One of the best rides at both Disneyland and The Magic Kingdom in Florida is The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad located in Frontier-land. You’ll here the roar of the track as you approach and the screams of passengers as they hurtle through the canyons of the old west on a runaway train. But keep in mind this is also one of the most popular rides at both parks, so be sure to get your Fastpasses booked, or risk standing in a long, albeit entertaining line.
As with all things Disney the experience isn’t just contained to the ride; the que itself is a walk through the entrance of an old mine. There’re signs that warn you of explosives and other hazards, and of course the interactive touches that Disney seems to be focusing on more and more. You can even depress the plunger on the old fashioned dynamite detonators and wait for the explosion in the canyon below. There are also, of course, the typical Disney puns and humor as well as you wind your way past crates and supplies.
Once you make your way down into the mine shaft you’ll board your train and almost immediately begin your assent through one of the tunnels. As you emerge out of the top of the rock face, the train twists as it begins to hurtle in and out of the mountainside. Passing geysers, dipping through creek beds and roaring past dinosaur bones that are protruding from the mountainside, you’ll be screaming with delight as you race through the abandoned town in the wild west.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the type of coaster design that I enjoy the most. While it offers dips that cause your stomach to flip, it doesn’t have the steep, long drops or loops that thrill coasters rely on. Instead, this coaster uses speed, twists, turns and the themed atmosphere of an abandoned mine to give you the thrill of being on a runaway train.
This attraction is also one on my list that I recommend to ride at night. As the canyon and town are lit up at dusk, the ride transforms into more than just a themed coaster; it becomes a spooky and thrilling step back into the past. Emerging from the numerous tunnels that the ride offers, you’re greeted by the warm amber glow of lights bouncing off the canyon walls before you’re plunged back into darkness as you race around the rock faces under the inky sky.
So make sure this attraction is on your “must do list” as its sure not to disappoint. It is one of small, medium and large Florida Devos favorites and not to be missed.
Disneyland just recently re-opened Big Thunder Mountain Railroad with new track and some special new effects. These new effects can be found in the last tunnel of the ride.
Children must be at least 40 inches tall to ride and children 7 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Due to the nature and speed of the ride, it’s not advised that anyone with back, neck or heart problems ride, nor should expectant mothers. Rider switch is available for this attraction.