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The One Thing You Should Never Do on a Disney Water Ride

They’re some of the most exciting attractions at the Walt Disney World and Disneyland Resorts.

Water rides have long been popular experiences at Disney Parks, with Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids, and Grizzly River Run all bringing laughter and screams to Disney’s theme parks.

From the thrills of the crazy drops to the unexpected splashes of the river rapids, Disney’s water rides often provide a different experience every time. But there’s one particular water ride behavior that we always avoid, for it ruins the adventure!

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Credit: Disney

Across the Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Guests have plenty of thrills to choose from.

From the high-speed launch of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith to the creepy drops of The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror, Walt Disney World is full of fun for Guests seeking those scarier rides.

Water rides, however, provide some of the scariest moments of all at Disney. You never know how wet you’re going to get, what way your boat is going to twist on the river, and who in your party will get the most soaked.

And with hot, summer months approaching down in Orlando, Florida, Disney’s water rides will see long lines and packed Lightning Lane reservations on Disney Genie. So, what behavior should be avoided after waiting all that time in line for Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids?

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Credit: Disney Tips

Wearing a raincoat or poncho, of course!

Why wait all that time in line for Splash Mountain, Kali River Rapids, or Grizzly River Run over in Disney’s California Adventure just to try and stay dry? We love the thrill of not knowing how wet we’re going to get on Disney Parks’ water rides and avoid wearing ponchos to experience the true purpose of the attractions.

Getting those classic “how soaked did we get?” photos at the end of these rides has become a Disney vacation tradition and one that would be impossible if we were wearing a raincoat.

Often, Disney packing lists call for bringing a light rain jacket or ponchos for the whole family, but we only bring these for any sudden thunderstorms that roll into the Walt Disney World Resort. Being able to throw something on quickly to protect ourselves from Florida’s torrential rain showers is useful, but not when it comes to a hot day on a water ride.

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Credit: Disney Tips

Wearing these rainy day ponchos on Splash Mountain or Kali River Rapids ironically “dampens” the magic and the thrill of the attraction.

Some things we do recommend packing for a Walt Disney World vacation, however, are ziplock bags and water-resistant bags. All those wet rain jackets, ponchos, socks, shoes, and masks can be tossed into a ziplock instead of just your Park bag, while Ziplocks can also protect those items that you don’t want to get wet. If you have a camera, extra portable chargers, or even food, ziplocks can help them stay dry.

Furthermore, having extra footwear on your Disney World packing list to avoid wearing wet shoes helps, especially when you’re a fan of tennis shoes or sneakers. We tend to bring a pair of foldable flip-flops to wear on water rides so our feet aren’t soggy for the rest of the day – especially with all those steps!

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Credit: Disney

Disney announced that Splash Mountain, in a stand against what many consider to be the “racist” undertones of the ride, will be rethemed completely into a Princess and the Frog ride. 

Ever since the reveal, Disney Parks have been removing references to Song of the South and Splash Mountain. In August 2020, Disneyland Resort quietly removed the attraction’s famous song, “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah” from the Disneyland Resort esplanade music loop and recently from the Festival of Fantasy parade in Magic Kingdom.

The 1946 movie Song of the South is considered to be one of the most controversial films in Disney’s portfolio. It has never been made available on home video in the U.S. and is currently missing from Disney’s streaming service, Disney+.

More On Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain

Credit: Disney

The official Walt Disney World description of the water ride reads:

A Hare-Raising Ride

Gently drift through a colorful Southern bayou along with happy-go-lucky Br’er Rabbit as he looks for his “laughing place.” But be warned: Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox are in hot pursuit of this wayward hare.

Glide by over 100 adorable Audio-Animatronics geese, frogs, raccoons, possums, bees, alligators and other down-home critters as they sing classic Disney ditties, including “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” and “Ev’rybody’s Got a Laughing Place.”

Then hang on to your hats—this delightful musical cruise ends in an exciting 5-story splashdown into a thorny Briar Patch!

You Will Get Wet

This attraction includes 950,000 gallons of water, 3 dips and a 5-story drop. Where you’re seated will determine how wet you’ll get. Riders in the back may experience a sudden splash or spray; those who opt for the front can expect to get soaked.

For Guests looking to ensure their personal items remain dry, lockers are available to rent near the Main Entrance

About Melissa Cannioto

Melissa is an author, adventurer, and chatterbox, who loves to enjoy Disney's theme parks with a Mickey Premium Bar in hand! A British native, she has traveled the world seeking new experiences, and now resides in Florida with her Air Force pilot husband. Find her children's book at @thebearandthehug_book