Jeff is sharing vintage Splash Mountain photos today from his extensive personal collection as the attraction is now closed at the Magic Kingdom to become Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. He took these photos on a number of occasions between 1991 and 1993, including the start of construction, signage and also ride photos. Jeff would bring 30 rolls of film with him each trip and document the parks and resorts. (He started visiting Walt Disney World in 1971 as a child, and myself in 1977).
Here is a look at Jeff’s Splash Mountain photos! You will see along the way a Mike Fink Keel Boat and a canoe.
This was Jeff’s first time photographing the Splash Mountain site. Construction had just started. Jeff wanted to document all the construction wall art, but he also took some construction photos.
At this point, the wall art said the attraction would open in Fall 1992.
Jeff stands in front of the artwork.
There was also a model of the ride. Jeff thinks it was in the Main Street Train Station.
Here is a look at the construction as it was getting started. I was asked today how long the construction took, and it was over a year and a half. I don’t know when the ground was broken.
A lot happened with the ride between February and October! Even during this week that Jeff was on his trip, the top part of the ride looks different (from this first photo to later).
A new Frontierland train station was being built at the same time.
Splash Mountain looks nearly finished already, only a year after Jeff’s first photos.
A Mike Fink Keelboat – the Bertha Mae – can be seen passing Splash Mountain.
The Briar Patch gift shop was open.
Stuffed plushes can be seen on a shelf.
Ride testing had apparently started by this time (according to the signage). At some point after this, soft openings began (I don’t know exactly when).
This sign also let guests know that Splash Mountain would be “Opening Later This Year!”.
This sign tells guests “You May Get Wet”. There are safety warnings on the sign. And the last line? “Please refrain from smoking”.
The Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes was another attraction at the Magic Kingdom at the time. I don’t even remember it anymore, but Jeff took a photo of a canoe in the foreground of Splash Mountain. The canoes are still part of Disneyland.
October 1992 – Official Opening Day
Splash Mountain is officially open! There was a morning dedication, so some attractions opened a little late. Splash Mountain had been in soft opening for a while at that point.
Guests lined up to ride Splash Mountain.
Here is a look at the new Frontierland Railroad Station.
Here are some photos that Jeff took that day inside the ride. (We have one more day coming, in 1993).
Jeff and his family returned to Walt Disney World in February 1993. Prior to Splash Mountain at the Magic Kingdom opening, he rode the Disneyland version of the attraction. I wanted to show his vintage shirt.
There was a sculpture of Brer Bear, Brer Rabbit and Brer Fox outside the ride.
Back then, there were no lap bars in the boats.
This is a nice view of Frontierland and Disney’s Contemporary Resort.
This was Jeff’s parents first time on the ride. Jeff picked up his love of Disney and recording from his father, who passed away in late 2022.
Thank you to Jeff for taking time to scan and clean up many of his vintage Splash Mountain photos!
We also have a current video of Splash Mountain from a week prior to closing.
Now we look forward to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure in late 2024.