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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad closing for major refurbishment August to November 2016

lnsemsf

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
These dates come direct from Disney and are subject to change. This is one of many newly published refurbishments and I want to get the information out there for all planning their trips.

This is the first of the major refurbishments posted to the calendar today. Big Thunder is reported to be down from April 4th through July 15th, Reopening on July 16th 2016. (These dates have been changed to Aug. 8 - Nov. 18, 2016)

Lets hope that with a long closure comes big positive changes! Looks like some money may be actually be spent in Florida for a change! Disneyland style final lift hill scene?
 
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montyz81

Well-Known Member
As I said in the main thread, why so long? couldn't have been 3 years ago that they closed this for an extended period of time.
 

Kman101

Well-Known Member
WDW1974 has long been saying we'd get those upgrades "eventually". 2016 would sort of be in line with that but I have no idea and am just speculating. It could be work we never even see. Just seems like a significant amount of time. I'd say the ride could use a decent amount of work, despite the past refurb.
 

Jon81uk

Well-Known Member
As I said in the main thread, why so long? couldn't have been 3 years ago that they closed this for an extended period of time.

Many theme parks worldwide close the whole park November to March and do a full strip down each Winter of most coasters, this means maintanance during the open season is avoided. So three months every three years seems about right at Disney where they are open around 12 hours a day, 365 days a year.
 

180º

Well-Known Member
I will add DLP is getting the third lift effects next year during a THIRTEEN MONTH refurb.

Certainly long term BTM in Orlando will need a lot of work.
Right. The first thing that sprang to mind was a doubtful "What is this about a 'major' four-month refurbishment?"

Though I'll remain hopeful.
 

MansionButler84

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
Right. The first thing that sprang to mind was a doubtful "What is this about a 'major' four-month refurbishment?"

Though I'll remain hopeful.
They apparently are doing a lot in Pirates in 3 months.

If this is just for thematic element updates and a bit of ride system work, four months is fine. 13-months would be for extensive track replacement and mountain repair, and our Big Thunder got a good deal of that kind of work recently. (2012 I think).
 

180º

Well-Known Member
They apparently are doing a lot in Pirates in 3 months.

If this is just for thematic element updates and a bit of ride system work, four months is fine. 13-months would be for extensive track replacement and mountain repair, and our Big Thunder got a good deal of that kind of work recently. (2012 I think).
Good point, context is everything. Similarly, if DL's Big Thunder was scheduled for a four month refurbishment so soon after its 1.5-year replace-the-entire-ride closure, I'd assume it were for show elements. I was about to argue that DL's refurb was far more extensive when...
The ride structure on Orlando's BTM is in nowhere near as bad of shape as Anaheim's was before the big track replacement refurb. 4 months should go a long way on this one.
...I learn something new. Interesting. Any more details on this? The attractions are a year apart in age. Weather conditions? Earthquake damage?
Space on the other hand...
And that pretty much sums it up.
 

JediMasterMatt

Well-Known Member
Space need 2 years. Basically, everything besides the skin of the mountain needs to go.

No, the top of the mountain needs a good sandblast and clean job as well; but, the whole ride needs to be gutted to bring it back to some semblance of being a worthy Disney mountain.

Park ops will have a hard time allowing an E offline for the multi year job it needs... but, maybe that's where Frontierland's expansion could come in to help.

Anyway, I look forward to the new projection mapped finale on BTM in the swamps. It's great in Anaheim.
 

JediMasterMatt

Well-Known Member
Good point, context is everything. Similarly, if DL's Big Thunder was scheduled for a four month refurbishment so soon after its 1.5-year replace-the-entire-ride closure, I'd assume it were for show elements. I was about to argue that DL's refurb was far more extensive when...

...I learn something new. Interesting. Any more details on this? The attractions are a year apart in age. Weather conditions? Earthquake damage?

And that pretty much sums it up.

Re: Pirates - while it's nice to have it under the knife, when one hand is saying they need a year plus and the other says you've got 4 months... no matter how hard you work, that is too big of delta to bridge and expect the same result. I'm not saying the longer one was 50% better than the reduced version we are getting; but, you shouldn't expect miracles.

Re: Anaheim's BTM's poor condition prior to the refurb, it's hard to say exactly what the major differences were between the two siblings. Anaheim's was the original and although the layouts are basically mirrored, there were structural differences between the two. My roller coaster industry sources were a bit perplexed by the differences in condition as well. All I know is that the last set of rides I had on BTM prior to the refurb, you could tell there were alignment issues with the ride path. My guess, structural subsidence was the cause. Whether that was earthquakes or just under-engineered at the time it was built, I'm not sure. I doubt it's weather as Orlando's climate is far more taxing.
 

montyz81

Well-Known Member
Re: Pirates - while it's nice to have it under the knife, when one hand is saying they need a year plus and the other says you've got 4 months... no matter how hard you work, that is too big of delta to bridge and expect the same result.
Because as we all know, 10% or less of the people who ride these attractions don't look at it the way we do and that is what TDO is counting on with only a 4 month refurb!
 

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