Big Thunder Mountain Railroad | Disneyland

Last Updated on: March 27th, 2024

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad disneyland
Photo by HarshLight

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a thrilling and iconic attraction located in Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. It is also known by the nickname “The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness” and is one of the most popular rides at the park. 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a classic Disney mine train roller coaster that transports guests to the Wild West of the late 1800s. The ride is set in the fictional mining town of Rainbow Ridge and features a thrilling journey through the rugged wilderness, abandoned mines, and ghostly canyons.

As guests board the trains, they are immersed in the story of Big Thunder Mountain, where gold mining has led to strange and supernatural occurrences. The roller coaster’s layout takes riders on a high-speed adventure through a series of twists, turns, dips, and drops, creating a thrilling experience for riders of all ages.

One of the unique features of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is its attention to detail and storytelling. The ride’s scenery includes stunning rock formations, waterfalls, desert landscapes, and animatronic animals that bring the Old West setting to life. The sights and sounds of the attraction immerse guests in the narrative, making it feel like they are part of a gold rush adventure.

The roller coaster’s ride vehicles are designed to resemble rustic mine trains, and each train features a locomotive with a distinct name and personality. The track layout is full of surprises, including sudden drops and moments of weightlessness that provide a heart-pounding experience while maintaining a family-friendly level of excitement.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is suitable for guests of varying thrill levels, making it a great option for families and thrill-seekers alike. It’s also a visually stunning ride, especially when experienced during the day or at night when the attraction is beautifully lit.

Due to its popularity, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad often has relatively long wait times, so utilizing Disney’s FastPass system or arriving early can be a good strategy to minimize your wait.

Overall, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland is a beloved and iconic attraction that combines thrilling roller coaster action with Disney’s signature storytelling and attention to detail, making it a must-visit experience for park guests.

Fun Facts

  • The footprint of the Disney World version of Big Thunder Mountain is 25% bigger than Disneyland’s.
  • The highest point of the ride environment is nearly 200 feet tall
  • Guests must be 40 inches tall to ride.
  • The ghost town you venture through in the ride is named Tumbleweed.
  • The ride tops off at 36 mph (14 mph slower than Expedition Everest and 24 mph slower than Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster)
  • The ride includes 20 audio-animatronics Disney Legend Tony Baxter designed Big Thunder Mountain in the early 1970’s.

At a Glance

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About the Author

Craig Smith
I am founder and editor of My passion for all things Disney goes pretty far back to my first trip to Walt Disney World in the mid-80's. I have since returned to the magical place more than 20 times. I started this site when I came to the realization that I spent a significant portion of my day reading articles about Disney and watching Disney content with my 8-year old, so it made sense that I would start sharing some of what I read and see and building a little community around it. Other interests include 80's nostalgia, vintage toys, video games, LEGO, Star Wars and tech gadgets. Other sites include DMR and