Frontierland Stories Behind the Scenes

Splash Mountain

REPORTED: jen 13 DEC 01

when i was in 8th grade, a school club i was in took a trip to WDW and my friends and i decided to ride splash mountain right away. we waited in line for like, 45 minutes. we were the next people to board the boat for the long anticipated ride when it was shut down for Oprah Winfrey and her camera crew to ride. Oprah and her crew boarded and right as they were about to take off, Oprah stopped the ride and asked for other riders to come along. since we were the next in line, my friends and i got to ride splash mountain with Oprah Winfrey. ;)

From: John and Karen 10 SEP 99

We recently visited WDW with two friends to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. My wife and I made a sign saying 'Happy 10th Anniversary, Mark and Hope' which we held up on Splash Mountain for the photograph. Believe it or not, it came out great. Not only did the cast members in Splash Mountain make their day by calling out the picture orders "...97......98......Mark and Hope.....99..." but for the rest of the day people wished our friends a happy anniversary. Talk about a 'network' for communication. It made their vacation. Thanks WDW Cast Members.

From: Zach M 18 APR 99

In Space Mountain a little boy about 6 sat in front of me. On one of the hills he stood up and over the music Uncle Remus's voice said,"You sit down now ya here." Has anyone had this happen on this or any other rides?

From:Matt Steninger 01 JUL 98

While riding Splash Mountain last year, my log was behind another carrying a group of 15-16 year olds(i'm 20). They decided it would be fun to dip into the water and slpash each other (right after Brer-Frog's ascension in the beginning). The logs stopped and a friendly cast-member voice announced "Please remain seated an keep your hands and arms inside the cars at all times." They sheepishly settled down and looked straight forward barely even moving. I turned around to see a camera hidden in the rocks directly behind us!

From:Jennifer Bell 04 OCT 97

Some people are just really weird. My parents took my husband and I to WDW for our one year anniversary. It was in September (rain season). We waited in line for about 45 mins. as we watched storm clouds approach. Being Florida babies, we figured it would dump then clear up. Well the cast members kept walking around checking the line, etc. Right after we got into our log, they decided to close the ride. We were informed that we were to be the last log. Thunder and lightning started to flash as we went through the ride. We didn't realize how bad the storm was until we got to the Flume part. We started uphill, and as we looked over the edge the whole log full of people went "" then we went falling in the pouring rain. As we went to turn the corner at the bottom of the hill going towards the loading zone the lady in our log decided she didn't want to get wet, so she opened her umbrella. (we were in a 'fake' mountain, in a lightning storm...did she not know this?) All of a sudden a "voice" out of nowhere said "we can not continue the ride until you close your umbrella miss." The ride stopped and we were getting poured on. She finally realized the were talking to her and she closed the umbrella and the ride kept going. We laughed hysterically at the sign outside the ride that read: "caution: you may get wet on this ride" Hours later we were still wringing out our clothes.

Rivers of America

From: Joseph St. Angelo 13 FEB 99

I was in Disney circa '85, and they drained the entire Tom Sawyer lagoon. The boat is on tracks, which most people know, but what you don't know is that the lagoon itself is simply IMMENSE. Vans and trucks were in the lagoon, and looked like Matchbox cars out of their depth...literally. The boat was placed in the back, towards where the Seven Seas Lagoon, mobile light show floats are stored. You could see the boat as you went by on the train, across the bridge.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

From: Selena Parisher 20 JAN 02

About two years ago, my (now ex) boyfriend and I were at the Magic Kingdom, and we took the underground tour. He kept saying he hoped we would get to see underneath Big Thunder Mountain, because it's his favorite ride. I told him I doubted we would get to, since I hadn't read about anyone doing that during the tour. Well, we took the tour and didn't get to see it. But later that day, we were riding Big Thunder and it got stuck in the avalanche scene (the last lift). A cast member came and told us to get out of the train. We were in the very last car, just barely in the cave entrance, and while the cast member was helping those in the rest of the train out, we walked back out of the cave to a little ledge with some props on it. I took a picture of my boyfriend standing there, with the steamboat in the background. Needless to say, those people on the boat looked VERY shocked to see two people standing right there in the middle of the ride! (they couldnt see the broken down train, as it was inside the cave). We were led thru a door, down some steps and we were inside the "mountain!" (not very exciting, just a metal frame with electrical junk inside, and the "rock" looked gray underneath). then we went out another door and we were where the bats eyes are when the ride starts! The glowing eyes are just halves of coke cans with holes cut in them! We walked out the way the train goes into the ride, and out the exit. My boyfriend got his "tour" of his favorite ride anyway!

REPORTED: Selena 15 MAR 99

I was riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for about the 20th time with my fiance (it's our favorite ride!) We usually ask if we can wait and get in the back car (its the fastest of course) and the nice cast members usually let us. It was our last ride before the park closed and we had to go home :( I asked the guy if we could sit in the back (we only had to let 2 people in front of us) but he rudely said "no, keep moving". As our train pulled by him I (not very discreetly) gave him a gesture while "scratching my nose." I told my fiance that he saw me and would probably get us stuck on the ride on purpose. Well as we were in the avalanche scene going up the lift, lo and behold our train stopped. Coincidence? Maybe. Or maybe some of those cast members are vengeful (i should talk!) From: Robert & DeLores Stone 24 NOV 96

Here is a true story of sorts. I worked at Magic Kingdom attractions west in maintenance. A fellow in our shop was attempting to retrieve some sunglasses that a guest had dropped on Big Thunder. This is a no-no while the ride is in operation. A car hit him in the chest knocking him about 14 feet down to the next set of tracks. A car was coming straight for him. Quick action by another maintenance person saved his life. The other Cast Member jumped down to the lower level and pulled him away before the eyes of some very surprised guests. The rescuer received accolades and I believe an all expense paid cruise. Working maintenance around a lot of rapidly moving objects can be very dangerous.

From: Tracy Tartaglia 03 SEP 96

We waited in line for over 45 mins on Big Thunder Mountain, we got to the top of the ramp right before you board the trains and we were told that we had to exit the ride that it was being closed for the day. It seemed to be runnning fine except for the fact that an alligator had climbed on the tracks and animal control had to come and remove it!!! What a bummer. The good news is that the next time we rode Thunder Mountain we waited in line for 30 mins but they stopped letting people in line after us because of a parade. By the time we got off the parade was coming and they were not letting anyone cross over the entrance (this was before Splash Mountain was designed) We ended up riding it 5 more times without waiting in line. The only other people were the people who rode with us on the orginal ride.

From: Robert Niles 24 JAN 96

One time I was in the Big Thunder Mountain tower when we had to shut the ride down because we saw a kid in a monitor jumping out of his train as it rumbled up "A" lift. We evacuated, and when a host asked the kid why he jumped out, the kid said, "I changed my mind about riding." - Don't waste too much time working on that Nobel Prize acceptance speech, kid.

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