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Splash Mountain - Refurbishment?

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  • Splash Mountain - Refurbishment?

    I’ve taken notice in the past couple of months the rapid deterioration of Splash Mountain. A few things I’ve noticed:

    - In his first scene, Briar Fox’s head is practically dead and stuck to his chest.
    - The Briar Rabbit animatronic during the honey scene has been missing since October.
    - A ton of bees no longer rotate around their beehives.
    - Some animatronics idle during the finale for months now.
    - The poor owl at the end has had his head stuck for quite a lengthy time.

    I understands OSHA gives the ride it’s limitations, but how bad does everything have to get before it’s even considered for refurbishment? Or is it a sign the ride is possibly going to be removed and replaced?
    Last edited by Captain Andy; 01-11-2020, 01:53 PM.

  • #2
    I’ve always been amazed by the lack of reliability in the animatronics of Splash Mountain. They seem to break quickly after a refurbishment and then most aren’t repaired until the next one. This leaves certain things broken for a year or more sometimes.
    Favorite Ride: Tower of Terror

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    • #3
      I wonder if they will do an OSHA redo of the ride. Similar to the Alice's and Goofy's Sky School redos, where catwalks and walls are added to allow safer maintenance and better access to the ride.

      They could also rework the interiors, by rearranging the scene placements to allow access. However that could require the ride to be partially gutted.

      Finally, one major factor is the moisture and water splashes in the ride, which could be a source of broken AAs in the ride. To combat this they could limit back the water, rebuild the AAs to be water resistant or rework the AC to 'dry off' the ride.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Quentin View Post
        They seem to break quickly after a refurbishment and then most aren’t repaired until the next one. This leaves certain things broken for a year or more sometimes.
        I don’t recall it being this bad. It’s been a long while since I’ve been a regular AP, and seeing this level of neglect feels jarring to me. I feel like it also cheapens the experience in some manner, but maybe I’m being too sensitive in regards to maintenance.

        Maybe I was just wearing rose-colored glasses during my previous experiences?

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        • #5
          Also take in consideration most of the AA's on Splash are over 45 years old. That coupled with the damp environment which they weren't designed to operate in probably have taken a hefty toll on their reliability. Maybe its time to replace them with newer versions. Not replace the entire attraction, its a DL classic.
          Last edited by N2dru; 01-16-2020, 10:19 PM.

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          • #6
            It seems like this ride undergoes a "lengthy" refurbishment almost every other year, going down in January until the late spring. It takes mere weeks for AAs to break or go missing, lightbulbs to burn out, etc.

            I've heard people cite both the age of the animatronics and access to them (various catwalks over water) as reasons for their lack of repairs. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but I know of plenty of maintenance and overnight positions that were going unfilled leading to a dearth of workers.

            Honestly, they need to redo this ride so much it goes beyond AA repairs. Widen the flume. Rebuild the boarding area. Update the show lighting/speakers/scenes for better storytelling.
            And for god's sake, make the thing easy to fix.

            I believe Thunder Mountain had its track replaced around its 35th birthday. I remember from a Micechat update that the flume at Splash Mountain's final drop was removed and added back a refurbishment or two ago. You'd be hard pressed to find an older ride that has had so little TLC over the years when it so desperately needs it.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
              It seems like this ride undergoes a "lengthy" refurbishment almost every other year, going down in January until the late spring. It takes mere weeks for AAs to break or go missing, lightbulbs to burn out, etc.

              I've heard people cite both the age of the animatronics and access to them (various catwalks over water) as reasons for their lack of repairs. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but I know of plenty of maintenance and overnight positions that were going unfilled leading to a dearth of workers.

              Honestly, they need to redo this ride so much it goes beyond AA repairs. Widen the flume. Rebuild the boarding area. Update the show lighting/speakers/scenes for better storytelling.
              And for god's sake, make the thing easy to fix.

              I believe Thunder Mountain had its track replaced around its 35th birthday. I remember from a Micechat update that the flume at Splash Mountain's final drop was removed and added back a refurbishment or two ago. You'd be hard pressed to find an older ride that has had so little TLC over the years when it so desperately needs it.
              Bingo. All courtesy of the same company that delayed maintenance on the Mark Twain for so long that it suffered from wood rot, and required a major overhaul.
              "Disneyland is often called a magic kingdom because
              it combines fantasy and history, adventure and learning,
              together with every variety of recreation and fun,
              designed to appeal to everyone."

              - Walt Disney

              "Disneyland is all about turning movies into rides."
              - Michael Eisner

              "It's very symbiotic."
              - Bob Chapek

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              • #8
                Sound like Disney have Issue with attractions that deals with "WATER"
                and end up with sort water damage , and really needs that TLC
                Maintenance 's
                and not let ago........so long.
                I think of the Issue with
                Matterhorn Bobsleds ,last year!
                Soaring like an EAGLE !

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                • #9
                  I also struggle to grasp why exactly Disney just doesn't do a gut and rebuild if the ride at this point. I understand "why," because it still eats guests, still moves people out of the walkways, and is one of the few water rides to cook guests off in the summer. But similar to Indy, the sentiment of running the ride has just kind of become, keep it "running" and hope the water and screaming keeps guests in, but don't really pay the "show" much mind unless it REALLY becomes an issue. It just so happens that, while I would think having the ride rot till little to nothing of the show elements seem to be running as should would cause SOME concern, the continued flow of guests say otherwise.

                  What confuses me I guess is, unlike Indy where, "most" guests don't under that the chamber of destiny should change. That the "reward" rooms should be drastically different. That the snake idols should be intimidating the ride vehicle. The the rats on a vine should make you freak out. Etc. I assume most guests should know that figures in the riverboat finale should be dancing and singing. That brer rabbit shouldn't be a rag doll. That the owl should be showing you your splash photo in a screen that is no longer there.

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                  • #10
                    I too feel that after more than thirty years Splash is due for a major show upgrade that also addresses the maintenance issues mentioned by others here. The Brer Rabbit, Fox and Bear animatronics are the stars of the show and should be top notch modern AAs, rather than arthritic and almost static figures they currently use. Watching videos of the WDW version gives an idea of how much better DL's could be.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Disney_Dad View Post
                      I too feel that after more than thirty years Splash is due for a major show upgrade that also addresses the maintenance issues mentioned by others here. The Brer Rabbit, Fox and Bear animatronics are the stars of the show and should be top notch modern AAs, rather than arthritic and almost static figures they currently use. Watching videos of the WDW version gives an idea of how much better DL's could be.
                      Agreed...compared to WDW, DL's Brer Rabbit, and Fox animatronics seem off when compared to the others in the ride. Especially Brer Rabbit. Not sure what it is. Maybe because they are the early versions but either way its time to upgrade them. Brer Bear appears the same at both parks though.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by WaltDisney'sAlec View Post
                        It seems like this ride undergoes a "lengthy" refurbishment almost every other year, going down in January until the late spring. It takes mere weeks for AAs to break or go missing, lightbulbs to burn out, etc.

                        I've heard people cite both the age of the animatronics and access to them (various catwalks over water) as reasons for their lack of repairs. I'm not sure if this is still the case, but I know of plenty of maintenance and overnight positions that were going unfilled leading to a dearth of workers.
                        I wonder if they are planning a major overhaul, as Splash is (tentatively) not receiving any winter refurbishment this year. Not even a minor fix up like Grizzly River Rapids.

                        It would explain why they aren't making the cosmetic repairs now, as the ride could be going down later in the year for an extensive refurbishment.

                        However, it could be from understaffing as mentioned. Or the Imagineers are too busy with ROTR glitches. Finally, several rides are currently booked for extensive refurbs(Snow White, Haunted Mansion, King Arthur's Carousel) preventing a Splash refurb from happening now.

                        EDIT: I also forgot about the undated Indiana Jones/OSHA bridge refurb.
                        Last edited by Spongeocto4; 01-30-2020, 02:57 AM.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Spongeocto4 View Post
                          I wonder if they are planning a major overhaul, as Splash is (tentatively) not receiving any winter refurbishment this year. Not even a minor fix up like Grizzly River Rapids.

                          It would explain why they aren't making the cosmetic repairs now, as the ride could be going down later in the year for an extensive refurbishment.

                          However, it could be from understaffing as mentioned. Or the Imagineers are too busy with ROTR glitches. Finally, several rides are currently booked for extensive refurbs(Snow White, Haunted Mansion, King Arthur's Carousel) preventing a Splash refurb from happening now.

                          EDIT: I also forgot about the undated Indiana Jones/OSHA bridge refurb.
                          Going at Christmas time next year and will be very sad to see Splash down for a refurb at that time if it has been delayed. Not only would its downtime impact the crowds, but it is also one of my favorite rides, even in the mild winter weather.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by linkeq2001 View Post

                            Going at Christmas time next year and will be very sad to see Splash down for a refurb at that time if it has been delayed. Not only would its downtime impact the crowds, but it is also one of my favorite rides, even in the mild winter weather.
                            Very unlikely Splash will be down at Christmastime. Disneyland needs the capacity of one of its most popular rides. I personally see the worst case scenario is that they need to refurb it during the fall before Christmas, but that it opens during the holiday season.

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