Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Last Updated on: September 27th, 2022

Here is everything you need to know about Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Ride ride including history, fun facts, photos and more. I hope you find this listing informative and helpful!

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Description

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Ride (Disney World)On Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Ride, Race through a haunted gold-mining town aboard a rollicking runaway mine train.

The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness

Dash in and out of desert caverns and rumble through a haunted mine aboard a speeding train.

Amid rugged bedrock and desert cactus, venture inside a nearly 200-foot mountain to the Big Thunder Mining Company, established in the early days of America’s Gold Rush. Traipse down into an abandoned mine shaft and discover a mysterious 5-car locomotive waiting to take you on a journey inside an abandoned shaft.

Hang Onto Your Hats!
As you begin your journey into the darkness of the tunnel, the train’s wheels chug back and forth across a rickety track. Swoop around turns and dip and drop into canyons and caves, darting through the ghost town of Tumbleweed.

Peel under a booming waterfall, past rock formations, and dodge a rumbling boulder from an inexplicable landslide. Along your adventure, glimpse the remnants of a flash flood and behold a bevy of local critters—including bats, opossum and a goat—before hastily making your way back to the safety of the railroad station.


Barnabas T. Bullion is the founder and president of the Big Thunder Mining Company. The longtime mining magnate comes from a powerful East Coast family and considers gold to be his very birthright by virtue of his oddly appropriate name; in fact, he considers the ultimate gold strike to be his destiny. And that is why he is having so much trouble with Big Thunder Mountain. According to superstitious locals, Big Thunder Mountain is very protective of the gold it holds within, and the unfortunate soul who attempts to mine its riches is destined to fail. And so far that prophecy is coming to pass. The mine has been plagued by mysterious forces and natural disasters ever since. And yet the Big Thunder Mining Co. is still in operation. In fact, Bullion is discovering new veins of gold and digging new shafts every day, offering a closer look at the Big Thunder mining operation than ever before. But a word to the wise for anyone attempting to visit the mountain: watch out for runaway trains. (source)

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad 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 ride’s interactive queue was installed in 2013.
  • 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.
  • Monument Valley in Arizona is the inspiration for the ride’s aesthetics.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Details

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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