Splash Mountain was evacuated again last night. While that may not seem like news, it points to a pattern that does indeed raise an eyebrow or two. The ride has been experiencing more problems than usual lately. Recently Splash Mountain was evacuated as one of the ride’s log boats began to sink. Today’s evacuation wasn’t nearly that dramatic, but it raises questions.
The attraction isn’t ancient as far as Magic Kingdom attractions go- it opened in 1992. Compare that to “it’s a small world,” which opened 21 years before it, and Splash Mountain is downright young. “it’s a small world,” however is not seeing issues at the rate Splash Mountain is, despite being a water ride too. It begs the question- is the ride being neglected due to the upcoming changes, or is it being re-imagined just in the nick of time?
It seems Iike wasn’t alone in my musings. A Facebook user asked the very same question:
While I seriously doubt Disney would ever intentionally put guest safety at risk to gain support for a controversial decision as this user suggests… I do wonder whether these increased evacuations are an unintended consequence of not investing in a ride that is going to be soon overhauled.
As far as “uptime” goes, Disney is the gold standard, meaning Disney’s record is far superior to other theme parks for maintenance and upkeep. They have rigorous tests each ride undergoes every night and every morning. So seeing so many breakdowns here leaves one to wonder.
Of course, it could be that the ride has indeed just reached a stage where it’s unreliable. In that case, the rides overhaul is coming just at the right moment. Yes, we love this attraction, and yes, it’s a classic- but could all of its issues mean it’s just time for it to become something else? Perhaps.
Take a look at some of the guest comments about the closure:
One evacuation is a bucket list check, multiple evacuations, as many guests have complained of, is something else entirely.It’s clear people are unhappy with the attraction’s ability to operate as intended. Disney may be in the business of nostalgia and happy feelings, but they are still a business. If guest satisfaction drops, guest attendance drops. A drop in attendance means revenue falls, which is not something any company wants to see. Given that, maybe it is time to say goodbye to Splash Mountain after all.
While many claim they will boycott the new ride, many more will flock to it. New and shiny will almost always bring in guests. To put it differently- we’ve been to our local science museum dozens of times. It’s to the point where we say, “meh, I guess we could go,” but we’re not thrilled about it. However, when they announce a new exhibit or a new section they’ve built, we get excited, and we are some of the first to check it out. While Disney superfans like us may not ever feel that way about Disney World, the vast majority of people do. It’s those people who Disney is trying to woo, for a good reason. More people =more money. It’s easy to fall into the trap of almost thinking of Disney Parks as a person capable of empathy, but it isn’t and never will be. The goal of Disney Parks is to make money. The best way to make money is to provide the best guest experience and offer things guests want to see. In that light, much as it breaks my Splash Mountain-loving heart to say it, perhaps it is time for the ride to become something else. I certainly prefer reliable attractions to ones I could likely be evacuated from.
What are your thoughts? Is It time, or is it a nefarious conspiracy? Let us know in the comments!