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I have been walked off a few Disneyland rides before. No, not because I was breaking the rules. I have been walked off a few rides because the rides have broken down and they needed to remove the guests while they worked to fix the ride. But in all my years, I have never had a funny story about a ride breaking down at Disneyland… Until now! So today, I am going to tell you the hillarious story of when Splash Mountain broke down during my recent trip, and then I am going to give you some tips for when a ride breaks down at Disney.
To start, you must know that since becoming a mom I have traveled kid free exactly two times. Both were to Disneyland. The first was in 2014, before I was even pregnant with the twins. I went to a conference, so my friend Sarah came with me and we spent a few extra days in Disneyland.
The second was just this summer, with my friend Terrie, another mom who has never traveled without her kids or at least her husband since becoming a mom 20+ years ago. I will have to share about going to Disneyland with the girls one of these times, but I share this, just to let you know that my kids were not on this trip, and that this was supposed to be a relaxing, getting a break trip.
This trip was pretty laid back. We didn’t rush from ride to ride to ride, though we did do most rides. We hit the major rides each once, and a few smaller rides to boot. I was there to catch my breath from stress going on at home, and to get some work done, without feeling like I was imposing on a family vacation. Mostly, I was there to check out the newly re-imagined Pixar Pier, which is totally awesome.
Okay…so on to the story.
We Decided To Hit Up Splash Mountain
My friend and I decided it was time to hit up Splash Mountain, in hopes that we would stay cool for the day. It was our Magic Morning day and we had gotten in quite a few rides between magic morning and utilizing Disney MaxPass. Funny thing was, on most of the rides we used MaxPass on so far that morning, there was honestly no standby line. A testament to how much you can get done during those first few hours in the parks, even during the busy summer months. It was only 11 am, but the sun always feels about 20 degrees hotter when beating down on you in the parks, so we were ready to get wet.
We had a MaxPass for Splash Mountain, but again, didn’t need it. There was no standby line. Like NONE. So we ran onto the ride and got seated. We chose the back of the log, simply because we didn’t want to get soaked, and we planned on taking a selfie down the big drop (because I am apparently a teen when it comes to photos for my Instagram account).
We loaded up with 2 other groups of two. The first two seats were a girl, around age 9 or 10 and then her father…tall, slim, physically fit dad (this will matter later in my story) and then another girl (around the same age) and her mom, who was very petite. Then there was me, and my friend, Terrie.
We went along our merry little way, up the first climb, around the outside, and down the small drop on the outside of the ride. My friend and I were SOAKED! On the first little drop. While sitting in the back. It is also important to note, we are both wearing our favorite shoes for Disneyland, Chaco sandals, but they were not tightened (at least mine were not) so our shoes were now soaked as well.
So, we go along, and the ride is now indoors. We go down a few more tiny drops, and then the one where you see a bear’s bum and then drop. Soaked again! What is up with this log getting us so wet in the back row?
Splash Mountain Has A Log Jam
We were almost to the big climb for the huge drop. And the ride must have stopped somewhere. Because all the sudden logs are backing up before the big climb. So we are a few logs back, and more are building up behind us. We are stopped right in front of the mom rabbit, singing to all the baby rabbits about how the fox is going to kill B’rer Rabbit, and if they go to the laughing place they will die too.
It is a very scary and omnious song when you are stopped in front of it for ten minutes. I am glad I wasn’t stuck there with the Goof. I mean it just kept repeating a message of “the fox is going to kill you….”
After about ten minutes the logs start climbing the hill. Yay! The ride had started back up! Sweet.
A few logs go up and over the drop. We are half way up the climb when the ride stops again. This time, we are next to B’rer Rabbit, tied up, and a shadow of B’rer Fox laughing like a demon, preparing to eat him.
We Were Stuck On Splash Mountain For 30 Minutes
I wish I could say that the ride started back up and we got to go over the drop…but what kind of story would that be? Not one I would write a blog post about.
Nope, we sat there for 30 minutes. We were at a 45 degree (guestimate but yeah) angle in the log. Those back rests…they only go half way up your back. So we got a core workout holding ourselves up.
So what do you do when you are stuck there for 30 minutes?
Well, we led a sing-a-long. I am pretty sure the rest of our log thought we were nuts. We sang 99 Mickey Ice Cream Bars on the Wall, Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, and a few other songs I don’t remember. We took selfies. I texted my husband, and my friend did a fish tail braid in my hair.
30 minutes, and we were going a little crazy.
Then they finally sent a cast member to help us. Now remember my description of the other people in our log, because this is important.
Somewhere, There Is A YouTube Video Of This…I Am Sure
They sent a little, petite cast member to help us out of the log.
First off, we were at that weird angle. I say 45 degrees, but honestly, I think it is more of a 60 degree angle. We are facing upward. There are stairs there, that go downward at the same angle. But they are a good distance from the logs…
So in between there is this little bumper area, with these tiny raised notches. Those notches are supposed to hold your feet from sliding while you climb over to the stairs.
The dad in front, remember he is tall, thin, and physically fit, simply picks his daughter up, plops her down on the stairs. Then he takes one step, skipping that notched bumper, and making it to the stairs. Easy peasy.
The petite mom and her daughter, were much smaller than the cast member, and got out fairly easy.
Now it was our turn
By the way, Disneyland rides are plus size friendly….
My friend and I are not tiny. My friend is in good shape, but she is a mom to five, and not small. I am very much pooh-sized. And while Disneyland is very plus size friendly in the rides, sending this tiny little cast member to help us off a ride, when we are at this strange angle, was not the most pooh-sized friendly moment.
For starters, my friend is sitting in the back, where her legs are stretched out to the side of me. Trying to figure out how to stand up and get out without stepping on her legs and breaking them was a task all it’s own. Then, remember I also have these sandals, sopping wet, and my feet are sliding around. Oh, plus the fact we each had 2 bags with our stuff, and the tiny cast member helping us get out.
So I am trying to step against one of these notches…but my sole on my sandal is as thick as those notches, and remember, my straps were lose on the wet sandal, so my feet are sliding over those notches.I struggled to get my balance and get out of that log. That poor cast member… Probably thought I would squish her.
It was a pretty embarassing moment, but I got out, and then they went to help my friend out. My friend jokingly turns to the log at the bottom of the climb (and at this time, a much larger cast member shows up…where was he to help me out?) and my friend says “Don’t be taking video of me now.”
She was joking, but as the newly arrived CM and I turn to look at the log below, we see there is indeed a man, with his video camera out. Somewhere, on the internet, I am sure this man has loaded up a video of my friend, but especially of me, struggling to get out of the log on Splash Mountain. The CM quickly instructed that there was to be no video or pictures and to put the camera away, but not for our sake. I am sure it was more about keeping the Disney Magic as they were about to lead us back stage of the ride.
They led us out, took care of us (more on that in a minute) and we went on our way. Since we had just had a core workout (remember sitting up on that incline) we decided to go get an arm workout in by doing the canoes. But we continued to laugh and tell the story of us trying to get out of the log to others we met that day.
What To Expect When A Ride Breaks Down At Disneyland
So now that you have probably had a good laugh at my expense, and hopefully not left to search for the video I am sure is out there, let’s share some tips for when a ride breaks down at Disneyland with you on it.
1. Your Ride Stopping Doesn’t Mean It Broke Down
As we told the story to some ladies in the hotel hot tub and they were in tears from laughing (seriously, they were crying) one mentioned how a ride broke down for 2 minutes. The ride was Haunted Mansion or something similar.
Thing is, most likely the ride was not broken down. Many of those rides with constantly moving vehicles will have short “break downs” during your time on the ride. Most likely there is no issue, and they are more than likely loading or unloading someone who needed to tranfser from a ECV or wheelchair. That or some other small issue, like someone didn’t get out of a ride in time.
2. Follow The Instructions That Come Over The Speaker
Many times, a ride is just stopping for a moment. Standing up to see what is going on, or messing with your ride vehicle may prolong your stop, so be sure to follow the instructions given over the speaker. Usually it is a voice of a character from a ride, but sometimes it is a cast member coming over the speaker.
3. Find A Way To Entertain Yourself
If you are just sitting there, you might go a bit crazy. Like I did listening to that song about how the fox would eat the baby rabbits. But the time on the hill, other than the core workout from sitting myself up, was not too bad. We entertained ourselves, so it seemed to go by pretty fast. If it weren’t for the texts I sent my husband, I wouldn’t have known it had been thirty minutes.
4. Follow Cast Member Instructions
If you are walked off a ride, be sure to follow Cast Member instructions. This includes putting away cameras or video cameras. Not just because you can get embarassing video of the other people in front of you, but because Disney is very serious about not having the behind the scenes filmed. While you can search and find video and photos from behind the rides, Disney does not want those getting out. Would it be worth possibly being asked to leave the park just to get that footage?
Also, Cast Members are trying to move people quickly and safely from the ride, so that they can get the ride fixed, but also get you back to enjoying your day in the park.
5. What Will You Get For Your Trouble?
So you had a fastpass and your ride broke down while you were on it, or maybe after you redeemed your fastpass. Now what? Normally, you will be offered a multi-experience Fastpass. This will be loaded on to your ticket and is good for any ride in the same park (with a few exceptions, such as a new or super-popular ride).
The Fastpass will be visible on the app as well. You will have the entire day to utilize the fastpass, so you can use it on another ride, or if you want to wait, you can see if the ride you were on comes back up. If it does, you can use the Fastpass on that ride. Which is what we did.
6. When Will The Ride Come Back Up?
Of course, most people want to know when they can expect the ride to come back up. Truth is… we don’t know. When we talked to Cast Members at Splash Mountain, they said 80% or more of the time the closures like that are caused by rider error. Such as lifting a lap bar, dropping something on the track, or more. While some are quickly fixed, others are not.
A ride may be down for an hour, or for the entire day. If Splash Mountain had not been up within a few hours, we probably would have used our multi-experience Fastpass elsewhere. You can keep holding on to it clear until a few minutes before park closing, but if it doesn’t reopen, make sure you have time to get to one last ride to use it.
7. Can I Get A Refund If Several Rides Break Down At Disneyland?
I have been in the park on days when it seems one ride after the other just keeps breaking down. Or like this week, when temps were well over 100 degrees, several rides were down for multiple reasons. A lot of people want to know if they can get a refund if this happens. The short answer is no.
Just like certain times of the year several rides may be under maintenance, some days there are just a lot of rides that break down, or weather makes them close. Sadly, Disney does not offer refunds for this. However, you can almost always find plenty of fun activities to do, even when the rides are down.Some of my favorites are to check out Animation Academy, view a show, do some shopping, try some new foods, the list goes on and on.
Hopefully you got a good laugh and now know a little more about what to expect when a ride stops for a few moments or breakdowns. And please, if you find the video of me climbing out of that log on Splash Mountain, DO NOT link it for me.
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