The Disney Parks Blog confirmed yesterday that the Big Thunder refurb will also include a Rainbow Ridge refurb. The article states that new materials will be used, but that it will look “very much the same as it always has.” As a refresher to some, the buildings on rainbow ridge were recycled from the areas previous attraction, the Rainbow Mountain Stagecoach Ride and the Conestoga Wagons.
The news is therefore bitter sweet for me personally. I’m pleased to know that they won’t be removing the area altogether, but a little saddened that the actual pieces of Disneyland history will be removed. I guess one can add this to the list of things old guys like me feel nostalgic about. Or perhaps to the list of things young kids like the Disney Ninja aren’t really concerned about at all. And why should they I guess? It’s not as though Disneyland was ever like it was any time after the day it opened. Perhaps some of us take the nostalgia factor too far.
But before I digress into a formal diatribe on Disneyland history, there’s one more thing I noticed in the article. Or rather, a thing I did NOT notice. For some reason they’re still being coy about any installation or update of the Rainbow Ridge refurb to include the back story written for the ride a few months ago. You know…the one that came with a photo that looked A LOT like Tony Baxter, the man who is credited with creating Big Thunder.
I mention this omission because for some reason there have been numerous news stories floating around the internet regarding a pilot being developed for a Big Thunder Mountain television series. This is interesting news except for the fact that the exact same story was written months ago. Right around the time the Tony Baxter back story thing was released. So are they building that television story into the ride or what!?
And finally, there is a bit of a bummer of finale to this little tale. As I was writing this very article, this story came across the web. It would appear the Tony Baxter is calling it a career as of today. Already people are thinking the worst, and suggesting he has been let go. I find this terribly hard to believe. Why do some people always assume the worst? Anyway, Tony is a living legend and he will be missed and very difficult to replace.