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Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Turns 35


It was 35 years ago today that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad brought new adventure to the wild Frontierland of Disneyland. Since then the roller coaster has hosted over 225 million guests on the wildest ride in the wilderness. The beautiful nature inspired mountain owes its look to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. Many of the objects found inside are actual artifacts found in abandoned mines in Nevada, Colorado, Minnesota, and Wyoming.

I love this original TV ad from 1979 when the park was still only open 5 days a week:

And here’s a cute little remembrance of the Opening Day Ceremony for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Before Big Thunder Mountain Railroad started running the tracks, that part of Disneyland was home to the Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland, and prior to that the Rainbow Ridge Pack Mules and the Rainbow Mountain Stage Coaches attractions from the park’s opening.

There are now versions of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in four Magic Kingdom style parks (Anaheim, Orlando, Tokyo, and Paris). A huge thanks to Tony Baxter and all the team of Imagineers who helped design and build this now iconic attraction. Have you been on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? Where do you rank it among Disney’s coasters?