Earlier this week Splash Mountain made news, not because of the recent controversy surrounding its impending redesign, but instead due to a freak accident in which one of the boats just sank while a number of guests were inside it. One of them was able to get video of the boat being completely submerged in the water, all while the voice of a Walt Disney World cast member told them that leaving the boat was a safety hazard. Now, the woman who shot the video has spoken more about exactly what happened on the attraction.
Skyelar Ingersoll spoke with OrlandoHols.con and explained that this all took place near the end of the ride after the boat had gone down the signature drop. It was then that the occupants began to realize something was going wrong. According to Ingersoll...
We were almost at the end of the ride. We started to notice the the boat taking on water after the final drop. Towards the end the log stopped and it got stuck. We waited for a while but the log started sinking and filling with water, it was then we jumped out. As soon as we stepped out the whole log was pretty much submerged underwater.
The water on Splash Mountain is only a couple of feet deep, and so there was no major concern that the water would be an issue, but the ride vehicle itself is only a couple of feet tall, so it can obviously be submerged in the water. This is the point that the video that went viral was able to capture. The video is shot from outside the boat but it shows it basically completely underwater.
A lot of the ire following the video has been focused on the cast member, whose face we never see, who apparently asked the group not to get out of the boat while it was sinking. Ingersoll felt she was being lectured to by this cast member and doesn't have much nice to say about her, but it more complimentary of the guest relations staff that her group spoke with later...
The cast member that came to evacuate us was very unprofessional and lectured us about staying in the boat, even though it clearly wasn’t safe for us to stay seated in a boat that was submerging. We spoke with management staff and staff at guest relations and they were very professional but the initial cast member wasn’t either helpful or professional.
It was likely a difficult situation for the cast member. Getting off the boat and a place not designed for that probably is a legit safety hazard, and the water, while uncomfortable, is probably less dangerous. At the same time, it's not surprising that the people were unwilling to sit in the water, and at some point, they were going to have to get out as getting the boat out of the water with them inside likely wouldn't be possible.
While Walt Disney World hasn't spoken about the incident, it apparently wasn't anything significant that caused the boat to sink, as Splash Mountain was back up and running again in short order.