Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is one of the most iconic Disney roller coasters (appearing at Disneyland, Magic Kingdom, Disneyland Paris, and Tokyo Disneyland) and the Tom BrickProject wants it to be an iconic LEGO Set that you can build at home. This set contains the… Read More »Big Thunder Mountain LEGO set needs your vote
It’s been a long time Disneyland fans, but your patience is about to pay off. A much needed, very thorough, refurbishment to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is almost over. The well-known wildest ride in the wilderness reopens March 17 with an upgraded track, restoration of the historic Rainbow Ridge Mining Town, new paint on portions of the mountain, and updates to the train vehicles. Disney has thrown in a few new surprises, too.
While you wait for March 17 to roll around, here’s a POV on-ride video to enjoy and a list of fun facts:
Along with the new track, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopens in 2014 with an enhanced audio system that sharpens the sounds heard by guests on the trains and in the caverns and buildings. Even the wildlife at Big Thunder can be heard more distinctly.
Pirates of the Caribbean and The Haunted Mansion are two attractions that have already been made into movies and there are other ideas in various stages of conception for the Walt Disney Studios including a movie based on the Magic Kingdom park concept itself. We can now add a TV show to that list as ABC has ordered a script for a show based on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster attraction.
Set in a mining town in the American southwest, the backstory for the ride involves gold mining and a curse by Native Americans that brings disaster on those who try to remove it from the ground, usually in the form of an earthquake. Guests on the roller coaster just barely escape. Whether that idea makes it into the script remains to be scene.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland was also the scene of one of the park’s biggest tragedies with an accident that resulted in the death of a guest and the serious injury of others.
The adventure based drama could air as soon as next fall if the pilot gets made and if it gets picked up.
The Magic Kingdom’s popular western themed roller coaster reopened today after a months long rehabilitation process. The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad had extensive work done to its track, show scenes, primary queue, and lighting.
Where the queue was a tightly formed switchback that was seldom fully utilized, the new queue is better themed but shorter. It still has switchbacks, but the queue is wider and there are added show scenes. Also new to the queue is air conditioning. The new wider queue seems to be a conscious decision to accommodate American’s new wider body shapes.
I’m a little concerned about some of the new railings in the queue, they seem designed to cause welts on the heads of young children at the right height. Additionally, there are random boxes in the queue that have already become defacto benches. Without fastpass a full length queue was a wait of less than 30 minutes. Adding in Fastpass and the standby queue could be very long.
In the ride itself, many safety rails, paths, and lights have been added. The new LED safety lights really stood out as we rode, but I’m sure that over time they’ll fade into the background like other safety features. With the exception of some lighting a good attempt was made to theme the added safety features. Most show elements got a general makeover and many effects that haven’t worked in a long time are now functioning fine, even the geyser in the exit queue:
Big Thunder is supposed to return to regular operation on Monday and is not guaranteed to be open between now and then.
“Thunder Mountain is a very fast, frightening roller coaster ride. After being on there Ramplin was terrified and worried there was going to be an accident and all of a sudden memories of the accident when he was ten came flooding back.” With those words… Read More »The Big Thunder Mountain Defense works in Court
Walt Disney World guests answer the question, “What’s it like riding Big Thunder Mountain?” and give a tour of every hair-raising drop, twist and turn for this ‘wildest ride in the wilderness.’ Almost as good as being there… not really. Better than actually being there… Read More »Video: Wildest Ride In The Wilderness