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Orlando/SoCal Theme Park Showdown: Splash Mountain vs. Splash Mountain

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Published: October 13, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Let's head out to the laughing place for today's last vote in the Theme Park Insider Orlando/Southern California Showdown. Which version of Disney's Splash Mountain is your favorite - Disneyland's original, or Walt Disney World's? Consider whatever details you'd like - setting, decor, ride, narrative, or whatever petty individual bias you'd like to throw into the mix. The vote will be open for 24 hours.

Disneyland's Splash Mountain: Critter Country

Disneyland's Splash Mountain

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom's Splash Mountain: Frontierland

Walt Disney World Magic Kingdom's Splash Mountain

The differences? Do you like to sit in single file on a flume ride, or side-by-side? That's been the big difference between these two versions of Disney's theme park-reincarnation of "Song of the South." The Disneyland original, which debuted in July 1989, features traditional single-file seating (except now in the back row, where an adult and child may sit together), while the Walt Disney World version, which opened in October 1992, offers side-by-side seating. That allows the Florida version of the ride to put through more visitors per hour than the Disneyland version, which typically translates to shorter waits.

On both rides, you follow the story of Brer Rabbit and his attempt to escape Brer Fox, ultimately leading to Brer Fox throwing Brer Rabbit (and you) down the waterfall into the Brier Patch. Feel free to further break down the match-up in the comments.

Other Showdown winners:

Readers' Opinions

From Skipper Adam on October 13, 2011 at 3:42 PM
This one pretty much comes down to show. I can follow the show, the story on the Fl. version, and it seems that we get to watch the scenes more since the logs float a little slower.

But I do think the drops have a slight edge at WDW.

Last, I think WDW you get the perfect amount of wet, but not soaked like DLR.

From Dominick D on October 13, 2011 at 3:46 PM
Only been on MK's, but more dark ride= more happiness. My vote went to WDW (typical XD)
From Anon Mouse on October 13, 2011 at 3:55 PM
WDW's Splash Mountain is definitely better. No question.
From Joshua Counsil on October 13, 2011 at 4:20 PM
If I'm not mistaken, Disneyland's has a smaller boat capacity, in which case the vote would go to WDW.
From 50.37.4.210 on October 13, 2011 at 4:42 PM
I like DLR better. The drop is more severe and the wet factor is greater. I also like the story a little bit better. The sense of impending doom prior to the drop leads many people to experience the drop more anxiously. That is the way it should be in my book.
From Manny Barron on October 13, 2011 at 10:22 PM
Gotta go East Coast here. The ride vehicles are just better at WDW.
From Rob P on October 14, 2011 at 6:01 AM
The loading of the boats is speedier at WDW due mainly to the "twin seating" which is an important factor at a busy day in the Parks. But that would mean nothing if the ride was significantly poorer. But the ride itself is pretty much the same so WDW gets my vote on this one just because of that. The small details are important after all.
From Eric G on October 14, 2011 at 1:22 PM
I would vote for Disneyland if it were the "original" version. The boat modifications have really taken away from the experience. Originally, Magic Kingdom's was the wetter experience and in many ways it still is, since you can escape the soaking at Disneyland by sitting in the back three rows. If Magic Kingdom has all of the water effects on you often get soaked on the 180 turn between lifts one and two.

Florida's show scenes and audio are superior hands down. Disneyland has the advantage with the drops and the final show scene with the river boat is superior in California.

From 98.21.204.18 on October 15, 2011 at 1:12 AM
I prefer sitting side by side..... especially if you have a child with you. It is easier for a parent to comfort a child who is sitting beside them if they are nervous while riding. Also I prefer not to have to sit in someone else's lap / crotch..... but atleast DL had seat dividers for everyone so you don't end up directly in a stranger's lap.
From Randall Peek on October 15, 2011 at 2:31 AM
I think the story is a bit more coherent in California. While my daughter loved the version in the Magic Kingdom, I couldn't help but wish that she could see the ride as originally envisioned. Plus, when we went through the MK version two weeks ago, the grotto with the dancing waters was in complete disrepair, with none of the effects working. Even had they been working, I still prefer the Disneyland version if for no other reason that for Mrs. Rabbit's minor-key warning to her youngsters, a scene that doesn't seem to exist in the Florida show. That scene nicely sets up the drop.

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