From Sarah, With Joy

*Poet * Author * Wanderluster*

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Disneyland: Writing on Splash Mountain

I apologize for yesterdays miss, but lets get right to it. Here's what I love about Splash Mountain: it does a super awesome job of eerie, not quite right cheerfulness. The characters are grinning and singing zippidy doo da, but you know what's coming and that makes everything a little freaky. It's designed so the movement of the characters and the shadows and the soundtrack all add to the feeling.

Its such an awesome feeling when writers pull this off. There's this seemingly cheery exterior, but you know there's something not quite right, something freaky boiling beneath the surface. Honestly, this is so much more terrifying then outright monsters. I mean, why was the jaws shark so freaky? Because you hardly ever saw him: you saw a yellow barrel that signaled the approach of an unknown terror.

Whats cool about Splash Mountain, though, is that there ends up being no monster, the hill isn't as bad as you think its going to be. But in writing, you can make that worse than actually discovering a monster: if you leave it hanging in this not-quite-right limbo that the protagonist now senses, that's about as haunting as you can get.

Anyone else have thoughts on Splash Mountain and writing?

Sarah Allen

p.s. Don't you love my punny title?


  1. Husband has the Splash Mountain song (Laughing Place) as his ringtone. It's his favorite ride ever, and when we go, he has to ride it at least 5 times or he leave satisfied. So every time I think of Splash Mountain and writing, I think of his ringtone interrupting my silence!

    1. how did he get laughing place as his ringtone i am hoping to make it my ringtone.

  2. One of the books that matched what you are talking about perfectly is "Something Wicked This Way Comes." Although the movie was awful, any time a book is set in an amusement park or a circus or anywhere that is supposedly a happy place, is a wonderful opportunity for horriblethings to happen and be disguised!!

  3. I thought Neil Gaiman did a beautiful job of the underlying eerie feeling towards the end of the Graveyard Book. I knew there wasn't something right about one of the characters, but I kept thinking I was imagining it. So cool.

    Enjoy Disneyland. My favorite place in the world! (I have a pass and go there lots...if you need any questions answered about food and such, let me know!)


  4. I love splash mountain! I think my favorite park was Animal Kingdom, but I don't know if they have that in Disneyland.

  5. I'm cheating here and going for a film - but somebody had to write it, right?

    The opening to Blue Velvet with those beautiful bright colours and nice views. So lovely that you just knew something was going to happen; and then...

  6. I get the same thrill on that final drop of Splash Mountain as I do when I read a sizzling revision.

  7. Only you, Sarah, can do justice to a writing comparison with Splash Mountain. Wow. You're such a weirdo. I love it.


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