Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is know as “The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness” and can be found in Frontierland at all of the Disney Parks (and Westernland in Tokyo Disneyland). In the Disneyland version of the ride the attraction takes place in the town of Rainbow Ridge on a runaway mine car through the abandoned mine shaft owned by Big Thunder Mining Company. If you are headed to Disneyland this summer you will get to ride on the updated Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The attraction originally opened in 1979 and closed in January 2013 for a much needed refurbishment. The attraction was closed for 14 months and opened late March 2014 but once it finally opened it was worth the wait.
During the refurbishment, most of the attraction’s tracks were replaced as well as the sound system which makes for a smoother and more exciting ride experience. Disneyland ride veterans will notice the rock slide towards the end of the ride on the final hill is no longer part of the attraction. It has been replaced by a dynamite explosion effect, smoke and explosion projections. The original buildings used as the town of Rainbow Ridge were repurposed from a previous attraction called Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland which opened in 1960. These buildings were in much need of updating so they were torn down and replaced during the refurbishment. However, many of props from the previous town were recycled and used outside the updated buildings.
The ride is very popular so be sure to pick up Fast Passes for the ride. If the ride should happen to break down during your Fast Pass return time be sure to hang on to the passes because they will be honored as long as you use them that day.
Don’t forget to also take a ride on the Mark Twain and you will get a fantastic view and some great pictures of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.