By: Kayla B
In my previous article, I talked about Big Thunder Mountain, some of the history behind it, and some of my own personal memories with the ride. Here is some cool Big Thunder Mountain merchandise for all your mine train needs! (All items found on Etsy)
I hope you guys enjoy all of this fabulous old west merchandise; maybe it will inspire you to get crafty and create something Big Thunder Mountain inspired of your own!
This Day in Disney History – Sept. 2 1979 – Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opens at Disneyland’s Frontierland
If you have ever been to Walt Disney World or Disneyland, you have surely seen the towering rocks deep in Frontierland marking the location of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Big Thunder Mountain is an exciting indoor/outdoor “runaway mine train” thrill ride that takes you through an abandoned mining town. The backstory, although varying from park to park, generally follows the same path – in a small mining town, gold was discovered, causing the town to become wildly popular. However, so many settlers were mining on the mountain and wearing it down that a great tragedy came across the town (an earthquake, flash flood, or tsunami, depending on the park!) and all the settlers quickly abandoned it. Sometime later, the mine trains were found racing around the mountain with no engineer and no passengers! The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was founded so that tourists could take rides on these haunted mine trains.
The theming at Big Thunder Mountain is absolutely phenomenal, in my opinion. I have only experienced the Walt Disney World attraction in the Magic Kingdom Park, but from the minute you walk over the bridge in Frontierland (that can also take you to Splash Mountain) you truly feel like you are in the abandoned mining town. As you wander through the queue for the attraction, it seems as if you are making your way through an abandoned mining company, with tools that have just been left behind and boxes askew at every turn. When you finally make it to the loading area, you see the mine trains screeching to a halt just long enough for riders to exit, and for new riders to enter, before speeding off again in true runaway train fashion.
Instead of trying to describe all of the sights and sounds of this runaway train ride to you, I thought you all might enjoy these ride-through videos that I found that take you through the entire ride from start to finish.
I have some very fond memories of Big Thunder Mountain and it has definitely become one of my favorite rides! One of my favorite memories was probably the first time I ever rode Big Thunder Mountain. I was driving around Orlando with my roommate Taylor and we were talking about our favorite rides in each Disney Park. She mentioned that Big Thunder Mountain was probably her favorite in Magic Kingdom, and I told her that I had never ridden it. When I came to Disney previously in 2009 for my senior trip, it was down for Refurbishment, so I was not able to ride it then! We immediately fixed that situation by driving over to Magic Kingdom and riding Big Thunder Mountain over and over again until we couldn’t stand it anymore! We even got “I’m Celebrating” buttons that we wrote “Big Thunder!!” on, because that was definitely a reason to celebrate. (Insider tip: the top of Big Thunder Mountain has a fabulous view of Wishes too, at least I think so!). I hope you all get to ride Big Thunder Mountain at some point in your Disney adventures (or have ridden it already) and love it just as much as I do! If you have any fun stories about Big Thunder Mountain, please let us know!