the execution not being great.
 

mickEblu

Well-Known Member
What are your favorites? I've found a few decent quality ones from the '90s and early 2000s I absolutely love since the lighting and animatronics actually working.

They weren’t the greatest. I just picked the first couple that looked good. I also watched an Offhand Disney video that I enjoyed not for the ride through but for the content in general.

Can I get some of those links?? 😊I can’t even remember what it looked like in its prime.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
They weren’t the greatest. I just picked the first couple that looked good. I also watched an Offhand Disney video that I enjoyed not for the ride through but for the content in general.

Can I get some of those links?? 😊I can’t even remember what it looked like in its prime.

This 2009 video is pretty good, and the ride was in remarkably good shape. I also love the "That was awesome! I wanna go again!" cheers at the end-


This video does a good job of showing what the lighting is supposed to look like, though a couple figures are out for maintenance-

 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
One small silver lining: unlike many older departed attractions, both versions of Splash will live on through high quality YouTube recordings, and I'm sure there will be a corresponding increase of new videos made in the days before both attractions close.

Obviously not the same thing or as good as being able to experience it in person, but it's a lot more than people who loved Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland or the original Fantasyland dark rides have access to.

Indeed a excellent point.

It always frustrated me that NOBODY was able to properly capture in video form at the time the incredible Original 'Journey Into Imagination' Attraction at EPCOT Center.
Nobody..except Disney themselves for archival purposes, but they ain'nt sharin'.

All of the videos out there do not accurately capture the real 'look' of what the Show scenes looked like during the experience
All were shot prior to the introduction of digital photography options that could better handle the dark environment and colored lighting effects.
Such a shame, as if the Original had been allowed to last just a couple of years later we could be enjoying more accurate representations of what it was actually like visually.

But 'Splash Mountain' will be preserved well in video form.
There are already some excellent , low light level and accurate color representations out there on YouTube to enjoy.

-
 

D.Silentu

Well-Known Member
SuddenStorm, I've enjoyed the videos you posted, not to mention your wonderful opener, but it brought to mind a question. At some point in the ride's history the scenic lighting was changed dramatically. Do you know when that was? I seem to recall liking the former lighting better.
 

SuddenStorm

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
SuddenStorm, I've enjoyed the videos you posted, not to mention your wonderful opener, but it brought to mind a question. At some point in the ride's history the scenic lighting was changed dramatically. Do you know when that was? I seem to recall liking the former lighting better.

No idea! If I had to guess, it'd be during one of its major refurbishments- I know it was closed for an extended period of time, I want to say around 2006 (but I could be misremembering) to rebuild a lift hill and some other needed maintenance. My first ride was in 2007 or so so I'm unfamiliar with what the ride was like before then, except for what I've read and watched on Youtube.

Obviously, in recent years the scenic lighting is just plain broken.

And now I really wish I could have ridden it with the original lighting!
 

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
SuddenStorm, I've enjoyed the videos you posted, not to mention your wonderful opener, but it brought to mind a question. At some point in the ride's history the scenic lighting was changed dramatically. Do you know when that was? I seem to recall liking the former lighting better.

Perhaps the change was due to the possibility of LED lights replacing the original incandescent lights?
I find LEDs, exsepcially the earlier versions, very harsh and bright.
No ambiance or 'softness'.

-
 

D.Silentu

Well-Known Member
I want to say around 2006 (but I could be misremembering) to rebuild a lift hill and some other needed maintenance.
Thank you, this sounds about right as I seem to remember the change piggybacking off of a larger refurbishment. In fact, it may have been the same time the seating arrangement was changed.
Perhaps the change was due to the possibility of LED lights replacing the original incandescent lights?
I believe this was the case, though the lighting design was also changed.

EDIT: Well, I have just come from watching a comparison video of the ride in the nineties and in this decade. The differences seem far less dramatic than I remember,
 
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BasiltheBatLord

Well-Known Member
One small silver lining: unlike many older departed attractions, both versions of Splash will live on through high quality YouTube recordings, and I'm sure there will be a corresponding increase of new videos made in the days before both attractions close.

Obviously not the same thing or as good as being able to experience it in person, but it's a lot more than people who loved Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland or the original Fantasyland dark rides have access to.
There's even vids on YouTube of both attractions filmed backwards
 

BuzzedPotatoHead89

Well-Known Member
Thank you, this sounds about right as I seem to remember the change piggybacking off of a larger refurbishment. In fact, it may have been the same time the seating arrangement was changed.

I believe this was the case, though the lighting design was also changed.

EDIT: Well, I have just come from watching a comparison video of the ride in the nineties and in this decade. The differences seem far less dramatic than I remember,

Even though the videos don’t do it justice I also feel the lighting was definitely changed dramatically in the early to mid-2000s. I also think it may have been around when they changed the seating on the logs, if not before.

In retrospect I’m convinced Pressler era deferred maintainance and then eventually leadership’s disillusionment with the IP, led to a general decline in show quality of the sets and figures which was corrected by “stage lighting” (Or as our Florida friends like to know it, it was “disco yeti’ed“).

It was also around this time also that several AAs permanently stopped working, among the most prominent of which was the “talking“ Barnaby Owl photo moment the end of the ride. In my view, the ride has been declining by degrees ever since.
 

BasiltheBatLord

Well-Known Member
I feel a lot less surprised/shocked than I thought I would at the announcement of Splash closing. I still feel angry and sad about it but I guess the years of nonexistent maintenance + general fear of inevitability of SotS being permanently excised from the company built up a certain degree of unconscious inevitability of the ride having its days numbered.
 
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