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Sunday, January 22, 2023

Splash Mountain Takes Its Last Bow at the Magic Kingdom

 by Ray Keating



January 22, 2023


Whenever asked what my favorite ride is at the Magic Kingdom, the answer always has been easy: Splash Mountain. But today (January 22) is the last day I can answer that way, as Splash Mountain will be officially closed on Monday (January 23) to undergo a refurbishment/retheming. It will become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure inspired by the movie The Princess and the Frog.

So, why has Splash Mountain been my favorite? I love log flume rides, and this is the most interesting one I’ve ever ridden given the length of the ride, the many twists and turns, how a story unfolds as one travels along, and of course, the major log-flume drop and splashdown that usually gets you wet. And yes, especially during hot-and-humid times in central Florida, this ride was cooling and welcome.

What’s odd is that Splash Mountain feels like it’s always been around. But Splash Mountain first opened in Disneyland on July 17, 1989, and then in Walt Disney World on July 17, 1992. There’s also a version in Tokyo Disneyland that opened on October 1, 1992. When it first opened, the 52-foot plunge was the longest flume chute in the world, according to Disney A to Z: The Official Encyclopedia.

There’s no word yet on when Splash Mountain in Disneyland will close, and no plans exist to close the Tokyo Disneyland ride. The refurbished ride is schedule to open sometime in 2024.

My son and I took two final spins on Splash Mountain on the evening of Thursday, January 19. We enjoyed it, as always, but of course, there was a tinge of melancholy this time. When my wife and I took vacations to Disney World as our boys grew up, Splash Mountain was always a must-ride for myself and our sons (my wife could be prodded onto the ride now and then, but she’s not much for speed and big drops). So, we were leaving Splash Mountain behind.

Without getting into the debate over why Splash Mountain is being replaced, the ride will be missed. One hopes that Tiana’s Bayou Adventure will provide at least half the fun and the memories.



Ray Keating is the editor, publisher and economist for DisneyBizJournal.com; and author of the Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers and mysteries, and the Alliance of Saint Michael novels; and assorted nonfiction books. Have Ray Keating speak your group, business, school, church, or organization. Email him at raykeating@keatingreports.com.


The views expressed here are his own – after all, no one else should be held responsible for this stuff, right? 


Consider books by Ray Keating…


 The Weekly Economist: 52 Quick Reads to Help You Think Like an Economist. Signed paperbacks at RayKeatingOnline.com or paperbacks, hardcovers and Kindle editions at Amazon.com.


• Cathedral: An Alliance of Saint Michael Novel. Signed paperbacks and/or paperbacks, hardcovers and the Kindle edition at Amazon


• The Pastor Stephen Grant thrillers and mysteries. The latest in the series is Persecution: A Pastor Stephen Grant Novel. Get the signed books here, or paperbacks and Kindle editions right here.


• The Lutheran Planner: The TO DO List Solution combines a simple, powerful system for getting things done with encouragement, inspiration and consolation from the Christian faith.


• Behind Enemy Lines: Conservative Communiques from Left-Wing New York  –  signed books  or at  Amazon.


•  Free Trade Rocks! 10 Points on International Trade Everyone Should Know is available at  Amazon  in paperback or for the Kindle edition, and signed books at  www.raykeatingonline.com


Also, check out Ray’s podcasts – the Daily Dose of DisneyFree Enterprise in Three Minutes, and the PRESS CLUB C Podcast.

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