VIDEO, PHOTOS: Log Ride Vehicle Testing at Tiana’s Bayou Adventure (Full Operational Speed)

    While visiting Magic Kingdom recently, we were able to catch log ride vehicle testing for the upcoming Tiana’s Bayou Adventure attraction. Testing has been happening periodically throughout February, but it has seemingly ramped up to an operational full speed recently. In this article, we’ll take a look at the testing with photos and video from our visit to Magic Kingdom.

    First, we’ll note that the testing is becoming rather consistent now, with construction and set dressing taking place during the day, and then operational testing taking place around sunset and into the nighttime hours. This is, undoubtedly, a good sign for an attraction that very well could be open in just a few months. Officially, Disney World has announced a summer opening date. In the recent past, summer opening dates have generally meant very early summer – sometime in the Memorial Day Weekend time frame. Testing like what we saw last night can only be good news for the ride.

    When we arrived shortly after sunset, water was flowing through the lower portion of the attraction. Previously, this was referred to as the splashdown section, where ride vehicles would get soaked following a 52.5′ drop from the peak of Splash Mountain. We’ll probably keep referring to it as the splashdown section, unless Disney World offers a new official name.

    As you’d imagine, the overlook pool was also filled, although there is still a bit of set dressing theming to be done in the area.

    Shortly before the testing, an Imagineer walked the outdoor portion of the splashdown u-turn area where boats decelerate after the iconic drop. The Imagineer walked over to what appeared to be a panel of some sort in the splashdown tunnel. After a few minutes at the panel, the Imagineer returned to whence she came and there was no other activity until the logs started dropping.

    The first log was sent down the drop some 20 minutes after sunset, and a rather steady flow of logs was observable until we left shortly before the start of Happily Ever After to beat the mass of humanity leaving Magic Kingdom all at one time. There was no show lighting on Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, which made capturing the testing somewhat difficult, but we’ll do our best.

    In terms of the speed of testing, what we observed was just about as close to normal operations as you’d remember. In reality, it was probably quicker than what we’ll see later this summer when the ride opens. We often saw logs paused at the top of the hill, waiting for clearance downstream before being sent over the falls. In just about every instance, it appeared to be a safety/clearance hold and not a show or delay hold. I don’t think the vehicles could’ve safely dispatched over the falls any quicker than they did.

    So, how quickly were they dispatched? We saw the logs sent over the drop every 15 seconds or so. If the logs were full, that would be nearly 2,000 guests per hour. Of course, there will be limiting factors when the ride opens, but hopefully, all of this testing allows for smooth operations when the ride debuts.

    VIDEO: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Log Ride Testing

    Check out our embed video below for a look at the ride vehicle testing. If the video doesn’t load, or you’d like to watch in 4K, head over to our YouTube video.

    PHOTOS: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure Log Ride Testing

    We also took a few photos in the somewhat challenging post-sunset-no-show-lighting environment.

    Unlike other recently opened attractions like TRON Lightcycle Run or Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the ride system for Tiana’s Bayou Adventure is well established and remains largely unchanged from the days of Splash Mountain.

    As always, keep checking back with us here at as we continue to bring you the latest news, photos, and info from around the Disney Parks! Newsletter

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