Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Frontierland
Disneyland

Introduction | Attraction | Touring Tips | Kids/Characters | Dining | Shopping | Interesting Facts


INTRODUCTION

Big Thunder Mt. RailroadTake a ride on a runaway mine train - it's "the wildest ride in the wilderness!"

ATTRACTION

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a wonderfully themed roller-coaster reminiscent of the Old West. It turns and dips through caverns, mountains, avalanches and even earthquakes.

The queue area takes you winding down through the canyon past the town of Big Thunder. You'll see a waterwheel and mine sluices as well as a dinosaur fossil before boarding a converted ore car for your journey... but wait, where is the engineer? Too late, you are off for a 3 minute and 15 second ride into the untamed wilderness!

The theming is a Southwestern landscape, reminiscent of the windswept features found in Utah's Bryce Canyon. Caves, grottos, a waterfall, glittering gold, colorful rock formations, and dinosaur bones are just part of the scenery you will encounter on your ride.

Speeds can reach 24-30 miles per hour so the centrifugal force as you round the turns will pull you from one side to the next.

There are no serious drops on this ride (nothing like Splash Mountain) but there are several good dips that can put some air between you and your seat.

Read about Walt Disney World's version of this ride HERE.


TOURING TIPS

This is a fairly smooth roller coaster -- the experience is more of centrifugal force moving you from side-to-side rather than jarring turns or sudden drops. Still, you should be in good health and free from medical conditions that could be aggravated by the attraction. Pregnant women are advised not to ride.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a Fastpass attraction. But except on the busiest days the standby line is usually of manageable length and the queue moves quickly. If you're waiting for a Fastpass to become active consider taking a cruise on the Rivers of America on either the Mark Twain riverboat or the Sailing Ship Columbia.

Loose articles like hats and glasses should be removed and secured.

Each of the 6 trains has an engine and 5 cars. For the "wildest ride" request a seat in the back rows. For tamer rides, request a seat in the front of the train.

Guests are held in place by a lap bar.

Big ThunderBig Thunder Mountain Railroad is beautiful at night; be sure and ride after dark if you have the chance. It also seems faster at night.

Children must be at least 40" tall to ride.

Those in wheelchairs or ECVs should continue past the entrance and go into the exit of the attraction, and look for a Cast Member for boarding instructions. You will need to transfer to a train car.

The nearest restrooms are located in the breezeway between Frontierland and Adventureland.


KIDS AND CHARACTERS

Apart from the roller coaster aspect there's nothing particularly dark or scary about Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and adventurous kids who are tall enough to ride seem to really enjoy it.

Along the pathway between Frontierland and Fantasyland you'll find Big Thunder Ranch - this area includes a petting zoo and a kid's craft area.

There are no characters associated with this attraction, but Woody and Jessie from Toy Story can sometimes be found in the Big Thunder Ranch area.


DINING

Rancho del Zocalo is right next to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Celebration Round-up and BBQ is located at Big Thunder Ranch.

Disneyland Restaurants at a Glance
Menus From Around the Disneyland Resort


SHOPPING

Pioneer Mercantile offers frontier-themed souvenirs such as Davy Crockett hats and Western style character merchandise.

Bonanza Outfiggers features Western apparel.


INTERESTING FACTS

Big Thunder SceneryBig Thunder Mountain Railroad debuted at Disneyland on September 2, 1979. It was built on the site of the "Rainbow Caverns Mine Train", which later became "Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland" before it was replaced by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The buildings from the town of Rainbow Ridge are now part of Big Thunder town.

The names of the six trains are: U.R. Courageous, I.M. Brave, I.M. Bold, U.R. Fearless, I.B. Hearty, and U.R. Daring.

There are a number of animatronic and audio animatronic animals throughout the attraction. Look for the dynamite-wielding mountain goat, the coyotes, skunks, opossums, and rattlesnakes.

Genuine antique mining equipment can be found all around the attraction.

The rocks in the "earthquake" tunnel used to appear to fall, but they have been replaced by glittering veins of gold.


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