Hold on to your Mickey Mouse ears: By early '89, Disneyland will have a new thrill ride called Splash Mountain in its Bear Country section. And designer-producer Bruce Gordon promises, "At one point, (it's) the fastest ride in Disneyland, at 40 miles an hour."
Based on characters from Disney's film "Song of the South" (1946), the attraction will move riders along a watery flume at an average 4 1/2 feet per second (equal to a brisk walk--a bit faster than "Pirates of the Caribbean"). The ride itself follows the adventures of Br'er Rabbit as he tries to get to the Laughing Place and outsmart Br'er Fox and Br'er Bear, who are trying to eat him.
There are three major drops--the final plummet is 52 1/2 feet, at a 45-degree angle, toward a pond. "You think that's the end," Gordon said, "but . . . there's a hole concealed by thorns that leads to a cave underground, and you go under the water!"
The ride's finale is a secret: "We're always trying to outsmart our local customers and give them something unexpected."