Splash Mountain Part Two

We all know that Song of the South and Splash Mountain were based on the characters of Joel Chandler Harris. But most of us don’t know the background story that the Imagineers gave this fabled mountain.

Legend has it that deep in the “New-nited States of Georgia,” live critters that walk and talk in the same manner as human folk. At the center of this magical land is Chick-A-Pin Hill and it’s here that the Beaver Brothers had built their sturdy new dam. But unbeknownst to them, Rackety Raccoon had also constructed a juice producing still in the same area. And it seems that while Rackety was concocting a new, experimental brew, he used a few too many blueberries with disastrous results. When his still exploded, it took the Beaver Brothers’ dam with it and water began to rush downhill and through the many caves, burrows, holes, and tunnels that crisscrossed the mountain. From that moment on, the local critters started calling their home Splash Mountain and the name stuck.

The lighthearted mood of the attraction is set near the entrance. Here we see a statue of the not-so-bright Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear looking for Br’er Rabbit who is hiding from them in plain sight atop Br’er Bear’s club. Under the train trestle are the FastPass machines. These were once crates used to haul cargo on the nearby railroad. Also in this area is one of Br’er Rabbit’s Laughing Places intended for critters under 40 inches tall.

Statue of of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear

Splash Mountain FastPass Machine

Laughing Place for Children

The story of Splash Mountain is set in the Deep South shortly after the American Civil War. The background music heard in the outdoor queue sets the mood for this bygone era by playing tunes such as “Polly Wolly Doodle” and “Froggy Comes A’Courtin’.” These songs are played on era appropriate instruments like the harmonica, banjo, and mouth harp, all of which were popular in the 19th century. Much of the outdoor queue winds through a wooded area inhabited by many of the local critters. A number of their homes can be seen as you wander about.

Critter Home in Outdoor Queue

The entrance to Splash Mountain is through an old barn used by the critters. Tacked onto the door is the front page of the critter’s local newspaper, the Rabbit Tales, sounding a warning. Many farm implements can be found inside the barn, but it’s obvious that the main purpose for this structure is to grind wheat and grain into flour. Also, once inside, the music changes to the tunes heard in the Song of the South movie.

Splash Mountain Entrance

Rabbit Tales Newspaper

Barn Interior

In Tall Tale Tunnel we discover clues about the adventure we’re about to experience. Here we see a sampler with a wise message and portraits of some of the characters we’re about to meet. This is also where we’re introduced to Br’er Frog. Here we see his shadow cast against his cave home, spinning bodacious yarns about Br’er Rabbit.


Picture of Brer Rabbit

Brer Frog

The main transportation in and around Splash Mountain is via logs, hollowed out by sharp toothed beavers. Our journey begins as we leave the loading dock and make a sudden right turn and begin a climb up a sharp incline. Along the way we see Br’er Frog again, this time in the flesh, lamenting that Br’er Rabbit is in for trouble if he doesn’t mend his ways.

Brer Frog

At the top of the incline we sail past Br’er Rabbit’s home in the briar patch and head toward the Log Lifter. The Log Lifter is an ingenious device created by the Beaver Brothers to haul logs to the top of Chick-A-Pin Hill. It’s also near the entrance to the Log Lifter that folks may get wet. In fact, if the timing is right, you’ll get wetter here than on the big plunge later on. You see, as the logs slide down Chick-A-Pin Hill they create a tremendous splash that aims right for the Log Lifter.

Briar Patch

Log Lifter

At the top of this next incline we find a number of indications that critters inhabit the mountain. First we happen upon a charlatan’s wagon selling Critter Elixir. This potent brew guarantees to cure fleas, flat feet, and fur balls. Next is a small garden tended to by some unseen creature. Carrots, turnips, lettuce and cabbage are all ripe for the picking. Further on we find a still, presumably not Rackety Raccoon’s which blew up earlier. Also dotting the landscape are numerous critter homes.

Critter Elixir

Critter Garden

Muskrat Still

Critter Homes

Critter Homes

Around the next bend we discover the home of Br’er Bear, and just beyond, Slippin’ Falls. It’s here that our log takes a sudden dip and enters the interior of Splash Mountain and we come face to face with the critters themselves.

Brer Bear's House

Slippin' Falls

Inside the cave we’re greeted by a number of geese and frogs, welcoming us to their home with a lively rendition of “How Do You Do?” Disney Legend Thurl Ravenscroft, who voice characters in the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean (among others), lends his voice to one of the croakers.

Singing Frog

Singing Geese

In the next scene we see Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear eavesdropping on Br’er Rabbit as he tells Mr. Bluebird he’s packing up his things and leaving his troubles behind in the briar patch. The nefarious duo start to plot just how they will capture this happy-go-lucky fellow.

Brer Fox and Brer Bear

Brer Rabbit and Mr. Bluebird

As we travel deeper into Splash Mountain, we come across Br’er Raccoon and Br’er Porkypine. They, along with the Baby Bunny twins try to warn Br’er Rabbit that while looking for new adventures he might find new troubles. In the distant background we see Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear chasing after Br’er Rabbit.

Br'er Raccoon and Br'er Porkypine

Baby Bunny

In an effort to snare Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox sets a trap. But the dim-witted Br’er Bear stumbles into it and is caught instead, infuriating his short-tempered cohort. Safe on the other side of the river, Br’er Rabbit laughs and taunts the two and tells them he has a special “laughing place” that only he knows about.

Brer Bear Caught in a Trap

Brer Rabbit Escapes

We run into Br’er Frog again, enjoying the Old Swimming Hole with his friend Br’er Gator. Beyond their fishin’ spot are a number of critter homes and we can hear several of the inhabitants singing about Br’er Rabbit’s laughing place.

Brer Frog and Brer Gator

Critter Homes

For you trivia buffs, the three possums hanging overhead in this area are named Pansy, Poppy, and Petunia.

Pansy, Poppy, and Petunia

Br’er Rabbit paints a sign saying, “To the Laughing Place” on an old tree branch. Believing what he reads, the doltish Br’er Bear plunges head first into an opening and stirs up a hive of bees. Moments later, a loud crack can be heard as the rotting tree trunk gives way and they fall into a cave below, taking us along with them.

Looking for the Laughing Place

At the beginning of our adventure, the colors used in the attraction are bright and well saturated. But when we fall into the cave the colors become darker, signifying danger ahead for Br’er Rabbit and us.

As we enter the cave, we see a number of beehives hanging from the ceiling and their angry inhabitants buzzing around. Further on we find Br’er Bear has landed on his back and has a beehive stuck on his nose. Br’er Rabbit is also on his back, laughing hysterically. He says to Br’er Bear, “I didn’t say this was you’re laughing place. I said it was MY laughing place.” But unbeknownst to Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Fox has snuck up behind him with a “beehive honey-trap surprise” of his own.

Brer Bear and the Bees

Brer Rabbit about to be Caught

It turns out that Br’er Rabbit’s laughing place is actually a flooded mine that is enjoyed by a number of critters. As we pass through this area, we see several of his friends having a rollicking good time.

A note of clarification. Many people think that the weasel that pokes his head out from the ceiling is saying “FSU” (Florida State University) as an inside joke the Imagineers added to the attraction. This is not true. The weasel is sneezing and says “Ah ah choo!”

Critter Friends


Further into the cave we discover that Br’er Fox has finally succeeded in capturing Br’er Rabbit. He has encased our frightened hero in a beehive he secured earlier.

Captured Brer Rabbit

As we start our ascent out of the cave two buzzards pontificate on the sad fate about to befall Br’er Rabbit. Along the rocky walls, strange eyes peer out from the darkness.


Near the top of the mine shaft we find Br’er Fox’s lair and Br’er Rabbit tied to a spit, waiting to be roasted. In the background we hear Br’er Fox taunting him with a variety of threats. But the quick thinking Br’er Rabbit responds, “That’s okay Br’er Fox. Hangs me if you gotta. But please, PLEASE don’t fling me into that briar patch.” Once again, the feebleminded Br’er Bear doesn’t realize that he’s being tricked and does just that -tosses Br’er Rabbit into the briar patch and the safety of his home. Of course, all of us in the log come along for the ride.

Brer Fox's Lair

Realizing the error of his ways, Br’er Rabbit decides that home is the best place to be and his Splash Mountain friends all welcome him back with a rousing rendition of Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah. We also find that Br’er Bear never learns and has become entangled in the briar patch while looking for Br’er Rabbit. While Br’er Fox tries to disengage him from the thorns, Br’er Gator has chomped onto his tale.


Brer Bear Caught in the Briar Patch

In the last scene we find Br’er Rabbit comfortably back at his house with his friend Mr. Bluebird. The two of them sing of their good fortune.

Brer Rabbit Back Home

Like many other Disney attractions, your picture is taken on Splash Mountain. Be ready to smile as you careen over the top of Chick-A-Pin Hill. These photos are sold in the shop that you exit through after the ride. In addition, Disney has created two excellent spots for capturing friends and family as they plunge into the briar patch.

Photo Purchasing

Splash Down

Splash Down

The plunge down Chick-A-Pin Hill is 52 ½ feet long on a 45 degree incline. Guests descend at a speed of approximately 40 miles per hour. The ride is approximately eleven minutes in duration. Riders must be at least 40 inches tall to ride. Expectant mothers and those with health problems should avoid this attraction.

I have created a video of this wonderful attraction from start to finish. For those of you who haven’t yet worked up the courage to ride, this is a great way to experience Splash Mountain. Enjoy.

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31 Replies to “Splash Mountain Part Two”

  1. Hi Jack,

    My family has been to Walt Disneyworld at least six times, starting when my daughter was 3 ears old. It’s an expensive but worthwile trip from our part of the world but we are hoping to come back to Florida in summer 2013, and are already getting excited.

    I downloaded and watched this video of Splash Mountain, remembering with joy the fun we have had. However it was on about the third or fourth time when I finally noticed – my daughter is in the video!

    At 10:00 mins there is a slim girl in a white baseball cap, red/white striped shirt, denim shorts climbing into the log at the load bay, about to enjoy the ride. I showed the clip to Jenny and she agrees – it IS her! At least – it is if you filmed this section of the video in summer 2008 🙂

    Thanks again for all the memories you bring back in the blogs – we’ll keep reading them as long as you keep loading them!

  2. Having been to WDW twice for vacation and working at the German pavillion at EPCOT from Aug 07 -Aug 08 i really miss my home. I haven’t gotten the chance to return to Florida since but I’m planning to go in Summer 2012. I found your blog and you really make me smile and enjoy my memories every day, thank you for all that you do, you are amazing!!!

  3. My first trip to wdw was in 1976. My last trip was in 2008. After 50 trips I thought I knew a little……….Wrong. Your blog is amazing and when I need a smile to get me thru the day I just go to your site……..
    Thank You!!!

  4. As always, another great blog. Love the ride through video, especially the fact that you included the drop. As someone who has brought a camera on Splash Mountain more than once, I appreciate your dedication!

  5. Hi again Jack,

    How many times did you have to ride it to get the video and the audio?
    Really good job editing both together!



    Jack’s Answer:

    I rode Splash Mountain four times to film it. However, I already had the audio. In fact, I have “clean” copies of many of the attraction soundtracks. One of the things that makes my videos better than “home movies” is my audio. I rarely use any of what I record live. I usually strip all of this away and use better quality sound. Every bird chirp, thunder bolt, and wind howl has been added by me after the fact.

  6. Thank you so much for talking about and giving me the background on my favorite ride at Disney World. Last time I visited MK I rode Splash Mountain and noticed that the Tar Baby seemed to be gone? I am almost sure the Tar Baby was on top of the mountain as you exit the tunnel? Any info. you may have would be great. If so,why would they remove it?

    Jack’s Answer:

    I hate to tell you this, but there never was a tar baby. Disney decided during the planning stages of the Splash Mountain at Disneyland (the first SM) that a tar baby (included in the original story) could be deemed offensive in today’s world. For a substitute they used honey. Just before you begin your climb up Chick-A-Pin Hill we see Br’er Rabbit encased in a beehive with honey dripping everywhere. At the top of the hill, Br’er Rabbit is tied to a stake. It’s always been this way at both Disneyland and Walt Disney World.

  7. Hi Jack: I don’t have anything to click to view the videos? Do you have a link for the software needed? Thanks!

    Jack’s Answer:

    You probably need to download Adobe Flash Player. This is free software that allows your computer to display video. Others have written me with the same problem and this has always remedied the situation.

  8. Thanks, Jack — I had my son watch this with me and now maybe he’ll be willing to give it a try on our next visit to the Magic Kingdom!

    I also liked your background information — for some reason, I thought I went on this ride during a visit to Disneyland in 1985 but obviously that can’t be right. Maybe I visited “America Sings” and so the characters seemed familiar when I came back years later. Thanks again.

  9. Jack: How did you ever photograph this ride and not soak your camera? I’ve only rode it once, upon the recommendation of a friend that if I sat in such and such seat, I wouldn’t get wet. I was drenched, had to go back to hotel and take a shower. Dirty water soaked through is not my idea of a good time. And you’re right–it isn’t the plunge where you get soaked. Why do the parks think this is a fun thing? I’ve never ridden Kali River Rapids because of this and would really like to.

    I’ve have ridden the water rides at Universal only because I’ve stayed on site and they are so close. Wore swimsuit beneath old clothes; didn’t care how soaked I got, changed in laidies room and left the park for my hotel pool. Can’t really do that quickly at Disney however.

    If you ever decide to photogram Kali River Rapids, maybe I’ll have an opportunity to enjoy it! Thanks

  10. When standing on the walkway in front of Splash Mountain, in timed intervals there use to be a big splash of water that shot out and soaked the people standing on the bridge. The last few times we visited, last year in the summer being one, and it no longer happens, do you happen to know why?

    Jack’s Answer:

    You’re right. I remember people getting splashed while watching the logs descend down Chick-A-Pin Hill. I could be a timing thing. Disney might only turn it on during the heat of the summer. Or it could be a “green” thing in an effort not to waste so much water. But I really don’t know.

  11. Hi Jack,
    i really enjoyed the article, as this is my favorite ride at disney world. does the disneyland splash mountain have the same storyline? thanks for the great report!

    Jack’s Answer:

    Yes. The Disneyland version tells the same story. However, the ride is slightly different. For one, there is no Br’er Frog as a narrator. Also, the Disneyland version has more AA figures as most of them came from America Sings. Fewer AA’s were used in Florida because all of them had to be recreated and this costs money.

  12. hey jack
    you were right i loved the movie. i always try and ride this ride at night during the fireworks. If I time it just right I can get a great view of them even if its just for a little bit. As always, can’t wait for your next blog and keep up the great work. Have a zip a de do da day 🙂

  13. Hi Jack

    Like everyone that posts here I think the things you produce are fantastic and the story about Splash Mountain is no exception.

    My wife doesn’t like this type of ride so this fantastic video will give her a chance to see the wonderful detail of this attraction without having to fear the drop.

    It is amazing how Disney manages to bring joy to people all over the place even when they aren’t physicaly there.

    Thanks for all your effort.

    Chris Cowan
    Hamilton, Canada

  14. Hi Jack,
    Thanks for all the details you put into your blogs. It’s great to know the stories behind so many of the rides! We were at the Magic Kingdom on 6/16 and saw you waiting for the monorail on the resort line. My daughters kept telling me to go over and say hello, but I didn’t want to bother you. I hope you had a good day!

    Jack’s Comment:

    You should have come over and said hello. People do it all the time. I don’t mind.

  15. No mention of the Hidden Mickey?

    You never really mention those….any reason why?

    Jack’s Answer:

    Actually, there is a very good reason I never mention Hidden Mickeys in my blogs. Since Steve Barrett, the author of the Hidden Mickey book, is a member of the Allears team, I don’t want to step on his toes. I view this as his territory.

  16. I was a Disneyland cast member in 1989 and got to participate in the test rides of Spalsh Mountain, before it opened to the public. I’ve always felt a special attachment to the attraction because of that.

    One question; do you know why the WDW version switched to side-by-side seating?

    Jack’s Answer:

    When I worked at Disneyland, I was a test rider during the construction of Space Mountain. So I completely understand your affinity for the ride.

    Splash Mountain at Disneyland needed to be a smaller structure due to space constraints. Because of this, the trough/flume there is narrow, facilitating “bench” seating. At the Magic Kingdom, there was more room for a bigger attraction. Side-by-side seating increased capacity. At the Magic Kingdom, you can seat 8-12 guests per log (believe it or not, they will allow three guests to sit in a seat built for two). At Disneyland, the logs are designed to hold six.

  17. What can we say? You’ve done it again!

    This is supposition on my part, but I suspect that there is an adjustable baffle to direct some of the bow wave from descending logs toward the entrance of the Log Lifter. When I was last there in early December 2008, this super-soaker was notable in its absence. Maybe Disney has temperature criteria to shut off this feature.

    Thanks again from a member of your out of the “World” audience.

    Jack’s Answer:

    The water that soaks you near the Log Lifter (generated by the descending logs down the flume), has nothing to do with the design of the logs. This “splash” is shot from a canon. On cold days, the force of this water is decreased so it doesn’t hit the logs. Thankfully.

  18. Once again, Jack, you made me smile at work. (I take a break and read your blogs!) Splash Mountain is one of my all-time favorite rides. Everytime I ride this ride I always discover something new. Now with knowing the story line better, I can’t wait for my next trip into Critter Country.
    Thanks again!!

  19. Thanks for a great blog Jack.

    I got the amazing chance to test ride Splash Mountain when I was a UK cast memeber in 1992 and so it always holds a special place in my heart!

    Always sad to see the the little fish that used to jump from the water next to Brer Frog fishing has now gone. I always used to look out for this special little touch!

  20. Another great blog. I’ll be riding splash mountain in three weeks. It’s just a shame we can’t see Song of the South here in the USA.

  21. Jack – Great post, as always. This was my grandpa’s favorite story to tell us as kids. He was ill with Alzheimer’s the last few years of his life, but this ride always reminded me of the fun times I had with him as a child. Thank you so much for keeping my memories alive, even when I am at home!

  22. Great video Jack!!! Splash Mountain is very FAVORITE mountain at WDW! Thanks for the daily Disney fix. Keep up the great work!

  23. Great blog Jack, as always. Did you use a waterproof digital camera to get the great shots throughout the ride?

    Jack’s Answer:

    I wrapped my camera in a baggie and just let the lens peak out. In other words, no, my camera is NOT waterproof. LOL

  24. Thanks Jack!
    The one and only time I went on Splash mountain was two years ago with my hubby…he dragged me on all three mountain rides during a MNSSHP night…and I discovered that I loved them all! I am looking forward to going on them all again in the future…Thanks for the ride!
    Happy Canada Day from Picton, Ontario.

  25. Thank you Jack, Part 2 was excellent as well!

    Splash Mountain is so much more than a log flume ride, as your articles have shown 🙂 .. a definite Disney classic..
    I can’t wait to head back to WDW and ride it again! (5 months and counting.. !)


  26. Great blog, aa always, Jack. My wife and I got drenched the last time we were there in September of last year going by the entrance to the Log Lifter. The best ride I ever had on Splash Mountain took place several years ago (in the pre-FastPass era). We were there in the summer, and they had a late showing (11 pm) of the Spectromagic parade. We decided that would be an ideal time to ride Splash Mountain without much of a wait, and were correct. I will never forget the scene as we came out at the top of the hill, just before the big plunge, we had a spectacular view of a dark park with just a winding chain of lights through it-almost like looking at a necklace. Of course, the view only lasted for a split second but it is one of my all time Disney memories that I will never forget!

  27. Hi Jack,

    Part II was worth the wait. What I love most about Disney is that it’s never just have an attraction…there’s a story and a scene to set first. Thanks for providing the background on the “setting the scene”.

    By the way I know what you mean about the entrance to the Log Lifter. I got completely drenched there a couple of years ago on a not so warm February day and I was one of the wimps wearing a poncho which did nothing against the wave of water…it just went inside the neck of the poncho! It still makes me think twice about going on unless it is a really hot day.

    Love the video but you still haven’t convinced my older daughter to ride!

    Happy Canada Day from Winchester, Ontario.


  28. Another great post Jack – Splash Mountain is my favourite ride at the Magic Kingdom – I just love the theming and your articles about it have really made me smile – thank you!

    Portsmouth, England

  29. Just fantastic! Your attention to detail is amazing…I have been on this ride many times and never even noticed half of what you showed. Now I can’t wait to go back and check it all out up close…thanks for the great blog!

  30. Hello again Jack, Lovely 2nd part. Enjoyed just as much as the first part. Especially enjoyed your video, really well made. Such fun! Thx for my daily disney fix.