Fans of Disney’s Splash Mountain are getting their hands on all the souvenirs they can

(CNN) Walt Disney World’s iconic Splash Mountain ride is officially closed, but hardcore Disney fans are doing everything they can to keep parts of the attraction going forever.

Throngs of people packed Orlando’s Magic Kingdom theme park to witness the final performances of the log flume-style attraction on January 23, decked out in all manner of Splash Mountain gear and ready to wait more than four hours for one last soggy ride. .

While more politically-minded Disney fans honored the occasion by fighting over the reasons for the attraction’s closure (it’s based on the infamous 1946 Disney film “Song of the South”), others got down to business buying, selling, trading and displaying any Splash Mountain Ware they could get their hands on.
Splash Mountain’s water, in particular, garnered a lot of interest on eBay and Disney-themed online communities. Disney insiders who spoke to CNN suspect that most of them are joke listings, which is not unusual. (Take a Cheeto that looks a bit like Harambe the Gorilla that reportedly sold on the site for nearly $100,000 in 2017.)

Anyone looking to actually secure some of that holy holy water should beware: Several of the “Splash Mountain Water” listings have the same image, but were posted by different sellers. One listing requests an initial offer of $5,000. Another listing, clearly bucking the trend, offers a “Great Value Toilet Water Sandwich Bag from Restroom by Splash Mountain.”

CNN has reached out to eBay and Disney Parks for comment.

“Splash Mountain Water” listings on eBay.

from ebay

Regardless of whether the water sales are real, two very important truths remain:

  • 1. Disney regulars become emotionally attached to the park’s attractions.
  • 2. Disney water is just different.

Maybe it’s the levels of chemicals needed to kill the biological horrors spewing out from the park’s estimated 57,000 daily visitors. Maybe it’s the decades-old patina marinating in the nooks and crannies of the vacant-eyed ancient animatronics at attractions like It’s A Small World and Pirates of the Caribbean. But Disney ride water is a thing among fans, many of whom swear they could identify that sweet, sweet, bromada smell anywhere in the world. People are even selling Pirates of the Caribbean-themed water candles on Etsy, which seems like a safe alternative to a water pitcher of dubious origins.
For those whose Disney sanctuaries require a slightly different offering, eBay also saw a rise in other items that are trash to a man but treasure to Splash Mountain fans. The Walt Disney World location has been sponsored by Ziploc since 2018, and the ride offered nifty little bags to keep people’s belongings dry. Those bags are now on sale online for as much as $40, which isn’t a lot in the grand scheme of things, but is astronomical for the individual Ziploc bag market. Prop replicas of the sets lining the ride’s (extremely long) queue were up for auction in the days surrounding the ride’s closure, as were cast member badges, old paper ride passes, plastic cups and pressed pennies.

If that sounds like a lot, maybe too much, you don’t know Disney World very well.

According to attendees, the scene around the attraction, which was located in the Frontierland western-themed area of ​​Orlando’s Magic Kingdom park, was part celebration, part funeral and completely packed.

Clint Gamache, the founder of theme park news site ThrillGeek, was on hand for the festivities. Throughout the day, he saw stuffed dolls of Splash Mountain characters lined up along the bridge leading to the attraction, left behind as tributes by fans. He also saw groups wearing homemade Splash Mountain T-shirts with phrases like “Last Splash,” an unsurprising iteration of Disney’s vast cottage industry of custom-made travel clothing.
“The in-park merchandise for Splash Mountain has been sold out for months,” he told CNN. “As soon as they made the announcement last year that the ride was going to shut down, people have been buying all the merchandise they can get their hands on.” While some collectors were no doubt guided by nostalgia, there’s a decidedly mercenary side to Disney Parks loot, which can fetch outrageous prices on thrift markets.

Gamache says he’s been around other attraction closures, noting that Splash Mountain’s final day seemed to have less official fanfare than, say, the closing of the iconic Great Movie Ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2017.

Still, there was a lot of sentimentality on display.

“Nostalgia is the biggest thing for Disney,” he says. “There are so many people who have so many memories related to a particular trip. When, along the way, the trip closes, all that nostalgia and all those emotions come back.”

As day progressed into night, Gamache says, small groups of people would stop to view the ride and cheer on the logs as they took the ride’s climactic drop.

The t-shirts, the pageantry, the stories; everyone is absolutely normal when it comes to Disney Park fandom. A single character on a single journey can inspire endless lore and merchandise. Splash Mountain was one of the longest and most complicated attractions at Walt Disney World, lasting between 10 and 11 minutes filled with music and animatronic antics by Br’er Rabbit and his nemesis, Br’er Fox and Br’er Bear. All those characters appear in “Song of the South.” The film has been widely criticized for decades for what the NAACP once called a “dangerously glorified image of slavery.”
The Orlando location is scheduled to reopen in 2024 as a “The Princess and the Frog”-themed attraction called Tiana’s Bayou Adventure. The Splash Mountain ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, California is expected to close at a later date. No plans for the Tokyo Disneyland version have been announced.

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