When people think of Walt Disney World, “thrill rides” don’t necessarily come to mind. And there are not too many to be found. But there ARE mountains to be conquered. The three “official” mountains at Walt Disney World are Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain. They are quite popular and can have very long lines. I’m not normally one to wait in long lines, but these rides are rare exceptions.
Splash Mountain is one of my family’s FAVORITE rides. Disney has announced they will refurbish this ride, and it’s companion in Disneyland, to retheme them to Princess and the Frog, but they currently feature Brer Rabbit and his friends from Song of the South. This is not your ordinary log ride! Splash Mountain at Walt Disney World is located in Frontierland (it lives in Critter Country at Disneyland). The Walt Disney World version features 3 hill lifts and culminates in a 50 foot drop. YOU WILL GET WET!
Once you board your log, which normally seats 8, in 4 rows of 2, but is slightly altered because of Covid, you will start up a large hill. After a short drop into a river in the Southern United States, you will pass the Brer characters’ houses before dropping down Slippin’ Falls. At this time, you enter the dark ride portion of the ride, where a whole bunch of animals sing “How do you do?” as Brer Rabbit searches for his laughing place. There is another short drop before you enter the danger zone, and begin up the very last hill, where two spooky vultures ask “if you finally found your laughin place, how come you’re not laughin?” Then, after the most AMAZING view of the Magic Kingdom, you plunge 50 feet straight down!!
Don’t forget to smile for the camera on the way down! YOU WILL GET WET!! Trust me! If the hill doesn’t get you, the falls after the drop will! The ride then finishes up with everyone singing “Zip a dee doo dah.” You’ll end up singing it. Sorry.
Don’t forget to look for your ride photo and tap your magic band or park ticket on the way out!
Do not leave Frontierland without taking a spin on “the wildest ride in the wilderness!” Big Thunder Mountain was the first roller coaster I ever went on and I cried the whole time we were in line because my cousins kept trying to scare me. But I loved it. I cannot confirm or deny, but it seems to me that it goes MUCH faster at night! I nearly flew outta my seat twice! And the views, again, are incredible!!
One of my favorite things are interactive queues, and Big Thunder has one of the best! Blast the cannons and watch the explosions on the mountain! A great way for bored kids (and kids at heart) to pass the time. My advice to you: the queue can get VERY hot, especially in the summer. Second piece of advice: when you start to make your way down to the trains, use both sides. There isn’t a side that goes faster, they just alternate which train is running and they load from both sides of the platform. Don’t get stuck! Keep it moving! THE AIR IS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE RAMP!!!
Height Requirements for the Mountains:
- Splash Mountain: 40 inches
- Big Thunder Mountain: 40 inches
- Space Mountain: 44 inches
I saved the best for last. Space Mountain is my favorite mountain. You can’t beat this classic wildcat-style coaster. My favorite part is listening to my mother screaming her head off. It’s fun for all ages. But maybe don’t ride it right after you eat!
The line is frequently long for this ride and the queue will give you quite a workout, since you’re kind of walking up hill. Once you reach the top, the line again splits in two. It doesn’t matter which line you are in, they just load two trains from different sides to run on different tracks. Space Mountain does not have any drops. You are twisting and turning, but not dropping. The drop in the Barnstormer is longer. What makes the thrill is the fact that it is in the dark.
As you can tell from the photos I got on the PeopleMover (when the lights were on), it is not high and there are no big drops.
So the mountains are calling and I must GO! Which mountain do you head to first??
**As a reminder: Disney’s current policies require all guests ages 2 and up to wear face coverings at all times unless actively eating or drinking (while stationary) or for socially distant photos. Photos may not show current compliance, as they are older.