Skip to main content

Best Disney Thing: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is the best Disneyland thing.

Pop quiz, how many places in Disneyland feature dinosaurs? I can think of two. The Disneyland Railroad and the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, kind of. What is it with Disneyland, trains, and dinosaurs?

We’ll come back to that.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (which I’m going to be calling Big Thunder for the rest of this article because “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad” is too long) opened in 1979.

So what makes it the best?

It's A Great Roller Coaster

Quiz question number two: how many roller coasters are at Disneyland proper? There's four, if you're counting the Matterhorn Bobsleds (and you should). Big Thunder is up there in terms of thrills.

Big Thunder is very fast and whips around turns like crazy. While there's no loops or huge drops like some other rides, it still lives up to its identity as the wildest ride in the wilderness.

You may or may not know about the Goat Trick. It's where you wait until you see the goat animatronic on the ride, then try to keep your eyes on him while the train goes through a huge turn. It's also a great way to make yourself dizzy if you have problems with that, so don't try it.

That goat area has also been a pretty good way to get a peek into the Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge construction. Just saying.

In my opinion it's perfectly safe to put your hands up during this ride. I've been doing it for years and my hands haven't been hurt. At least not on this ride. (Side note: do not try this on the Matterhorn.)

There's also a set of dinosaur bones near the end of the ride. Told you so.

The ride being fun isn't the only great thing about it.

There's History in Them There Mountains

Before Big Thunder came barreling down the tracks, there was another train ride occupying the same spot. It was called Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland, and even that ride was a reimagined version of a previous attraction, the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train.

There's still artifacts from these attractions around. The town of Rainbow Ridge is present at the end of the ride. Many of the animatronic animals (maybe even the dizziness goat!) are from the Nature's Wonderland ride. And there's even a part where you ride through rainbow-themed caverns.

You might have seen a weird mysterious looking tunnel outside the queue from Big Thunder. This also used to be part of the old train ride... Now it's just a weird ominous cave.

The jumping fish in the lake near the tunnel are also remnants of Nature's Wonderland. Sorry, they're not real, but they are old.

Caves are full of stones, right? Okay, keep that in mind, because this is gonna get weird.

There's Also Medical Benefits, Sort Of

This has only been documented at Disney World, but it's too crazy to not include here.

Big Thunder can help you pass a kidney stone.

Hear me out. I'll try not to include too many gross details.

A man by the name of Dr. David Wartinger had a paper published by the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association suggesting that riding a roller coaster could help a patient pass a small kidney stone.

With permission from Disney, he and his colleague took a silicone model of a kidney (with stones) on Disney World's version of Big Thunder for a combined total of around 250 times. Guess how many times it worked.

Did you guess 70% of the time? Because that's what it was.

I told you it was the wildest ride in the wilderness.


Popular posts from this blog

Best Disney Thing: The Disneyland Railroad

The Disneyland Railroad is the best Disneyland thing.
What’s the first thing you see when you step up to Disneyland? The main gate, of course. And what about after that? The ticket scanner, naturally. And what else? A bunch of people taking photos in front of…The Disneyland Railroad Station.

You might be tempted to blow right past the train station and get into the park. I mean, Space Mountain isn’t going to wait for itself for an hour. But you might think differently about skipping the Disneyland Railroad, if we’ve got anything to say about it. For starters,
It’s A Fun Way to Get Around the Park Let's get the obvious out of the way: trains are a form of transportation, and the Disneyland Railroad is a train.

Disneyland is a big place. Not big like Texas, but big like, bigger than your house. And while it might not take you that long to walk to the other side of your house, it can certainly be a daunting task if you want to get to the complete opposite side of the park through al…

Best Disney Thing: Star Tours

Star Tours is the best Disneyland thing.

Star Wars is maybe my favorite movie series. Many people feel this way, despite some being let down by the prequels (and now apparently the sequels, according to some people). Star Wars has been a cultural phenomenon since the first movie released in 1977.

I personally didn't see Star Wars until after I had ridden on Star Tours at Disneyland, so to me this was my defining Star Wars experience (I also saw Spaceballs somehow before I ever saw Star Wars, but that's not what this article is about).

Nowadays everything is different in the Star Wars universe. The Star Wars of my youth has changed, which was already different from the original Star Wars. I'm rambling. Let's talk about Star Tours.

The Saga Begins It's hard for me to imagine Disneyland without Star Tours, as it's always been there since I was a kid. But Star Wars wasn't always the big sci-fi IP that Disney wanted in the parks.

According to this Inside the Mag…

News: Avengers Assembling in Disney’s California Adventure in 2020

Everything’s coming up Marvel.

The Disney Parks Blog announced that new Marvel-themed lands are coming to Disneyland Resort (by way of California Adventure), Disneyland Paris, and Hong Kong Disneyland.

At DCA, it is reported that the new “Super Hero”-themed land will be taking over the area currently occupied by A Bug’s Land, which means no more Heimlich train. This was hinted at with the Avengers hatch that was installed next to Mission Breakout, pictured above. According to Disney Parks Blog, the Avengers and Spider-Man will be joining the Guardians of the Galaxy in this area. Does this mean we will be getting that rumored Spider-Man attraction in that area? It would be pretty cool if we did.

Disneyland Paris is getting an Iron Man themed ride, which is a “reimagined attraction” at their Walt Disney Studios Park. (I’m not familiar with that park, but a quick glance at the list of attractions could lead to some hints). Hong Kong Disneyland is getting an Ant-Man and the Wasp attract…