February 1, 2023

Disney’s Splash Mountain is closed, but the demand for mementos is going strong

4 min read




CNN

Walt Disney World’s iconic Splash Mountain ride has officially closed, but die-hard Disney fans are going to creative lengths to keep pieces of the attraction alive forever.

Crowds flocked to Orlando’s Magic Kingdom theme park on Jan. 23 to witness the final running of the log flume-style attraction, decked out in Splash Mountain merchandise and waiting up to four hours for one last soggy ride. ready for

While more politically minded Disney fans honored the occasion by fighting over the reasons for the ride’s closure (it’s based on infamous (from the 1946 Disney film “Song of the South”) Others began buying, selling, trading, and displaying whatever Splash Mountain merchandise they could get.

Splash Mountain’s water, in particular, attracted a lot of interest on eBay and Disney-themed online communities. Disney experts who spoke to CNN suspect that most of these are lists of jokes, which is not unusual. (Take a chateau resembling Harambe the gorilla that was reportedly sold on the site About $100,000 in 2017.)

Anyone who truly wants to secure this sacred aqua vita should be aware: Many listings for “Splash Mountain Water” have the same image, yet are listed by different sellers. A listing requests a starting bid of $5,000. Another listing, clearly poking fun at the trend, offers a “great value sandwich bag of toilet water from the restroom by Splash Mountain.”

CNN has reached out to eBay and Disney Parks for comment.

Listings for

Regardless of whether the sale of water is real, two very important truths remain:

  • 1. Disney regulars become very emotionally attached to park attractions.
  • 2. Disney’s water is totally different.

Perhaps it’s the level of chemicals needed to kill whatever biological horrors are unleashed by the park. 57,000 estimated daily visitors. Perhaps it’s the decades-old patina marinating in the nooks and crannies of the ancient, blank-eyed animatronics on rides like It’s a Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean. But Disney rides water There is a thing between the fans, many of whom swear they can identify that sweet, sweet brominated smell anywhere in the world. People even sell Pirates of the Caribbean water-themed candles on Etsy, which seem like a safer alternative to a water jar of dubious origin.

For those whose Disney attractions require a slightly different offering, eBay also saw growth in other items It’s a man’s trash, but a Splash Mountain fan’s treasure. Walt Disney World location Sponsored by Ziploc since 2018, and the ride offered nifty little bags to keep people’s belongings dry. Those bags are now selling online for as much as $40, which isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things but is astronomical for the single Ziploc bag market. Replica props from the seats lining the (very long) ride line have gone on the auction block in the days surrounding the ride’s closure, as have cast member badges, old paper ride passes, plastic cups and pressed money.

If that sounds like a lot — too much, maybe — you don’t know Disney World very well.

According to attendees, the scene around the ride, which was located in the Western-themed Frontierland area of ​​Orlando’s Magic Kingdom park, was part celebration, part funeral and completely packed.

Clint Gamache, founder of Theme Park News Site Thrill Geek, was on hand for the festival. Throughout the day, he saw plush dolls of Splash Mountain characters lined up along the bridge leading to the ride, left behind as tributes from fans. He also saw groups wearing homemade Splash Mountain shirts emblazoned with phrases like “Last Splash,” an unsurprising iteration of the vast cottage industry of custom-made Disney trip apparel.

“The equipment in the park for Splash Mountain has been sold out for months,” he told CNN. “As soon as they announced last year that the ride was closing, people were buying all the stuff they could get their hands on.” While some collectors were undoubtedly led by nostalgia, Disney Parks has a decidedly rental side of mourning. which can fetch foreign prices in second-hand markets..

Gamache says he has been to other ride closures, and noted that Splash Mountain’s final day was with less official fanfare than the 2017 closure of the popular Great Movie ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

Still, there was plenty of sentimentality on display.

“Nostalgia is a big thing for Disney,” he says. “There are so many people who have so many memories attached to a particular ride. When, on the road, the ride stops, all those old memories and all those emotions come back.

As the day wore on, Gamache says small groups of people would stop to watch the ride, cheering on the logs as they took in the attraction’s seasonal drops.

T-shirts, pageants, stories; They’re pretty much par for the course when it comes to Disney Parks fandom. A single character in one ride can inspire endless knowledge and merchandise. Splash Mountain was one of the longer, more involved rides at Walt Disney World. Clocking in at a comfortable 10 to 11 minutes Full of music and animation from Br’er Rabbit and his nemeses, Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear. All of these characters are featured in “Song of the South.” The film has been widely criticized over the decades for what the NAACP once called “A dangerously brilliant picture of slavery

The Orlando location is slated to reopen in 2024 as a “Princess and the Frog” themed attraction. Tiana’s bio adventure. Splash Mountain is a ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. Expected to close at a later date.. No plans have been announced for a version at Tokyo Disneyland.



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