Walt Disney World is to install lap bars on the Splash Mountain attraction at the Magic Kingdom, following persistent problems with guests standing on the log flume.
Screamscape features a photograph of the updated Splash Mountain ride vehicles, which include a single large lap bar on every row. The bars will prevent riders from standing up, and from leaving the log during ride stoppages. Such incidents have frequently caused long breaks in operation to allow cast members to search for lost guests.
The addition of the lap bars will reduce the capacity of Splash Mountain, due to the slightly increased loading time required to lower the bars. In addition, guests will no longer be able to ride three in a row in the logs, further reducing the potential capacity. The number of FASTPASSes issued for the ride per day is likely to be cut as a result.
Splash Mountain is currently closed for a period of refurbishment, during which the lapbar-equipped logs will be introduced. The ride is due to reopen on February 1, 2011.
Themed around the characters, stories and songs from the 1946 animated movie Song of the South, versions of Splash Mountain are in place at Disneyland and Tokyo Disneyland as well as the Magic Kingdom. The ride begins with a slow-paced indoor and outdoor cruise past singing animatronic creatures, before a final plunge into a "briar patch".