. . . I think you're taking my post a little too literally.I'm a little hazier than @LittleBuford and others as to whether I had ever seen the film before going on the ride. I'm honestly still not sure I've ever seen the whole thing! I am pretty sure I was familiar with the story about Brer Rabbit getting thrown in the briar patch from somewhere, though. My understanding as a child and I don't think I've ever reconsidered it was that the briar patch may look dangerous to others, but for Brer Rabbit it was the place he knew best and in which he was most comfortable. So, once he was thrown in there he was like a fish in water and could quickly slip away.
I guess I at least had that in the back of my mind when riding it for the first time, so that point didn't need too much explanation and the set-up was pretty clear on the lift hill. As for the height, I always took it more to represent the feeling of being a little rabbit thrown into the briar patch rather than literally representing the height from which he was thrown.
The point is that anyone unfamiliar with the story may simply take the ride at face value - why do we end up okay when we plummet into the Briar Patch? Must just be luck, I guess.
My recollection as a child riding Splash for the first time was that I didn't totally get it but that I also didn't really question it. "He needed to get away and he got away by being thrown down the drop" . . . and by the next scene it's clear that worked out well enough for him, whatever the reason why, so the story is resolved even if the how isn't plain as day to every rider. It definitely wasn't clear to me why guests riding would be fine despite plunging face-first into the Briar Patch, and there wasn't plainly a great reason Br'er Rabbit would fare better than us. But we all made it out alive, so . . .