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5 Secrets About Big Thunder Mountain

Get ready for the Wildest Ride in the Wilderness!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad originated in Disneyland and took a rollicking adventure to Magic Kingdom in 1980. Since its opening, folks have loved buckling in for this bumpy roller coaster.

They say gold was first discovered on this mountain in the 1850s, but did they unearth all the secrets? Here are 5 facts about Big Thunder Mountain Railroad!

The Trains All Have Different Names

Because Guests are loaded onto the attraction so quickly, they may not notice that each train has a unique name. They’re called I.M Brave, U.B. Bold, U.R. Courageous, U.R. Daring, I.M. Fearless, and I.B. Hearty. If you didn’t already know what to expect from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, these titles will certainly give you an idea of the wild journey ahead.

You’re Looking at Real Mining Equipment

Imagineers can’t resist the chance to make Disney attractions as authentic as possible, which is why you see real mining equipment on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. While they could have settled for replicas, Imagineers went further by acquiring pick-axes, stamp mills, cogwheels, ore carts, and more! The certification that proves these pieces of mining equipment are authentic artifacts on Walt Disney World property can be found in City Hall on Main Street.

Here’s a bonus fact: the rock formations stretching tall heights on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad were actually inspired by Monument Valley in Arizona!

There Is an Enchanted Tiki Room Easter Egg

If you can remember The Enchanted Tiki Room Show, José, the colorful lead Tiki Bird, asks where Rosita is. Perhaps she took a trip to the mines in Frontierland! One of the ventilation cages found in the interactive queue has Rosita’s name on it! In fact, canaries were actually used to detect toxic gases in mines and alert miners. So, there’s another bonus history fact for you!

We don’t imagine that’s quite a pleasant spot for Rosita to rest, though.

There Are References to Retired Attractions

Enchanted Tiki Room isn’t the only Easter Egg on this mining expedition. There are plenty of nods to old attractions and lands that never were. When Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened in Disneyland, it took the spot of Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland, which was an extension of an attraction formerly Rainbow Caverns Mine Train. To tribute the demolished train ride through the woods and desert, Imagineers introduce Guests to rainbow-colored caverns at the beginning of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Since Disney World’s version is almost a replica of Disneyland’s, the rainbow caverns are in Magic Kingdom as well. Mineshaft #71 also nods to the opening year of Magic Kingdom: 1971.

Not many Guests know that Frontierland’s original plans for extension after Magic Kingdom’s opening did not include Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Imagineers originally envisioned a boat-style ride called Western River Expedition to be the main attraction for the extension. However, when Guests expressed interest for a ride similar to Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean, the idea was canned. However, “Western River Explosives” can be found on the queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. 

Hidden Mickey

No Walt Disney World attraction would be complete without a Hidden Mickey! The main Hidden Mickey is a set of gears in the shape of Mickey, which is near the end of the attraction past the dinosaur bones.

Which Magic Kingdom mountain is your favorite? Let us know in the comments!

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Bayley Clark

An elementary teacher taking every opportunity to go to Florida and explore Disney, Universal, and Orlando. Happy to share the secrets and guides to help make your next trip magical.

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