Slash Mountain is one of the most iconic log flume rides in the world, which is a little strange since the characters in that ride are definitely not Disney's most popular. The ride is based on the characters, stories, and songs from their 1946 film Song of the South.
The original Splash Mountain opened at Disneyland's Critter Country in 1989 and then it spread to Disney World's Animal Kingdom and Tokyo's Disneyland in 1992. It has become quite a cultural piece of pop culture, having been featured in episodes of the Simpsons, American Housewife, and American Dad.
Here are some little known facts about this log ride.
10 Disney World's Splash Mountain Uses 965,000 Gallons Of Water
The entire ride holds about 965,000 gallons of water with a backstage reservoir that is built to hold one million gallons. The speed of the water flow makes it so they use about 28,000 gallons per minute.
According to the Walt Disney World Magic website, the entire flume system has the ability to drain in only five minutes and can be filled in 20 minutes.
9 Was Going To Be Called “Zip-A-Dee River Run”
For a while during the creation phase of Splash Mountain, it was actually going to be called "Zip-a-Dee River Run." The idea to change the name to Splash Mountain was from Michael Eisner, who was the Chairman and CEO of The Walt Disney Company at the time.
The film Splash with Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah was recently out and Eisner was interested in using the ride to promote the film. He even wanted a mermaid on Splash Mountain but the Imagineers did not take to the idea since that would have disrupted the Song of the South theme they were already working on.
8 Tony Baxter Came Up With The Ride While Stuck In Traffic
Tony Baxter is a big name in attraction construction. He created many Disney attractions such as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Indiana Jones Adventure, Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Star Tours, Journey into Imagination, and remodeled Fantasyland and Tomorrowland at Disneyland.
It is his work to thank for Splash Mountain and he came up with the idea while commuting between his home and the Imagineering studios in Glendale, CA!
7 A Gopher Yells “F-S-U”
You can always count on Disney to hide little references wherever they can, including in their theme park rides. If you listen very closely to the singing animals, you can hear one say "F-S-U." This is the mention of a college that an Imagineer graduated from, Florida State University.
If you are curious but cannot make it to the park, there are YouTubers that have captured this little detail on camera.
6 The Last Plunge Is A 52 And A Half Foot Drop
With a drop as big as 52 feet, it is no wonder that some adults and kids chicken out on this ride. However, for ride enthusiasts, the anticipation for that huge plunge is all part of the fun. It is also at this drop that people get their photos taken so Disney can capture the moment you realize you are falling 52 feet down!
The length of the drop is a little different around the world. Disneyland and Disney World both are around 52 feet but Tokyo's version is 60 feet.
5 Has Been Nicknamed "Flash Mountain"
Due to the attraction taking photos of its guests while they are on the 52-foot drop, the ride has gained a reputation for its photos. There are many stories of guests purposefully posing at the right moment to get a goofy photo.
Related: Top 10 Disney Parks Events
However, this has also caused some issues. There have been guests kicked out of the park due to taking inappropriate props or even taking off their clothes for the camera. Apparently, when you add a camera to a ride, some people lose control of themselves.
4 It Has 68 Audio-Animatronics
If you played too much Five Nights at Freddy's, then maybe this isn't your ride. There are a lot of animatronics!
In the finale of the ride, you see a lot of them too. Many of then were designed by Marc Davis and were actually used for America Sings from 1974 to 1988 before they were re-used to join the many critters for Splash Mountain. Davis was also an animator who actually worked on the film "Song of the South."
3 It Has Controversial Roots
Disney has distanced itself from the animated film Song of the South due to how it glorifies plantations and portrays African Americans in an offensive and racist way. Due to this, the film has not been released in any official home video format in the United States.
Splash Mountain is one of the few reminders of Disney's connection to Song of the South. Today, a lot of those who ride the theme park ride probably have not even seen Song of the South and it seems Disney may be keen to keep it that way.
2 Br'er Rabbit Is Voiced By Jess Harnell
Jess Harnell was not the original voice actor for Br'er Rabbit, but he was a well-known voice actor and singer that was a perfect fit to fill in for Br'er Rabbit's voice on Splash Mountain. Harnell is known for roles such as Wakko Warner in Animaniacs and Crash Bandicoot in the Crash Bandicoot video game franchise along with many characters from other video games and cartoons.
He also voiced Splash Mountain's Br'er Fox. Br'er Bear was voiced by Nick Stewart, the same actor who played him in Song of the South.
1 The Tar Baby Issue
Disney changed a few details about the Song of the South story due to its racist roots. Originally, there was a decoy character called "Tar Baby" which was used to trap Br'er Rabbit. The term "tar baby" is viewed as a negative connotation to African American. This was just one of many racist roots of Disney's history that they have since been attempting to bury.
Disney definitely did not want this controversy to follow them on Splash Mountain. So instead of the "Tar Baby," Br'er Rabbit is stuck in a beehive on the theme park ride.