A closure and change that was announced nearly 3 years ago finally has a final date in sight. May 30th will be the end of the line for Splash Mountain at Disneyland as it transforms to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure over the next year and a half. The transformation is already taking place in Walt Disney World. In this post, we’ll talk about the closure and offer commentary on the next month of operation and what’s ahead in the transformation.
I’m not going to get into whether or not Splash Mountain should or shouldn’t close. That debate has been exhausted over the last three years and, honestly, most of the discourse around it at this point is frustrating from both sides. There are viable reasons for the closure. There are also reasons why people love the ride and are nostalgic for Splash Mountain. Neither are wrong when put in that simple fashion. Discussion is a good thing but at the topic feels like it’s reached a point where people are just yelling at each other online. That helps no one.
As for what this means to Splash Mountain in the next month and a half, I’m not sure there will be a dramatic increase in crowds until the final few weeks of operation. There may be slightly higher wait times in the next month when guests who come to Disneyland every so often make sure they get a final ride in. But the weather isn’t overly hot yet and I think that will play a bigger role than goodbyes.
Once the park hits mid May though, all bets are off. The last week will likely be chaos, and I’d be prepared to wait for multiple hours if you’re looking to ride Splash Mountain during that time. If you don’t care much about the attraction then I’d advise avoiding the whole area entirely during that last week of May. If you do happen to be there during that time, want to ride Splash but avoid the crowds then I’d go first thing in the morning or last thing at night (except for May 30th.)
This probably goes without saying, but be kind to all of the Cast Members working in that area during those crazy few weeks. They are not the reason Splash Mountain is closing. They are also just implementing the queueing systems that they think will work the best. There will be so many passholders lingering in the area in those final days (I’ll probably be guilty of that) as well as others who have no idea the ride is closing and are just trying to figure out what’s going on. Here’s hoping everyone can keep calm and enjoy this iconic attraction one last time.
Here’s also to hoping that Splash Mountain holds up for the next month and a half. The ride will have days where it will go down due to unexpected issues because all rides do and because Splash is hard to perform maintenance on. That may be a good argument for rope dropping it, theoretically that would be the best time to avoid any breakdowns.
Once the transition begins to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, I’ve heard a number of different time frames. The only thing that Disney has said publicly is opening in 2024. I’ve also heard 14 and 18 month windows to complete the redone attraction. All three of those seem quite optimistic to me.
This may be recency bias sneaking into my thinking but after the long process in opening Tron, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and a certain treehouse in Adventureland, expecting an 18 month turnaround (or less) doesn’t seem feasible. That said, it’s hard to know how thorough the process will be. All or most of the track will remain the same, as will the structure.
I’m hoping that it’s a very thorough redo of the attraction (preferably with references to Splash Mountain) and that would take a little longer. My very uninformed guess is that the Walt Disney World version of the attraction will debut in late 2024, thanks to the head start, and Disneyland’s version will be a few months behind that in early 2025. Seeing the year 2025 makes me feel old! It’s all a guess at this point, Disney executives probably don’t even fully know when the attractions will open. Take your time everybody, just make it good!
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