Splash Mountain Closing Date Announced

by | Dec 2, 2022 | Magic Kingdom, WDW Blog, WDW News

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A Splash Mountain closing date has been announced. Get your last ride through the briar patch before this day in January…

Goodbyes are never easy. 😢 Ever since Disney announced the retirement of Splash Mountain, we’ve been anxiously waiting to learn when we will officially bid farewell to the classic attraction. 

After two years of speculation, fans finally got word of the closure date at an exclusive media event yesterday. Read on to discover the date of Splash Mountain’s retirement and a bit of history about this soon-to-be defunct ride.

When Will Splash Mountain Close?

Winter closures are typical for the water ride, as Disney typically takes the cold season as an opportunity complete annual refurbishments, working on Audio-Animatronic repairs and paint touch-ups. The ride will be closed again in January this year, but Br’er Rabbit won’t be getting his annual checkup. Today, Disney announced that guests will be taking their final plunge into the Briar Patch next month.

re-theming Splash Mountain - ride during sunrise

Splash Mountain in its final weeks. Photo by Cliff Wang

Yep, Splash Mountain will officially be closed forever on January 23rd, 2023. 

The closure is bittersweet for many; while it is difficult to part with a place that is home to so many happy memories, it feels like the right time to say goodbye. It doesn’t hurt that Imagineers have cooked up a breathtaking concept for an attraction based on The Princess and the Frog. Perhaps to soften the blow of the Splash Mountain closure date, Disney gave fans some juicy details about Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in their press release this morning!

My, Oh My: The Making of Splash Mountain 💦

The concept for the attraction was conceived in 1983 by Imagineer Tony Baxter, who was first hired at Disneyland as an ice cream scooper 18 years prior.

Baxter came to the idea while trying to think up ways to attract guests to Bear Country (now called Critter Country), which was lacking attendance at the time. Oddly enough, the attraction was originally to be named “Zip-a-Dee River Run”, but CEO Michael Eisner changed the name to “Splash Mountain” to promote the film Splash (1984).

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Splash Mountain as it has looked for three decades. Photo by Cliff Wang

The ride was one of the most expensive attractions Disney had ever built, just a few million shy of what it cost to open the entirety of Disneyland in 1955. However, the hefty price tag would prove to be worth it.

Splash Mountain opened in Disneyland on July 17th, 1989 to rave reviews that would continue for three decades, cementing it as a legendary attraction and pop culture icon. In true late ’80s fashion, a TV special titled Ernest Goes to Splash Mountain was used to promote the attraction:

The ride was replicated in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom and Tokyo Disneyland in 1992, while a third rendition’s development was scrapped for Disneyland Paris. Both the Disneyland and Walt Disney World attractions are set to transform into Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, while the Tokyo Disneyland version is undecided.

Splash Mountain Closing Forever

After 33 years of bobbing through the Laughin’ Place and dropping into the Briar Patch, it’s time for the curtain to close on Splash Mountain. While it’s hard to say goodbye, we know that everything is satisfactory — all good things must come to an end!

And a big welcome to Tiana, Prince Naveen, and all their new friends. We can’t wait to go down the bayou and cook up something new!

Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Opening in 2024

Re-Theming Splash Mountain: What We’re Looking Forward To

Written by Evelyn Long

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Evelyn Long is a proud University of South Florida Bull and Disneyphile. She has been going to Walt Disney World since she was a child and is now an Annual Passholder. Witnesses say she has unashamedly cried at the sight of the Magic Kingdom Rapunzel bathrooms on multiple occasions.
Evelyn Long

Written by Evelyn Long

Evelyn Long is a proud University of South Florida Bull and Disneyphile. She has been going to Walt Disney World since she was a child and is now an Annual Passholder. Witnesses say she has unashamedly cried at the sight of the Magic Kingdom Rapunzel bathrooms on multiple occasions.