There is a certain class of rides that is not quite waterslide, not quite roller coaster proper. Water-coasters are distinct from rides like Big Foot Rapids at Knott's, where you and your party clamber aboard a large circular rubber innertube with seats, are carried along a rolling bagel-toaster-like conveyor belt and bounced along swirling “rapids.”

Splash Mountain is like a musical safari, on water, on LSD. There is a narrative, presumably to explain the bears, donkeys, buzzing bees, gigantic mushrooms, oversized carrots, storks, pelicans, dancing cats, dancing birds and the hootenanny of other animals that serenade you as your log floats by in the underground caverns, but who knows what it is? It is sublime, though, in a way that makes perfect sense if you are autistic.

The Log Ride, however, is old school. There you are, rolling along in a bathtub tricked out like a log, water sloshing over the side, endeavoring as directed to “keep your arms and legs inside the log at all times.” Then, suddenly, whoa! Ducks! Wolves! Disembodied eyes! Creepy loggers! Mocked by grown-ups, feared by small children, Log Ride's charms are nonetheless considerable, akin to being stuck inside a historical diorama. Won't you give it another chance?

—Gendy Alimurung

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