Yee Haw! - 40 years of 'Big Thunder Mountain Railroad'!

Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And let's not forget to aknowledge Walt Disney World's version of the Attraction, which was the original design planned for 'Big Thunder Mountain'
Although it opened a year later in 1980, it still deserves mention due to that past history.


Tony's beautifully drawn concept art, featuring a scene familiar to those who have taken a ride on Walt Disney World's version in Florida -


More concept art, showcasing the final lift hill inside the mountain and resulting 'cascade of rocks' cave collapse effect ( originally a shadow projection ) -


Similar to Disneyland, Walt Disney World had a large sign with detailed concept artwork erected long before construction began near the plot of land planned for the Attraction -


WED / WDI ( PICO division ) Construction personnel badge worn by on - site employes


Officially open in Florida , November 15th 1980
Yee haw!

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Figments Friend

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And speaking of Walt Disney World....and 'Big Thunder Mountain Railroad'.....
If you are going to be in the Orlando, Florida area at the end of this fine month of September then YOU have a chance to see Disney Legend Tony Baxter give a keynote presentation all about this famous Attraction.

Yes, YOU!

The Carolwood Society is hosting a special presentation featuring Tony talking about the creation of 'Big Thunder'.
Expect great stories and fabulous insights.
Everyone is welcome..this is not a members only event!

Tickets are only $35 which includes refreshments, and can be bought ahead of time online.
This all takes place Friday, Sepember 27th at 10am - the Disney Springs AMC 24 at Walt Disney World.
Link to official event page -

I will be there, and hope to see other fans of this fine Attraction ( and equally fine gentlemen ) in attendence!

This is your big chance to spend some time with Tony and not have to pay the admission for the somewhat expensive D23 Events that sometimes take place in Orlando.
So what are you waiting for..??

Check out the Carolwood Society website, or my other related thread....or get in touch.
Fans need to be there for this!


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Well-Known Member
The photos exposing the steel frames of the mountain is really something; I completely forget whenever I'm at Disneyland that the rocks I see aren't real, with Big Thunder among them.

Thanks for sharing, and happy birthday BTMR!


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One of my favorites. A true classic original Disney attraction and a very well themed and fun and entertaining coaster. Still to me, the best place to view fireworks from in the park. It adds to the ride experience.


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After the refurb a few years ago they changed the voice actor who in my opinion was better mostly because I preferred his take on “this here is the wildest ride in the wilderness!”
Wait, the current spiel isn't Dal Mckennon? I didn't realize they changed it


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I think the Disneyland original is my favorite version, especially after the big tech upgrades and show improvements it got about five years ago. My second favorite version is Tokyo Disneyland's, which opened with that park in 1983. The Tokyo version is more similar to the WDW version than the Disneyland version, but owing to Tokyo's far superior maintenance and much higher CM service standards it is always a very fun and aesthetically gorgeous ride.

I know the Big Thunder at Paris Disneyland gets a lot of attention for being out on that island, and it was aesthetically superior when it first opened in 1992, but due to the Parisian neglect the decades have not been kind to the Paris version. But the Tokyo version, in a climate that can be just as snowy and brutal as Paris, is really a beautiful interpretation of Mr. Baxter's work on Big Thunder Mountain.
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