June 26, 2018
When one thinks of amusement park rides, it’s none other than the roller coaster which has been firmly etched on the psyche of the American. It was in 1884 when the first Coney Island coaster – known as The Switchback Railway – opened.
The coaster underwent a complete renovation in 1974-75 with its deteriorating wooden structure being replaced with steel.
But the real peril is not the snow or sleet. Folklore has it that a growling monster known as the Abominable Snowman lives inside the mountain—and that he will do anything and everything to protect his home.”
And it is fun to nearly run in to the Yette around many a corner, his glowing eyes and menacing roar adding to the charm of the speedy bobsled descent.
The same is true of Big Thunder Railroad (BTRR). The ride utilizes entertaining elements: an abandoned, bat filled mine, goats on the tracks, and the threat of a tunnel collapse, to add to the adventure. The interesting thing about this ride is that the ride has evolved over the years.
When I first visited Disneyland in the summer of 1970, the ride, called “Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland,” was a sedate meander through an array of western landscapes including mountains, deserts, and geyser basins. My parents, my sister and I enjoyed the ride at the time, not realizing that it was destined to be re-purposed. The ride was closed in early 1977 and reopened as a roller coaster in September 1979.
My first experience on BTRR was as an adult with my hubby in the early 1980’s. We both loved the ride and every trip to Disneyland in subsequent years ALWAYS required at least one spin on Big Thunder Railroad: fast enough to be exciting but not so fast as to give you whiplash. Exactly my sort of roller coaster.
For more information on The Cyclone:
And about the former Mine Train Attraction:
And the Matterhorn Bobsleds: