Lap Bars installed on Splash Mountain

Community Leader
Registered: 06-28-2001
Lap Bars installed on Splash Mountain
7
Wed, 02-02-2011 - 2:00pm

From the Orlando Sentinel's The Daily Disney:

Disney's Splash Mountain gets safety bars

By Jason Garcia, Orlando Sentinel

"WDW's Splash Mountain reopens today after a month-long refurbishment with a new feature: lap bars.

The restraints have been installed in each of the 18-year-old flume ride's 64 log-shaped boats. They are designed to prevent riders from standing up or getting off before the end of the 9-1/2-minute ride, which carries guests through enclosed areas with animatronics and includes a 52-foot drop at a 45-degree angle.

It's an issue that has vexed Disney for years, posing both a safety hazard and an operations headache, as workers are forced to bring the popular Magic Kingdom attraction to a halt when someone tries to exit early.

"From time to time, we have had guests attempt to prematurely exit the ride vehicle. It is our hope that the new lap bars will prevent this from happening in the future," Disney World spokesman Bryan Malenius said Monday.

Disney has considered installing safety bars on Splash Mountain before. The subject drew attention in 2000, when a 37-year-old St. Petersburg man was killed after climbing out of his seat midway through the ride and was struck by another boat.

But the idea had been rejected in the past, at least in part because of concerns that lap bars would slow the ride's loading process and reduce its overall capacity. That is a significant concern in the Magic Kingdom, the world's busiest theme park, with more than 17 million visitors each year.

Capacity constraints are one of the primary reasons Disney is expanding the Fantasyland section of the Magic Kingdom."

Disney said the lap bars installed on the Splash Mountain boats will not significantly affect the ride's load time, nor will they reduce the number of people each vehicle can carry."

Personally this makes me happy - I'm always amazed every time we ride Splash that nothing really holds you in your seat.

Val, Co-CL Disney Vacations

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-23-2010
Thu, 02-03-2011 - 2:30pm
I'm hoping this will help me. I love Splash Mt but the big drop leaves me feeling queasy for a while after riding. I do best when I slouch down and put my knees up against the back of the seat in front of me.

So I hope this help with that. Aly & Mike usually go on it a couple times without me (I try to go once each trip).
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-01-2006
Fri, 02-04-2011 - 7:42am

I think this is a really good thing!!!

 Melissap.jpg

iVillage Member
Registered: 05-15-2009
Fri, 02-04-2011 - 1:26pm
Wonderful! The first year we went, my then 4 year-old son loved this ride and it made me so uncomfortable that there wasn't anything holding him into the seat!

Community Leader
Registered: 06-28-2001
Fri, 02-04-2011 - 2:22pm
I agree with all of you that this is good news. I had read about it on Laughing Place News and there was a little poll to see what you thought about the lap bars. Surprisingly (or maybe not so) the majority voted that they were unhappy with this news. Perhaps they're worried, as the article suggests, that this will increase load time.

I can't see it affecting the wait that much. Peace of Mind!

I let my sister know about this, thinking that maybe she'd let my nephew ride now and she said that she might even give it a whirl now! :)

Val, Co-CL Disney Vacations

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-23-2010
Fri, 02-04-2011 - 9:27pm
One thing I did read about the lap bar installation is that now you can't fit 3 on one seat. We never had a problem fitting the 3 of us in one seat, but apparently the lap bar installation will only allow 2 in a seat.

Another complaint is that there really is no actual need for the bars. I know it feels like you're going to fall out, but you're not going to. The lap bars are for simple peace of mind (which I have no problem with) and to prevent people from actually getting out (not falling out) of their logs (which has resulted in death).
Community Leader
Registered: 06-28-2001
Fri, 02-04-2011 - 10:33pm
You can fit 3 in a row? Since we're 4, we always sit 2 and 2 but I can't imagine squeezing another person in with us :o

Val, Co-CL Disney Vacations

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-23-2010
Sat, 02-05-2011 - 12:12am
We've never had an issue on Splash. Other rides, we usually can't anymore...could when Aly was little, but definitely not anymore.