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Splash Mountain History/Interesting Facts?


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Oh, and here's a story for you that happened while I was there. A woman was on the ride and trying to take a picture of her daughter when she accidentally dropped her camera in the flume. So the woman got out of the log and JUMPED IN THE FLUME to get the camera. Another log was coming, so she jumped out, let it pass, and then GOT BACK IN. Apparently this happened in an blind spot of the cameras and a non-sensored area of the Mountain because Tower had no idea a guest was doing this until the second time she got out of the flume when a sensor was finally tripped and the alarm went off.

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However, the WDW Splash Mountain one is true.

 

Elissa and I can vouch for this as well, as I was there that day!

 

A bunch of us were in Orlando for a few days to do various parks. I wandered off on my own and went to MK. Splash was closed early in the day with NO explanation (typical Disney).

 

I started getting paged by Elissa and others mid-day, as it had made the news that a 37 year old man had been killed on Splash. They actually thought it might be me, as I was 37 at the time.

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^ Bingo! I now see the potential in that Nintendo DS thing Disney wants to implement.

 

"ALERT - ALERT - ALERT.....Splash Mountain estimated wait time now 2+ days....old guy dies onboard.......NO, NOT JEFF JOHNSON......move along...nothing to see here."

 

 

Also, thanks Nat. Interesting read.

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Hmm, it worked fine for me. If you're having trouble, just go to my myspace (link in my signature), click my profile picture to view my photos, and click on the Splash Mountain Album. Plus, you can see all my other theme park photos there, too. I think you might have to have a myspace to see them though. That could be the problem.

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^I have no idea. I didn't know the breaks weren't always there. The only thing I know about the Drop 4 break (that was indeed the official name of that area of the ride), is that it's the only place that you're not allowed to be walking around unless the ride is actually powered down. So, if an intrusion is there, rather than hit the Ride Stop, you HAVE to hit the E-Stop before you send a runner in to check it out. And that means that the Mountain has to be reset (which can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes - if it ends up taking longer than 20 min for some reason, then we have to evacuate before we reset), which means you've got about a half a dozen or so CMs running around the Mountain reseting all the drops and lifts. I always enjoyed a good reset.

 

Also, the Drop 4 brake ONLY comes up during an E-Stop (either a manual one or one automatically set by the computer for some reason), not during a ride Stop. And if a log happened to get stopped by the Drop 4 brake, which really didn't happen as often as you'd think, then we HAD to evacuate. The reason for this is that the the only way to get the log out of the Drop 4 Brake area is to push it, and while it's possible to push a log with people in it (we have to pull them back all the time when we evacuate inside the Mountain since some areas where the logs stop don't have reachable walkways), it's an area right out in the open where guests can see, and it's considered "Bad Show" to have to push a log full of guests.

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^ Bad show to be seen pushing guests? Wow, there goes every single Matterhorn cascade reset.

 

What's the WDW Splash station setup for loading? The consoles make it look like tandem [Load/Unload] [Load/Unload] but your one station picture seems to have an unload only before at one or more load/unload spots with gates. Did you unload in Hold 1 sometimes or something?

 

Also I really like the gate button setup where there's a simple close-only button, I hate having to push down and pull up the mushroom one every time at my gated rides and it wears out those buttons really fast. Space out here has that but nothing else in our eastside does, pretty sure nothing on westside does either.

 

Finally, Drop 4 = the big drop in Florida? Out here drop 1 is from outside into the show area, drop 2 is a tiny little incline for spacing drop 3 (the big coaster one), drop 4 is another tiny incline in the mushroom room before the lift, and drop 5 is the big one.

 

Cool info contributions to this topic!

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^ WDW's Splash has a small drop after Drop 2 (the roller coaster one). Its not that big, but it has a holding gate and everything. There's also a small drop after the big drop (Drop 4) right before the log re-enters the mountain.

 

I have never seen them load or unload from the holding position. It seems those railings could be removed to load and unload from there. I imagine in the days before the station gates, they probably did load and unload three logs at a time, much like at Disneyland back in the day.

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^I have no idea. I didn't know the breaks weren't always there. The only thing I know about the Drop 4 break (that was indeed the official name of that area of the ride), is that it's the only place that you're not allowed to be walking around unless the ride is actually powered down. So, if an intrusion is there, rather than hit the Ride Stop, you HAVE to hit the E-Stop before you send a runner in to check it out. And that means that the Mountain has to be reset (which can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes - if it ends up taking longer than 20 min for some reason, then we have to evacuate before we reset), which means you've got about a half a dozen or so CMs running around the Mountain reseting all the drops and lifts. I always enjoyed a good reset.

 

Also, the Drop 4 break ONLY comes up during an E-Stop (either a manual one or one automatically set by the computer for some reason), not during a ride Stop. And if a log happened to get stopped by the Drop 4 break, which really didn't happen as often as you'd think, then we HAD to evacuate. The reason for this is that the the only way to get the log out of the Drop 4 Break area is to push it, and while it's possible to push a log with people in it (we have to pull them back all the time when we evacuate inside the Mountain since some areas where the logs stop don't have reachable walkways), it's an area right out in the open where guests can see, and it's considered "Bad Show" to have to push a log full of guests.

 

I remember them adding that brake during the last really big rehab...I'm thinking 05 or 06. I was thinking it was to reduce speed as you enter the turn and possibly reduce the backup before the little drop back into the building by allowing more space. But that's just a guess.

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^ Bad show to be seen pushing guests? Wow, there goes every single Matterhorn cascade reset.

 

It could be a safety thing too for all I know. But that's just what I was told during training. It's in my notes and everything!

 

What's the WDW Splash station setup for loading? The consoles make it look like tandem [Load/Unload] [Load/Unload] but your one station picture seems to have an unload only before at one or more load/unload spots with gates. Did you unload in Hold 1 sometimes or something?

 

There's single, double, and triple modes for dispatching the logs. Single and double are pretty much self explanatory - when we either dispatch one log or two logs at a time, respectively. In triple mode, we still load, unload, and dispatch two logs at a time (the front log isn't visible in the picture); the difference is that we unload the 2nd and 3rd logs back (those gates rotate 90 degrees - look for the little plug things in the ground next time you're there!), that way when we move the logs up - again, 2 at a time - the front log is already empty and waiting to be filled by the people in Load 1, though Load 2 still has a log waiting to be unloaded. Hmm, it's kind of hard to explain without actually seeing it. Hopefully you're getting the general idea, though.

 

I was talking to one of my friends not too long ago who still works on Splash, and she said that during this past refurb they were adding a third loading area and changing up the dispatching a bit to where they could dispatch one or two at a time as needed or something like that. I never saw it, though, so I can't back this up. Has anyone been there since it reopened last week?

 

Finally, Drop 4 = the big drop in Florida? Out here drop 1 is from outside into the show area, drop 2 is a tiny little incline for spacing drop 3 (the big coaster one), drop 4 is another tiny incline in the mushroom room before the lift, and drop 5 is the big one.

 

Yeah, in Florida A-Lift and B-Lift come first (B-Lift is the one going into the mill, the one people can see as they walk by the attraction), and then Drop 1 takes you into the Mountain. Drop 2 and Drop 3 come a minute or two later and are pretty much separated only by a short U-turn, with Drop 3 being the "roller coaster." Then C-lift is the big one that takes you to the top of the climactic Drop 4, and then Drop 5 is the little sorry excuse for a drop at the end that always, ALWAYS gets backed up. It's also where people always, ALWAYS decide to suddenly stick their hands in the water. I think that area of the ride gets spieled to more often than any other. Also, that box to the left of Drop 5? Know what's in there? Ponchos. See, if the ride has an E-stop, the poor people stuck there are next to the waterfall. Not that the waterfall is exactly drenching, but sitting there for 15 minutes will, at the very least, keep you wet. And that's what the ponchos are for. So, if you ever get stuck on Splash, Drop 5 is the place to be, especially if you're a free poncho enthusiast.

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Ah ok, I get the triple-mode thing. Seems pretty strange unless you can dispatch Load 1 on its own a little faster to catch up to an interval after. I'm mostly amazed how HUGE that station seems compared to the tiny, cramped Anaheim one with high overhanging walls and barely enough space for two logs.

 

Does the PHRED computer there talk to you? I just learned our 3 talking towers at DL are actually all named that too, and it sounds incredibly creepy. It also sounds a bit better than Matterhorn where there's one beep sound for anything from a blocked station gate to an E-stop to a cascade, but still, creepy...

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^I agree, it is kinda weird. I never really understood the point of it, since there were still two logs being dispatched at a time at the exact same intervals. The only thing it'd speed up was the loading of the front log, but Load 2 still had to wait for the previous passengers to get out before they could get in, so any time saved at Load 1 seemed to go to waste, if you ask me.

 

Oooh, and yes, PHRED-A talks all the time. I don't think she said any thing during an intrusion, but if there was a ride stop (the automatic ones happened when logs were stopped too long in either the station or at one of the Pre-Lifts or Drops *cough*Drop 5*cough*), an E-Stop, during resets, and sometimes just to say hi and chat about the weather for awhile. Ok, not that last one so much, but still. I heard her often enough to the point where her voice still haunts me to this day.

 

By the way, whenever she said "Reset," it always sounded like "Resit," and the word was squished together as much as possible. You know, like, rhymes with "grease it." Eh, okay, not that interesting, but it always gave me a chuckle to hear it. That's right, a chuckle.

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I was talking to one of my friends not too long ago who still works on Splash, and she said that during this past refurb they were adding a third loading area and changing up the dispatching a bit to where they could dispatch one or two at a time as needed or something like that. I never saw it, though, so I can't back this up. Has anyone been there since it reopened last week?

 

That sounds a bit like how Pirates works (at least at Disneyland...cant remember about the WDW one). There is a small "panel" underneath one of the railings on the unload side. There's a button that can be pressed to disable dispatch on the second boat so that they can send just the first one.

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  • 3 months later...

All of the following pertain to DL:

 

The ride opened over six months late. A promotion was planned for SoCal McDonalds Restaurants ("Splash for Cash!) and among the prizes was a trip to Disneyland to ride Splash Mountain. My recollection is that since the free tickets expired before the ride was going to be open they gave winners an extra ticket to come back that summer.

 

Shortly after the ride opened the portion of the queue thats loops between the side of the Haunted Mansion and the post-big drop flume originally was not kid proof and a kid climbed and fell in to the flume. The rider in the next log was able to pull the child out and the kid suffered only minor injuries!

 

The original logs (OD Hopkins?) sat 8 people but would get stuck in the curves of the back show building. The cause? I've been told the original blueprints were scaled down to reduce the cost of ride construction but that the size of the logs was not taken into account.

 

More than 15 figures didn't come over from America Sings because there were at least 6 Sams and Ollies (and didn't one scene have 2 sets? Plus two geese went to Star Tours, the Gay 90's Pig.

 

The original "photo review" was begun shortly after the ride opened and was staffed by an attractions cast member. The system had the ability to "block out" a portion of the photo with a brown dot or to dump the entire photo. For some reason it was designed as a passive system, and thus no authorization was required for a photo to show up. It probably would have been better to design an active system where each photo was individually authorized.

 

Shortly after opening the belt for the big lift broke and the ride was shut down until a replacement was flown in.

 

There is a sign at the bottom of Drop 5 that says "Drop in again sometime."

 

Michael Jackson and his entourage broke down the ride in the mid-90's when they were adding his boat to the flume from boat storage so he wouldn't have to go through the station. Space Mountain also has this capability as I recall.

 

When Splash Mountain opened I don;t think the snoring bear had a name next to his cave. Shortly after opening a Rufus sign was placed there, and several years ago it was replaced with "Br'er Bear"

 

"Br'er" is a southern term for "Brother".

 

The Brer Rabbit heads were removed in 1989 because they kept getting knocked off. They came up with a way to keep them on after a year or two.

 

Splash Mountain was the first Disneyland ride to use such a system. Prior to that no water rides (such as Pirates) could be drained or refilled so quickly.

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The only thing I know about the Drop 4 break (that was indeed the official name of that area of the ride), is that it's the only place that you're not allowed to be walking around unless the ride is actually powered down.

Nat, the show scene is the Drop 4 "Brake", the Drop 4 "Break" was the 15 minutes we all spent sitting around in Tower while maintenance was pulling the duck feathers away from the sensor that E-stopped the ride

 

I remember them adding that brake during the last really big rehab...I'm thinking 05 or 06. I was thinking it was to reduce speed as you enter the turn and possibly reduce the backup before the little drop back into the building by allowing more space. But that's just a guess.

The Drop 4 Brake (alternately: Creature from Br'er Lagoon, JAWS, the Tourist Trap, Chamber of Destiny, (sound familiar, ECZenith?) PHRED-A's little helper etc.) has always been there for use in emergencies, lurking just below the surface ready to apply heinous levels of friction at a moment's notice. There are just some occasions when you don't want a log flying around at 40+ mph. But it has been replaced (partly, and in full) on more than one occasion, perhaps that's what you are thinking of? As the ride normally functions, you are not braked at all at the bottom of Drop 4 by anything other than pressure exerted by flume water except in the case of emergency. As Nat correctly explained, the Brake is a fickle and finicky creature, and it's no easy task to reset it, so we don't wake it unless we have to.

 

Bad show to be seen pushing guests? Wow, there goes every single Matterhorn cascade reset.

And just forget about Autopia/Indy Speedway! Actually another reason for not pushing a log full of guests out of the Drop 4 Brake is the danger to the Cast doing the pushing. You're pushing a log at Bear Behind (one of the many scenes where Br'er Bear treats you to the deluxe view of his posterior,) and you slip and fall in, you're wet and possibly have tetanus, but you're okay. The channel's only 3 feet deep. You fall into the Drop 4 Brake, and maybe not. As much as the Brake's fierce nicknames are humorous, it really is a dangerous, forceful machine, with lots of pieces to get tangled in, not to mention the pit it lives in is 9-12 feet deep. Big time potential ouch!

 

A third reason not to do it is simply because if the brake is activated, the log is sitting on it, and not in the water, and those darn things weigh more sitting than floating and it's easier to push a two-ton log without another 800 lbs. of guests and turkey legs inside.

 

 

As for a little WDW-version Splash trivia:

When you are sitting in the station approach queue, (where "Ev'rything is Satisfactual" is painted on the barn wall ahead of you,) look up. The massive section of wooden ceiling cutting through the rock at a 45º angle high overhead is C-lift, the one going up to the Big Drop! If the music seems a little louder in here, it is- to disguise the rumbling of the chainlift rotors on the other side of the wall to your left!

 

In the scene where Br'er Gator is fishing, Br'er Frog should be sitting on his back, but often isn't due to maintenance problems with the AA. Whether he's there or not, he keeps on a'singing. Listen for the booming bass voice without a body.

 

The turtle's name isn't Br'er Turtle- it's Br'er Terrapin.

 

The guests' overwhelming favorite effect in the entire ride, measured by number of comments to the Cast- the beehives with the spinning bees between Drop 2 (the roller coaster drop) and Drop 3 (the little spacer drop before the Laughin' Place).

 

The animated characters from Song of the South that didn't make it into the ride? the Tar Baby, of course, the Sis (female version of Br'er) Moles and Sis Hummingbirds.

 

The above three characters, along with Br'er Bear were the only ones from the movie to make cameos in Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

 

There is no Br'er Buzzard- the Top Hat-wearing vultures at the bottom of C-lift were original characters from America Sings; the Boothill Boys. Ironically, they are often claimed by Disney to be the most memorable of all the characters in Splash- moreso than Br'ers Bear, Fox or Rabbit!

 

Imagineering has in the past conducted spot-inspections to make sure the Cast is using official, approved spiels! Scary!

 

The reason Splash Mountain (and Pirates and iasw and Maelström etc.) Don't have restraints is because at the time of construction, Florida state law prohibited any ride where boats are floating in a channel from restraints of any kind (lest the boat flip over or sink, you can't trap guests in the vessel.) The law has changed since, allowing Kali River Rapids, Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls and their ilk to restrain away!

 

Three questions which will instantly earn you the fiery, white-hot loathing of a thousand suns from any Splash Mountain CM:

1. Will I get wet on this ride/Is this a water ride?

2. No, really, which seat gets the wettest?

3. Does this ride go upside-down? (Seriously. All the time. Hence the quote in my signature)

 

And finally, the most widely-known story of how the guest died on Splash, including (check that, especially) the version on Wikipedia are wrong. The man exited his log before Drop 2, (the rollercoaster) to take a picture of his party sitting in the log. As he attempted to get back in, the muscular conveyors at the edge threw his boat over the drop. He tumbled to the bottom of the dip (where there is no water) and was subsequently crushed by the next boat. Several CM's who were on duty that day still work at the attraction or resort at large, from ops to maintanence, security, emergency response, merchandise, custodial and more, and their independent first-person accounts verify this version of the events to be true.

 

After the death, the intrusion (security/guest monitoring) system was revamped, and the opening of Drop 2 was narrowed to be just wide enough for the flume itself and an accompanying egress path to dissuade guests from getting out and trying to get back in before the Drop. Unfortunately, due especially to the lighted 'exit' sign and exit hallway there, it is still a frequent spot for intrusion by guests who've decided they don't want to ride anymore.

 

In general, getting out of the boat is a bad idea, and dangerous for all involved. So, from the Cast, P-P-Please don't flings us into that Briar Patch!

n5814456_31095854_1489.jpg.28f8f8778626a6b3129a713a5c4d341e.jpg

Wheeee!!!

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The Drop 4 Brake (alternately: Creature from Br'er Lagoon, JAWS, the Tourist Trap, Chamber of Destiny, (sound familiar, ECZenith?) PHRED-A's little helper etc.) has always been there for use in emergencies, lurking just below the surface ready to apply heinous levels of friction at a moment's notice. There are just some occasions when you don't want a log flying around at 40+ mph. But it has been replaced (partly, and in full) on more than one occasion, perhaps that's what you are thinking of? As the ride normally functions, you are not braked at all at the bottom of Drop 4 by anything other than pressure exerted by flume water except in the case of emergency. As Nat correctly explained, the Brake is a fickle and finicky creature, and it's no easy task to reset it, so we don't wake it unless we have to.

 

That doesnt sound like the brake I am talking about. I'm talking about the series of passive magnetic fin style brakes that were added. They don't sit in a pit and are just near the end of the runnout. If only I could find a picture to better explain what I am referring to.

 

The reason Splash Mountain (and Pirates and iasw and Maelström etc.) Don't have restraints is because at the time of construction, Florida state law prohibited any ride where boats are floating in a channel from restraints of any kind (lest the boat flip over or sink, you can't trap guests in the vessel.) The law has changed since, allowing Kali River Rapids, Dudley Do-Right's Ripsaw Falls and their ilk to restrain away!

 

What about the Tanganyika Tidal Wave and Congo River Rapids at Busch Gardens Tampa? They have restraints and were introduced before Splash Mountain.

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Nat, the show scene is the Drop 4 "Brake", the Drop 4 "Break" was the 15 minutes we all spent sitting around in Tower while maintenance was pulling the duck feathers away from the sensor that E-stopped the ride

 

Geez, I make ONE typo (okay, one typo many, many times) and you get on my case. Man, I know better than that, though. I must have just had a rough day, then. I'm usually a stickler for grammar and misspellings. Just for that, I'm going to kick you in the shins next time I see you.

 

^Here's a photo I took of the Drop 4 Brake.

 

 

 

I definitely don't remember there being any magnetic fins during my many runs in this area of the Mountain, and I don't think I see them in this picture. Am I missing something?

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That doesnt sound like the brake I am talking about. I'm talking about the series of passive magnetic fin style brakes that were added. They don't sit in a pit and are just near the end of the runout. If only I could find a picture to better explain what I am referring to.

 

Hmm, I'm puzzled, I'll have to look into it. The runout is as you know 180º curve, which is as tight as the logs can safely navigate, so there wouldn't be any need for brakes at the end in any scenario I can think of. A log going way too fast would ride up on the egress path and beach itself long before hitting them. The Drop 5 zone only backs up with 5 logs before C-lift stops, so it wouldn't be to slow a collision in the case of a backup, and even if they were at the beginning of the runout it wouldn't make a whole lot of sense, in any scenario where you'd need them ramped up high enough to have any effect at those speeds, you'd jsut use the E-stop and the big Brake. The speed plus the pump-powered current there, coupled with the speed they'd pass the brakes at either end, not to mention the relatively slow braking effect of that type of brakes... The logs don't even have fins, or an exposed magnetic surface to maximize efficiency. They are completely smooth on the bottom and sides.

 

I don't disbelieve you, I just can't figure how/why they'd work. You're sure they were brakes? A picture would be helpful.

 

What about the Tanganyika Tidal Wave and Congo River Rapids at Busch Gardens Tampa? They have restraints and were introduced before Splash Mountain.

 

Ya, the Anheuser-Busch Company was able to get some exemption, for both Sea World and BG Tampa, though I haven't been able to unearth any info on what it is or why. Anyone out there know anything more about it?

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