There was a rumor many months ago that there was going to be a major Big Thunder refurb at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim. For a while there I thought it wasn’t going to happen after all, but we did recently get some official news.
According to the article on the Disney Parks Blog, on January 7th Big Thunder will be shut down for about 9 months, and will reopen in the fall of 2013. This is a pretty major delay, being much longer than the closure of Indiana Jones and about as long as The Matterhorn.
There will be new trains, new tracks and new paint. This is good news and shows just how committed Disney is to maintenance and safety. While it is a bummer for those families visiting during the closure, it is a needed part of keeping Disneyland the safest them park in the country.
There is though an obvious absence of any mention of what they’re doing with Rainbow Ridge. There have been rumors of the whole area being torn out and replaced with new theming and a new back story The back story is real, but the rumors about the future of Rainbow Ridge are uncertain.
What’s so great about Rainbow Ridge?
Many people are concerned as the area is a piece of Disneyland history. Prior to the arrival of Big Thunder, the area was home to the Rainbow Ridge Pack Mule ride from 1955 to 1973. One was given the chance to ride a real mule through a very well themed old mining town. When Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was built, those buildings were saved and installed at the end of the ride, providing some cool looking old west theming. I for one would miss those buildings very much, and hope that this is not Disney’s plan.
Big Thunder Refurb
So what are your thoughts on the Big Thunder refurb? I like the idea of replacing the tracks and trains, keeping things new and safe, but I sure hope they’re not trying to outsmart themselves with a new back story that nobody was asking for. Do you want this?