After 31 years of helping Guests find their laughing place, to great sadness or relief, Splash Mountain closed yesterday at the Walt Disney World Resort, and some of Disney Parks’ biggest competitors have not wasted any time humorously throwing their own hats in the ring when it comes to acknowledging the former attraction.
First opened in 1989 at the Disneyland Resort before its 1992 debut at Walt Disney World’s Frontierland, the thrill ride inspired by classic log flume rides took Guests on a journey through the South with characters like Br’er Rabbit, Br’er Bear, and Br’er Fox before a huge drop. However, by 2020, Disney Parks had decided to shut down the popular ride due to signs of wear and tear and criticisms of the ride’s theming.
Splash Mountain was based on characters from the 1946 animated film Song of the South, a Disney release that was so controversial that the Company has limited access to it in both physical and streaming forms for years. The ride’s basic structure with remain, with a new storyline based on 2009’s The Princess and the Frog, notably the first Disney film to feature an African American Princess.
While SeaWorld made its own Splash reference yesterday, today, the Universal Orlando Resort account reused a tweet from May 2021 with a caption that reads: “PSA: Made for splashing, not drinking.”
Also, not for selling. https://t.co/2fAQMiS37W
— Universal Orlando Resort (@UniversalORL) January 24, 2023
However, the caption takes on new meaning after the account retweeted the older post, adding a new addition: “Also, not for selling.” Not only does this imbue new meaning into the word choice of “made for splashing,” i.e., implying that Universal still has a “Splash” attraction and Disney doesn’t (for the time being), but it also references the bizarre listing that went online shortly after Walt Disney World’s Splash Mountain permanently closed, offering to sell a jar of dubious water “from” the shuttered log flume ride for a ridiculously enormous sum.
Since rumors sprouted that a bereaved or lucrative Guest “stole” the iconic “YOU MAY GET WET” carved wooden sign in the ride’s queue, Guests’ desire to capture some attraction keepsake for their very own, thus cementing their status as the ultimate Splash Mountain devotee and preserving a piece of the ride’s history. However, now Disney fans are trying this trick to make a quick buck (or a thousand) off of unreliable “rare” props from the now-defunct ride, which could easily be any random household object, such as a twig or a jar of water.
Of course, Disney fans active in online communities such as TikTok, Twitter, Instagram, and Reddit have found the entire attempt hilarious, wondering who would even buy something that suspect. By referencing the group’s in-joke (or meme), the Universal Studios’ empire has once again connected with its avid theme park fanbase in a way that will likely keep the Company laughing… all the way to the bank.
For now, fans will have to wait for the future opening of Tiana’s Bayou Adventure to revisit the log flume ride or try their hand with the shady water online.