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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

 

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The Story: During the Western gold rush in the 1800s the town of Tumbleweed became a bustling mining town. Unfortunately, the town (and mine) were built on top of an ancient Indian burial ground. This of course resulted in the mines to be cursed. A little while afterwards a flash flood occurred at the place wiping out most of the population.

Years passed when travelers were passing through Tumbleweed and saw a mysterious sight: the mine trains running on their own. A money hungry business man realized that he could make some money off the situation by giving tourists a chance to ride in these trains that were run by Indian spirits. He created the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad company and set the headquarters inside the old abandoned mining offices where guests can now board their trains to take "the wildest ride in the wilderness!"

Height Restriction: 40 inches
Attraction Length: 3.5 minutes
Fastpass? YES!

The History: When Walt Disney World was being planned in the late 1960s, Disney came up with a brilliant idea: create a section of Frontierland that would give Florida guests (who are on the East side of the country) a chance to see things in the West. The Western River Expedition and Thunder Mesa would consist of a few attractions which would allow be intertwined (aka: while riding one attraction you'd be passing portions of the other attractions) while all following a similar storyline.

Unfortunately, the attraction wasn't intended to open until a few years after the Magic Kingdom initially opened. When the park did open, however, several guests were outraged to discover that one of the last attractions Walt Disney spoke of on television, Pirates of the Caribbean, was not part of the park (this was due to Disney originally thinking people visiting so close to the Caribbean wouldn't be interested in an attraction about that area) Disney decided to postpone Thunder Mesa and build Pirates of the Caribbean instead.

Eventually, Imagineer Tony Baxter proposed to scrap the Western River Expedition portion of the Thunder Mesa attraction and just focus on the run away train section and name it Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The attraction finally became a reality at Disneyland in 1979 and would open a year later at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom under the same name!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened in the Magic Kingdom on September 23, 1980.

Fun Facts: There are six trains that run at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. They are U.B. Bold, I.M. Fearless, U.R. Daring, I.B. Hearty, U.R. Courageous, and I.M. Brave.

Big Thunder is one of the punniest places throughout Walt Disney World. The crates outside of the attraction read, "Widowmaker Explosives" and Lytum and Hyde Explosive Company." Inside you can find the following sign:

Location: Frontierland.

Touring Tips: The line typically gets long on hot days, so make sure you get a Fastpass! the line is usually nonexistent at night, which most believe to be the best time to ride the attraction!

If you want to ride the attraction at its fastest, get their when the sun is high! The grease on the tracks causes the train to move faster during midday than throughout the rest of the day!

Reader Review: If you'd like to share your thoughts on the attraction, please comment below! 

 

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