Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Fun Facts

fun facts

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Train
  1. There are Other Hidden Characters here.
  2. Big Thunder Mountain actually has a storyline to it. The mountain received it's name from an old Indian tale warning that if anyone was to deface this sacred mountain, a huge disaster would occur. The beginning of the ride is to show the natural beauty of the mountain and it's caverns. Yet it becomes pretty obvious that miners have now taken over the once peaceful mountain. The Indians' warning becomes reality when a huge earthquake strikes. The same storyline follows in WDW, with a flood replacing the earthquake.
    REPORTED: Robert 19 FEB 99
  3. The Big Thunder Railroad mountains were inspired by real Thunder Mountain in Sedona Arizona. As you look north toward Gray Back Mountain, Thunder Mountain can be seen in the foreground. Look up Sedona pictures on the internet to confirm.
    REPORTED: anon 12 MAR 01
    The Big Thunder Mountain concept comes from the Disney movie "The One and Only, Genuine, Original Family Band" starring John Davidson, set in North Dakota. Much of the music in the que building comes from this movie. The movie deals with family vs. politics during the close presidential race between Grover Clevland and Benjamin Harrison. It will remind you a lot of the Bush vs. Gore election. Big Thunder Mountain was a scene in this classic Disney movie. I haven't found it a video store in a long time, but you may find it at Virgin Records at the Downtown Disney West Side. Neat movie to watch.
    UPDATE: Mark Thompson 09 JUL 01
  4. Big Thunder may be a bit too realistic. There have actually been problems with rattlesnakes deciding to make the ride their new home! Exterminators have to walk the track, find them, and convince them to relocate.
    REPORTED: Michael Littell 04 OCT 95
  5. When I was being trained on Big Thunder Railroad, the lead shared a very funny fact with me. When your train is going up the 2nd lift (in actual terms, "B-lift"), and you pass the goat with the stick of dynamite in its' mouth, look to your left and toward the bottom as you almost complete the turn and you will see a giant set of human toes carved into the rock formation. You'll need to sit in the first seat to get a really good look at it because the train is going too fast otherwise. One of the men working on the construction before the attraction was opened actually broke his toe while on the job and carved an unbelievable likeness of his two toes sticking out of a cast. Pretty funny!
    REPORTED: Gay Lynn Duel 24 NOV 97
  6. Big Thunder Mountain is the tallest "mountain" in Florida at 197 feet. Splash Mountain is next followed by Space Mountain at 180 feet. The tallest land is 347 feet up by the Georgia border.
    REPORTED: Brett Kinney 06 APR 98
    During the 25th anniversary you got trivia cards in a place on Main Street and that was one of the questions with the answer.
    REPORTED: anon 09 APR 98
  7. Some of the animatronic animal scenes in Walt Disney World's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (in the "town" of Tumbleweed) are based on scenes from Disneyland California's "Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland" ride that closed many years ago. For example, the boars trying to catch a bobcat that is perched on a teetering cactus; and a roadrunner fighting a rattlesnake (both scenes are visible from the Walt Disney World Railroad as the train passes Big Thunder). And, some of the pigs cooling off under the water tower are duplicates of the pigs in "Pirates of the Caribbean."
    REPORTED: anon 06 MAR 99
  8. While on Big Thunder Mountian, you go under a tree with a possum hanging from it, I don't recommend that you have yours arms in the air when you pass under it. The last time I rode the ride I had my arms in the air, and my finger tip brushed the possum's nose. I would hate to think what would happen if I was taller then 6'1"
    REPORTED: anon 14 SEP 00
  9. Have you ever ridden Big Thunder Mountain during the fireworks? It is the coolest view. But the BEST view of the fireworks ever is in front of a snack place called Mrs. Pott's Cupboard in Fantasyland. I was shown this by a Cast Member when we stopped by there to get a milkshake just before the fireworks. There is a long round bench area with chairs that's nearby the lake. There is a good view anywhere around this area, but if you get in the right spot (around the right side somewhere, haven't seen the fireworks from there in a while or I could give better description) it is AWESOME.
    REPORTED: Abagail 01 MAY 00

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Facts and Figures




Steel, Mine Train




Arrow Development
( now known as Arrow Dynamics )



Mountain Height

197 feet


2,780 feet

Ride Time

3 minutes, 32 seconds


30 mph (avg), 40 mph (max)


Five 5-car trains, 6 riders per car

Other Hidden Characters

  1. In the beginning of the ride, right after passing the bats, you go up a hill where there are stalagmites and pools of water. In a large pool in the back, there is a silhouette on the bottom of the pool. You can't see it until you are right above it near the top of the hill and passing it, but it is clearly GOOFY.
    REPORTED: Al Branch 13 SEP 98

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