Opening as a near identical twin to its Disneyland predecessor, Splash Mountain opened to guests of the Magic Kingdom’s Frontierland in October 1992.
Originally conceived by Imagineer Tony Baxter, the story of Splash Mountain was that of Br’er Rabbit leaving his home to visit his Laughing Place. Riders would board eight-passenger logs two-by-two, and be taken through Br’er Rabbit’s story. After an initial introduction, the ride vehicle would be lifted into the “mountain,” first floating gently through Br’er Rabbit’s home, with the ride’s theme song “How Do You Do?” playing consistently. Following him on his journey, riders are introduced to Br’er Fox, Br’er Bear, Mr. Bluebird, and Br’er Porcupine, who warns him of the potential dangers he’ll face on his journey. Ignoring his warnings, he continues ahead. Guests continue on, experiencing small drops into The Laughin’ Place, caverns, and eventually to a darkened scene in which Br’er Rabbit has been caught by Br’er Fox, whom he begs not to throw him into the briar patch. Two overhead vultures taunt riders as they continue, turning into the final lift hill, which drops riders 50 feet under the briar patch and into the final scene where they are met with a large riverboat of “critters” singing “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” celebrating Br’er Rabbit’s return home. Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox are seen attempting to fight off Br’er Gator, and Br’er Rabbit celebrates his return home and a lesson learned.
In January 2011, Splash Mountain’s vehicles were equipped with lap bars to keep guests in their vehicle throughout the attraction.
In June 2020, Disney announced that Splash Mountain would be closed and rethemed into an updated Princess and the Frog attraction. Tony Baxter will return as Creative Advisor on the project, with the expectation the attraction will be shut down in early 2022. On December 2, 2022, it was announced the attraction would officially close to make way for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure on January 23, 2023. Splash Mountain officially closed, with Cast Members getting the last ride through the briar patch, at the end of the day, January 22, 2023.