I’m Less Than Thrilled About the “Splash Mountain” Re-Vamp for a Different Reason

These incendiary views on water rides reflect the opinions and beliefs of the individual writer, NOT the New Orleans Mom owners or staff as a whole. If you disagree with this passionate stance, please share any and all tips for maintaining dry undergarments in the comments because you must have that figured out. Thank you

Splash Mountain

I’m Less Than Thrilled About the “Splash Mountain” Re-Vamp for a Different Reason

I absolutely LOVE the movie The Princess and the Frog. Seriously. We went to see it in the movie theater as soon as it came out, including my oldest daughter, me and my husband,  my husband’s brother, sister, and their respective significant others. In other words, our party was six adults and one child. I found it VERY dusty in the movie theater for that first screening, so my eyes may have welled up a bit. And, I have had either misty eyes or a lump in my throat at the end of every viewing since.

Not only is Tiana the first African-American princess in a Disney movie, but she’s also Disney’s first princess who is an American citizen (not counting Pocahontas, before the country was actually established). AND she’s a go-getter based on Leah Chase?! FORGET IT. And, not that it matters (it totally matters), but if you look closely at the ending of the movie, you’ll notice that her restaurant is located in Algiers Point, and did I mention that I’m a Westbanker?

The whole movie is a love letter to New Orleans and chefs, and it encourages young women to work hard but keep family and values in mind. It’s so funny and charming; it’s  truly almost the perfect Disney cartoon. I also think it would have been so close to Walt Disney’s heart because he loved New Orleans.

Now, let me tell you what I’m not crazy about: Water rides. Before I ever rode one, when I was about 13 or so, I thought I was going to absolutely LOVE water rides. I had seen so many sitcoms, movies and commercials with the log flume and the big SPLASH! at the end that just looked like nirvana on earth for a 90’s tween. The water looked sparkling and cool and refreshing and just- the salve for summer ailments.

The first time I actually RODE a water ride, my disappointment was indescribable.

It was at the (now defunct) Astro World in Houston as a teen, and the number one thing that struck me was the musty smell of the water and the feeling of walking around all day in wet underwear, wondering what mysterious bacteria was sitting so close to my skin. I’m not a particularly OCD person, so if this was unappealing even to me… I just didn’t get how so many people adored this experience!

The first time I went to Disney World when Splash Mountain was actually open – because, as an older ride, it was very often closed – my sister confidently assured me that THIS water ride was bound to be different from the ones I’d done before (because I really gave water rides a try, y’all). She promised me that I’d love it, reassuring me that “the splash wasn’t even that big.”

So, I went and rode Splash Mountain.

As you probably know, my sister had carried on that grand old tradition of dishonesty when you want a sibling to do something they don’t want to do, and it IS a Big. Splash. I got very wet, and the water (despite being “Disney different”) still smelled less than ideal once it soaked into my hair and clothes, and yes… those clothes once again included my undies. Not cool. So, for the remainder of my visits to Disney World in my adulthood, I just said “NO!” to Splash Mountain. I stood at the photo op point, waiting for everyone else in my party to cruise by with their hands in the air and mouths open (yuck), and snapped a few really good pics. Done, yay, let’s go to Thunder Mountain.

And thus it remained until I had children and made the crucial mistake of going to Disney World in the summertime. My then 10-year-old looked at me with big, round, pleading eyes and asked me to ride Splash Mountain with her and her daddy, “just this once…?” I donned a huge poncho and tucked it in at every imaginable seam. I pulled that sucker up so high it fogged over. I rode the doggone thing and – Wait, are you expecting me to say I loved it? I DIDN’T! I STILL HATE WATER RIDES! They’re still the worst, y’all!

But most people seem irritated or even offended that this very aged ride is getting an overhaul, when Walt Disney himself said before Disneyland opened in 1955 that the parks would never be finished, but constantly evolving and changing. We have all seen the charming, cheerful, colorful dark ride component to Splash Mountain, and while it is true that the ride itself is not offensive, the original source material is outdated at best. I would also be willing to bet that 95% of the people up in arms about the change can’t even name the source intellectual property…

But, as I’ve stated, the aftermath of squirmy undies is my complaint. Just as one-half of the internet seems irritated that the “classic” Splash Mountain is getting an overhaul, I am irritated for quite another reason. How am I to avoid this ride in the future? Sure, the poncho kept me from getting downright drenched, but I was still damp and uncomfortable. Br’er Rabbit I can resist. Tiana? Never. She’s the #1 Princess, a role model for my girls, her signature color is green (my favorite color) and I’m guessing that the food carts nearby are going to have some pretty good stuff.

I guess I’ll have to invest in some fishing waders and rubber boots, or something. Because as far as being a regular “water ride rider,” looks like I’m Almost There.

Jeanne Rougelot
Jeanne is a proud Westbanker and wife, full time working parent, and middle child. She and her insanely handsome husband of 20 years have 2 daughters, aged 15 and 7. Her hobbies include cake decorating, reading, devouring movies, and slowly turning into her mother. When they are not patronizing local restaurants, she and her family enjoy driving around to take in the surroundings of their home, from Lafitte to Folsom, and all points in between. She is a passionate advocate for Ovarian Cancer Awareness.



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