Big Thunder Mountain is the centrepiece attraction of Frontierland in Disneyland Paris. It is without doubt one of the most thrilling rides in the park and is a perfect example of what makes the Disney theme parks so enjoyable - it is well designed and brilliantly presented.
The ride is derived from the fictional story of Henry Ravenswood, as is the rest of Frontierland. Henry Ravenswood created the Thunder Mesa Mining Company, which provides much of the theme for this particular land and he created the mining cars and track to assist mining on the mountain. Since the mountain is located in the middle of the Rivers of the Far West, a track was required to reach it from the mainland - hence Big Thunder Mountain.
I love that the whole of this area has a story, because it really gives meaning to the term theme park, but it is also what makes it Disney. The fact that the ride has a story (regardless of whether or not it is a fictional one) makes it more enjoyable and engaging, because it helps you to escape into a different world, which is indeed the whole point of these things.
The fact that this is one of the most popular rides in the park is unquestionable and for good reason. You start the ride on the mainland in the station depot and the tracks take you under the water and around the mountain at jaw dropping speeds. The ride goes both inside and outside, plunging you into complete darkness and then offering you quite splendid views of the rest of the park. Something I particularly like about the ride is the fact that it offers great thrills at the same time as you being able to really enjoy it. It goes fast, very fast, and there are plenty of twists, turns and sharp drops. But it isn't 'keep your eyes closed' scary, so you can enjoy the views and also appreciate the various special effects and design of the ride, which include a cave full of stalagmites and stalactites and a brief dip into the water (don't worry though, you won't get wet).
As is the case with all of the rides at Disneyland Paris, a great deal of thought has been given to the queuing system as well, to make sure that you feel the excitement right from the get go. You queue through a mining depot and there are lots of things to enjoy and read as you're going around to pass the time a little quicker.
Big Thunder Mountain is one of the rides that has the Fast Pass option, meaning that you can go and get a ticket to return later on in the day and avoid the queues. It is absolutely worth doing this, especially since there is no extra charge. It also allows you to plan your day a little better. Once you have got your Fast Pass ticket, you simply go to the Fast Pass queue at your allotted time (these are usually in half hour intervals) and you join a much shorter queue around the corner from the main entrance. There is something quite satisfying about walking past all the queuing people and skipping straight to the front! There are two cars going around the track at once, each holding about 20 passengers and, at peak times, one of the cars is reserved solely for Fast Track ticket holders.
===So Is It Worth A Go?===
Absolutely! No trip to Disneyland would be complete without a ride on Big Thunder Mountain and we often go on the ride twice. I love it - it is, like I said, thrilling without being terrifying. I would however strongly recommend getting a Fast Pass ticket so jump the queue.
Big Thunder Mountain is one of the most recognisable and popular attractions at the Disney Theme Parks. Four of the five Disney theme parks: Anaheim, Florida, Paris and Tokyo have versions of this ride, with Hong Kong Disneyland being the exception, as this park does not have, as yet, a Frontierland themed area, which is where this particular ride is located.
The particular version of the ride that I am reviewing, is the one at Disneyland Paris, where we went on holiday, as a family a few weeks ago, and also back in February 2008, which was the first time that we encountered the Paris version of this ride. There are slight variations between the different versions of the ride, but the overall experience is basically the same, as I have also ridden the one in the Florida park.
The ride, as I have mentioned, is situated in an area of the park called Frontierland. This area has a "Wild West" theme, and is based on America in the 19th century, complete with log built cabins, saloons, and even a little "Woodys Roundup" village for young Toy Story Fans. The Frontierland at the Disneyland in Paris is slightly different to the ones at the other Disney Parks, as it also has a "Haunted" theme, which in my opinion is due to the fact that another ride, Phantom Manor, has been plonked there and looks quite out of place, so "imagineer" Bob Baranick and show writer Craig Fleming had to create a whole backstory of a wild west town called Thunder Mesa, which was supposedly a gold mining town, to link all of the attractions together. The gold in the mountains was supposed to be guarded by a Native American spirit that would cause earthquakes if distrurbed, and as the miners dug deeper into Big Thunder mountain to look for gold, there was a great earthquake, and yet years after this disaster, "haunted" mine trains could still be seen whizzing up and down the mountain (I know, what a load of old tosh!). The story also weaves into the Phantom Manor backstory, as the manor was supposedly owned by the founder of the town. Because of this supernatural theme, this area is a central area where Disney stage special Halloween events, and is re-named "Halloween Land".
The focal point of the Frontierland area is a huge lake, called the Rivers of the far West, which has two New Orleans style riverboats that give rides to guests. In the middle of the lake is Big Thunder Mountain, a massive structure that looks like a sandstone butte from Arizona's monument valley, and if you ride the riverboats, you can see that there appears to be no link between the island mountain in the centre of the lake, and the mainland. My kids were really puzzled about how the trains got to the island in the middle of the lake, but all would be revealed....
*OK, enough backstory! What is Big Thunder Mountain exactly?*
Big Thunder mountain is a rollercoaster style ride which weaves around, under and through the huge "sandstone" mountain. The track layout is supposed to be a mine train, so some areas of the ride are underground in the mines, whereas other parts of the ride have you precariously speeding close to the outside edge of the mountain.
The ride is not as intense as other rollercoaster rides, such as Space mountain, and does not put your body through too much agony when you ride. Therefore, it is suitable for people of almost any age, as long as they are aware before the ride starts that it is quite fast, very thrilling and there are some drops and dark areas. It is also EXTREMELY NOISY, so anyone who can't tolerate loud noise better steer clear of this particular attraction! Thankfully, there are no loops or 360 twists, so Thunder Mountain is even safe for granny to ride, as long as she takes her hearing aid out!
The layout of the ride is absolutely amazing and awe inspiring, with the "mountain" visible from many areas of the park, as it is so high. The rocks that form the mountain look really authentic, and the mine is really atmospheric. This is a ride that really does transport you to a different place and time.
*To Q or not to Q?*
Now I shall describe the experience of Big Thunder Mountain for the riders. The first thing I must warn you about this ride is that the queues are MASSIVE. I'm talking 60 minutes when it is quiet and 90 minutes or more at busy times. The first time I went on the ride back in 2008, me and my daughter, who was then 6 years old, queued for the full 60 minutes to get on this ride. The queueing experience is really horrible, as you are cramped in a claustrophobic building with rails that sem to be laid out like a maze, with a heaving mass of people all shuffling slowly along to the front. You can't see where the line begins or ends, and once you are in it, woe betide you if you need a wee or want to leave the line, as it is virtually impossible. Some rides have things to look at when you are queueing, but in this line all you can see (and smell!) are other people. At the end of the hour, my feet were really hurting, and as much fun as the ride was, I would not be repeating that experience again!
There is an alternative option. Located near the ride are several Fastpass machines. Get to one of these early enough, and you can cut your queueing time drastically. Unfortunately, when we went, there were huge queues just for the Fastpasses, and you could be waiting 20 minutes to get a ticket! The Frontierland gates open at 10:00 a.m. unlike other areas of the park which open at 8:00 for hotel guests, so there is usually a big crowd just waiting to get into the Thunder Mesa area. Once at the machine, you insert your park ticket, and you are given a pass with a time to retutn to the queue. The passes are snapped up really quickly.
We were very lucky as we were guests at the Disneyland Hotel. Guests at this hotel get a free Fastpass ticket every day to use at any time apart from 1-4 p.m. We always used our tickets to join the BTM queue at 4:00 p.m. on the dot, and this allowed us to enter by another gate and cut right into the beginning of the queue with no wait at all!
One day we were just about to get into the queue, when a man announced that the ride had broken down and everyone had to leave the queue. I felt really sorry for the people who may have been waiting 90 minutes and then never got a ride, and also the Fastpass people who had wasted their Fastpass. This actually happened several times on the holiday, and i was lucky not to be in the line at the time.
*The ride itself*
The queue culminates in a staircase and then there is a bar dividing the queue into two, one to the left and one to the right. The member of staff will ask you how many people are riding. You can get three people in one carriage if there are children riding, but only two adults can fit. You have to put your bag under your seat and pull the bar down over your lap. You are advised to remove your hat as the ride goes very fast and a hat would be easily blown off.
At the start of the ride you are whisked into a long dark tunnel, and everyone is screaming! This tunnel takes you underneath the lake and then rises up and there you are, on the mountain in the middle of the lake! The track rises and the train makes a very noisy clacking noise. As you look down the sides of the cave, you notice various details, something new each time, like the bubbling pools of lava to the right, or the fake falling rocks in the roof. There are lots of stalagtites and stalagmites surrounding you in the cave.
No time to take in the surroundings though as you zoom around the outside of the mountain with your hair streaming behind you, if you have any! The view from the mountain is great and as well as the lovely river and boats, you can make out many of the other park rides and attractions as you speed around the track.
The ride occasionaly slows down and there are some things to look at like a model of a goat and a donkey on the way round. The ride soon gathers speed again though and dips up and down wildly, whilst the various wooden mine structures overhead give you the impression that you are going to crash into something.
We soon end up climbing through a tunnel with lots of danger and warning signs plastered all over the entrance. This is a TNT area and it is about to blow! As we climb the creaky hill, we hear a voice shout "Fire in the hole", as we are blasted up through the tunnel followed by loud explosion sounds, and falling rock effects as the tunnel begins to collapse with us inside!
A final tunnel back under the lake is filled with luminous bats that glow eerily in the dark as we are returned back to our start destination. The train slides around the corner and we wave to the people in the queue before returning to the station, but this time, our train is on the opposite side of the tracks to where we started.
After disembarking, we go through a small tunnel which dispays the on ride photos that were taken during one of the drops on the ride. These can be purchased, but most people were just snapping the pics on their mobile phone cameras!
We all loved BTM, from our daredevil 5 year old to my "too old for rides" husband. This ride had something for all of us. It was gentle enough not to be too scary, but thrilling enough to be lots of fun. Our friend who hates traditional coasters had lots of goes on this and really enjoyed it. We went on it every day of our holiday, but by the last day, the kids thought that it was slow. I explained that they had just got used to it.
As much as I would like to give this ride 5 stars, I have to mark it down on the grounds that it seemed to break down regularly and the queuing system was really awful, as well as the fact that the clacking noise really was unbearably noisy at times, and my kids all put their fingers in their ears! This aside, BTM is a "must do" ride if you go to Disneyland Paris, and in my opinion the best ride there.
Big Thunder Mountain is my favourite ride at Disneyland Paris! Situated in Frontierland, you can't miss this attraction. It is a runaway mine train ride, but with so much more detail than similar ones elsewhere. The queuing area is impressive, set in an old mine and with something to look at with every turn. This is quite handy because if you come here at peak hours, you will face a considerable queue. This can be remedied by obtaining a Fastpass, which will allow you to cut the queue considerably at your designated time (an hour's window).
The ride itself can pick up a lot of speed in the tunnels and therefore may not be suitable for younger children. However, it doesn't provide the same thrills as Space Mountain or Indiana Jones. I recommend riding this at night for the sole reason that when you reach the top, the view of the park all lit up is spectacular.
There is a height restriction of 40 inches for this ride.
Big Thunder Mountain is a roller coaster ride in the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World. The ride is themed as an old runaway mine train. The ride was opened in September 1979 and is sill open to this day. This ride has 4 sisters around the world all with the same theme but different track layout.
The ride at Walt Disney World is located at the back of the park next to Splash Mountain. The ride is themed so well that rattle snakes through the day move to the desert like hills created for the ride. Each morning before the ride opens workers have to walk the track and surroundings removing these snake before guests arrive.
The ride last 3.18 minutes and has 3 lifts that take riders to the top of the mountain to wind its way back down. The drops on the ride are not big and the track only reaches a total height of 50 ft. The reason the ride is do good is because of the tight turns and sudden small drops. The theme when on the ride is also very good. Going through mines, and caves with bats and waterfalls.
This ride is a perfect first roller coaster for anyone. It is not really fast and has no big drops. Once you have done this ride you can make you way up to the next stage.
The line normally is not very long of this ride but it depends what time of year you go.
The ride does has a fast pass line so if the line it long you can get a ticket and come back later for a shorted line.
You cant beat a good run away train ride! Im a huge Disney fan and visit the Walt Disney World resort in Florida once or twice each year. Its one of my favourite rises out there and when i got the opportunity to visit Disneyland Paris it was one ride i was really looking forward too!
The ride is essentially the same, same train, same storyline just a slightly different track layout i think. Although it cant really be classed as a "thrill ride" its still a lot of fun. Its pretty fast with losts of twists and turns and sudden drops that make it quite rickety - just like a runaway mine train! The attention to detail on the things around the track - characters and the scenery etc add to the excitement of the ride. Its perfect for most kids, there is a height restriction but i think most kids over the age of about 6 can get on it. The only thing is its a little bumpy so they'll need to hold on! I also find this ride is more fun at night when they light up the track!
Its actually a pretty long ride aswell, seems like your on it for ages which is good if you've queued up for a long time. As its one of their most popular rides it does tend to get quite a long queue so its worth heading their early!
All in all a ride not worth missing!
This is yet another ride at Disneyland Paris, and the one which we were most excited about the first time we went to Disneyland a few years ago now, well infact 8 years ago, before the Studio Park was there!
We booked to go to Disneyland and my then 5 yr old brother had been going on and on about going on Thunder Mountain first, he'd been watching the videos on the internet and reading all about it and getting all excited.
So we got to Disneyland, and the very first thing my brother did was look on the map to find Big thunder Mountain, we were all ruhsed there by him straight away, and he queued up with my mum. At that time I was the wimp of the family and wouldn't go on anything, I had never really been on many rollercoasters, and wouldn't DREAM of going on anything upside down, the biggest thing I had been on was the Texas Tornado in Frontierland in Morecambe when I was a kid. And so I wouldn't go on Thunder Mountain until my mum came off it and told me that it didn't go upside down (that was the main thing I was scared of!!! lol).
They went on it, and when they came off my brother was in tears and had been all the way round, whilst my mum who normally hates rollercoasters had a big smile on her face. Poor Jack had been terrified of the ride, and my mum had been converted!
I then had a go, seeing as my mum told me it didn't go upside down! The queue is always big for Thunder Mountain and it isn't made particulaly fun like Aerosmith is, and is mainly ouside under a wooden hut type building which is very cold and wet in bad weather. But when you FINALLY get to the ride itself, there are two trains on either side of the ride to make the waiting time less. You are told where to go, and two people can fit into each carriage, of which there are around 12 per train. This is a "runaway" train!!!
When you set off your going quite slow out of the station, then pick up speed, it actually gets quite fast to be honest! And there are lots of twists and turns, at a couple of points the train is almost at a 90 degree angle to the water below!!! The ride lasts around 4 minutes, and takes your picture as you go around, there are a few big dips in the ride which are really fun! A lot of the ride is in the dark, absolute pitch black which was why my brother hated it when he went on it!
This ride is definitely my second favourite ride in Disneyland, second only to Aerosmiths rollercoaster in the Studio park which I LOVE!
Definitely one worth queuing for!!!
Each disneyland park (except Hong Kong) has a version of a run away train, and Paris' version is called Big Thunder Mountain, which exists in the middle of the lake, over a fake village called Thunder Mesa.
There is a story behind the Big Thunder Mountain Attraction. I am not sure if it is real or not but I like the sound of it, it adds to the excitment of the ride. In the 1800s gold was discovered in the American Southwest and a mining village quickly built up around it. The village seemed jinxed and after a series of flash floods the viallage and mines were abandoned. Years later they village was discovered with the trains running independently with no operator. Thunder Mountain was built based on this haunted out of control railroad.
The setting is a railroad cut into a rocky mountain side. The designers pruposefully constructed the rail trakcs after the mountain had been done in an attempt to make it look authentically cut into the mountainside. The mountain rocks were based on Bryce canon national park in Utah.
The train has 15 carriages each of which take two people and have overhead restraints to kee you in tight. The ride is fast and designed to make you feel like it cold derail any second. There are lots of getting close to edges and big dips. In rollercoaster terms this ride is not that scary, there are better rollercoasters out there, especially in disneyland Paris, but scenerary wise and build up-this ride is amazing!
Big Thunder Mountain is a ride in Disneyland Paris. There is also a version of the same ride in Magic Kingdom Florida and Disneyland California.
It can be found in 'Frontierland' which is situated on the west side of the park. Other attractions in Frontierland include the Phantom Manor and the Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing (which is a big Mississippi riverboat which sails the lake around Big Thunder Mountain). As with all the rides in Disneyland you don't have to pay to ride Big Thunder Mountain as the price for rides is included in the entry fee.
You can't miss Big Thunder Mountain as it is set on a huge orangey red rock and as the ride is in constant use trains go by every minute or so. The theme behind the ride is that a gold was discovered on big thunder mountain way back in the late 1880's and a mining company soon got involved. They dug out tunnels and set up tracks for their mine trains unknowing that the mountain was infact cursed by native Americans. Before long the mountain and nearby town got hit by an earthquake and was left abandoned. Many years later the mountain was discovered with the mine trains racing around the tracks without passengers or a driver. The train is also commonly referred to as 'the runaway train' for this reason. The rock looks quite authentic but is quite obviously man made. The rocks (and the queueing area) are covered by old wooden barrels, empty wagons, rusty wheels and cogs, cactus and the train track is made to look old and worn out. There is also a big lake which surrounds the ride. The front of the train looks like a rusty old steam train and has 5 carriages which hold 15 rows of seats. Each row of seats usually seats 2 passengers (but I think there might be room for 3?) which means up to 30 passengers can ride per train (or up to 45 if my suspicions are correct).
Big Thunder Mountain was first opened in 1992 when the park opened. It is a rollercoaster but does not have any loops and does not go upside down. It is not a scary ride but it does go quite fast - up to 40 miles per hour. The duration of the ride lasts 3-4 minutes which is about average. The track is very windey and dippy which means the ride is quite jolty and can throw you around a bit, therefore the ride is not suitable for young children (unless they are over 1.2 metres tall), elderly people, pregnant women, and those with weak hearts and back problems! The ride is best suited to adults, older children, teenagers and families. Extreme thrill seekers probably won't be too impressed.
Big Thunder Mountain is a classic and very popular Disney attraction which means there are usually big queues for it. The queues can spiral round for hours. This is not a ride I would personally be happy queueing for more than half an hour for, but is a classic and therefore a must do. My advise would be to use the Disney Fastpass service. The Fastpass service allows you to jump right to the front of queues. You need to look for the fast pass distribution machine which is situated near the entrance of the ride, choose the time you would like to return and pop your park ticket into the machine. You'll then be issued with a fast pass ticket with a time to return to the attraction on it. When you return to the attraction you will enter a separate fast pass entrance where queueing times will be less than 10 minutes (sometimes you can jump straight on the ride). Fast passes come at no extra cost and you can use them as many times as you like. I definitely advise taking advantage of this service. Another way to avoid queues is to leave this ride until the very end of the day - this is when people start leaving the park and all the rides have small or no queues.
When you get to the front of the queue you have to queue up at separate gates (according to which row of seats you will be sitting in), when the train pulls in and the other passengers get off the gates open and you can board the train. The restraint is in the form of a lap bar which automatically lowers. The train pulls away and goes inside a dark cave. The train then goes up a steep hill and as you reach the top of the hill it looks as though you are going to go through a small waterfall but instead the water goes down either side of the train and you don't get wet. You then take a few twists and turns and dip down into a pool of water where the ride takes your photo. Again you don't get wet but just sprinkled a little. There are many more hills and tunnels to go up and down, it seems the higher the hill the faster you come down again. After the first minute it does seem a little 'samey' but is still lots of fun.
I recommend riding this at least one if you are in Disneyland Paris.
Big Thunder Mountain is one of those rides that is classed as a big thrill ride but you look at it and think that it's not that much of a big thrill as there's no up-side-down turns and there's only a bar across your lap to hold you in. Admittedly it does look slightly more like an older child's ride than an adults but, until you've tried it, you won't see the appeal. This is one of the best rides in the whole of Disneyland Paris purely because it is so much fun and you are sure to come out with a humungous grin plastered across your face.
On it you'll ride a runaway mine train through and over Big Thunder Mountain. You will go up steep inclines then plunge back down the mountain again, across rivers, through caves with many twists and turns to throw you about in your seat. There are many things to look out for along the way such as animals, sign posts and watch out for the other runaway train that passes you along the way.
It is much more fun than the Runaway Train at Chessington World of Adventures and is sure you give you many more thrills and screams. It does go pretty fast so you're probably best having your hair tied back and take any hats off as they'll be blown off with the wind whooshing past you.
Big Thunder Mountain is in the main Disneyland Park and is the main attraction in Frontier Land. It is in the very centre of the lake so you can't fail to miss it. Because it is one of the big thrill rides in Disneyland Paris this does mean that the queues are astronomical to get on, usually with a 60-90 minute waiting time. However, you can get fast past tickets to take you past all the queues at a certain time but, if you wait until the evening when the firework display is going on in the centre of the Disneyland Park, everyone flocks to this and this is by far the best time to do this ride. We found that we didn't wait more than 10 minutes but we often just walked straight on. So we just kept going back on again until we'd been on about 5 or 6 times and were exhausted from the dizziness of it but we had permanent grins on our faces from the fun! I also found that going on at night made it a lot more fun and gave it a bit more of a thrill for me.
There's a photo on this ride and, due to going on it so many times, we knew where the camera was and kept pulling stupid faces which was so funny to then see on the screen when we came out. The photos are taken of each cart of 4 - 2 people in the front, 2 in the back. It doesn't really matter where you sit in this ride as the front, middle and back all get the same experience.
Big Thunder Mountain is one of the most famous rides in the Disney Parks, this rollarcoaster is in Frontier Land in the Disneyland Paris Magic Kingdom park and is themed like a mining train, it goes both in doors and out doors and there is a picture taken of riders on one of the hills on the track that it follows.
This ride is avaiable for the fastpass service, for those who have appropriate tickets, this is great as it is a very popular ride in the park in at peak times you can see queues that will last 2-3 hours for it. It is regularly checked to prevent breakdowns because of this, which can make queue times even longer.
This ride isnt that scary and is good for adults and children alike, within the 40" height restrictions, there are no loops or inversions in Big Thunder Mountain and the max speed that is hit is just under 40mph, there is one semi dark tunnel in this ride though so if you dont like the dark this ride isnt for you.
Personally I am more of an adreniline junkie and find this ride a bit of a waste of time, as the queue time is so long. Granted the Paris version of the ride is much more exciting than the American version of the ride (the american one feels much slower and smoother) though if you like some thing a bit more exciting, try Space Mountain in DiscoveryLand, or the AeroSmith Rockin RollarCoaster in the MGM Studios.
Though it is nice to go on at least once as it is such a popular and famous ride, it does have its charms, though I recommend getting the fastpass on this ride, as I didnt think it was worth the wait.
Big Thunder Mountain is one of my favourite rides in Disneyland Paris.. It is situated in Frontierland which is themed on the old wild west. This is the main ride in this land, there really isn't much else, exept for Phantom Manor. However its worth visiting this land for the great cowboy atmosphere. Tip - if you walk right past Big Thunder Mountain and towards the train station, you will find either Woody or Jessie signing autographs most mornings.. There are usually other characters about as well neat the food place. Anyway back to the ride , the queues can be long so its worth getting a fast pass, but as stated in other reviews, the queue is quite pleasant as it twists and turns and there plenty to look at. My daughter first went on this ride when she was 3 (she's tall for her age) and she loves it. As soon as you set off it goes dark whilst you go through the tunnel which takes you onto the island. You then go up the first hill and you sometimes wonder if you are gonna make it up as the train grinds and clanks from side to side, but once up the top, its off you go on a series of bends and drops until the last bit which is really fast and pitch black until you come back out of the tunnel with a big grin on your face. My whole family really love this ride, and have been on it time and again, an old favourite that you never tire of.
Next to the Aerosmith Rock and Rollercoaster, this is one of my favourite Disneyland rides. Big Thunder Mountain is at both the Paris Disneyland and the Orlando park too but this review is about the Paris version.
I always find the queue for this ride slightly less painful than some of the queues at the park. It weaves in and out and all around in such a manner that you think you're closer to the front of the queue than really you are! Ok it can be frustrating but at least you never feel like you've got another twenty minutes to wait, when really you have, and it makes it easier to get through. I do recommend getting a fast pass for this ride where you get a ticket and come back later to go in the shorter queue as there's always a wait for this ride, even in the middle of winter when the park is quieter.
The ride is basically a really fast rollercoaster. It's a family rollercoaster and my grandson is tall enough to go on it although I wouldn't think it's appropriate for most little ones at all, my grandson included. You can do parentswitch if you want to both have a go and the little one doesn't to save queueing up twice though.
The ride goes up through a big dark tunnel to start off with and the climb is really very steep. It's a bit frightening even thanks to all the creaking and groaning the track makes as it struggles up the hill! When you come out into daylight, there's a matter of seconds before you're up and over the peak of the hill and whizzing down the other side.
Despite being a family rollercoaster, this really is extremely fast and there's a real thrill to be had as you slide down the other side. There are plenty of turns, twists and bends along the way and the ride lasts for two circuits of the track which is a good length of time. If you're planning a visit to Disneyland Paris, this is one ride not to be missed.
Big Thunder Mountain has to be my favourite ride at Disneyland.
As you enter the que system you get immersed in all the theming of the old mining industry. I would reccomend getting fast track for the ride as the que can be so long at peak times, a good 40 minute wait sometime, and although I love the ride, it only lasts a few minutes, so I don't want to spend too long in the que when you could be doing something else!
Once you get to the front of the que you see the rollercoaster, themed like an old run-away train! I love being at the back as it always seem like you're going much faster!
The cast members always seem to be very enthusisatic on this ride, all shouting and singing merrily away! One time I went on there it was my birthday and I had a birthday badge on so the cast member let me and my sister stay on the train and ride again without having to que!
As the train pulls away from the "station" you start your climb for the first drop. Then away you go!
This coaster is great as you have all the drops and quick turns that keep it exciting but there are no loops or any scary corkscrews so this is great as an introduction to rollercoasters!
All through the ride there are loads of little features to look out for, the ee-ooring donkeys, hanging bats, sparkling gold and much much more. It is a whole experience which I think Disney does well. Not just a ride, but visual and sounds to go with it making it an experience rather than just a ride.
If you have ever been on the Disneyland railway train that goes around the park, you might remember a freeze scene as you go into frontier land, this can also be seen from this ride!
One of the best parts about this ride is the view from the top summit. You get a beautiful view of the park and you even have time to take a picture (if you're brave enough to have your camera out that is)!
The only bad thing about this ride is it's over before you know it... back to the end of the que for more!
In my opinion one of the best rides at Disney Paris.
Big thunder mountain is a rollercoaster (not too fast, and no loops or upside down parts) where you sit in a mine cart and travel around a track.
Some of the scenery and effects are really good and you need to ride it several times to take it all in. Look out for the hanging bats with glowing eyes and the donkey.
This is as much a visual experiance as a rollercoaster, but it faster in certain seats, i found the very back to be much faster than the front. The ride can also be slightly bumpy, so this is worth bearing in mind.
The ride is suitable for most people and ive seen very small kids, enjoying themselves on it.
The queues in peak seasons can be horrendous and ive seen the fast pass queue take over 30minutes to get to the front. But out of peak season its much quieter. Try and ride first thing in morning when park opens if possible.
Frontier land is the old mining town created at the Disneyland Park in Paris it is home to Phantom Manor, The Steam Paddle Boat and Big Thunder Mountain.
Thunder Mesa is a 200ft red-rock island and it is home to Thunder Mesa mining company and as the old mining trains curl around the mountain every minute or so passers-by wonder how the train gets from one side of the mountain to the other.
Big Thunder Mountain is set inside superficially rotten tracks, dilapidated buildings perched on rocks. The entrance to Thunder Mountain is to the right of where you enter Frontier land, when the park is busy a fast pass service is in operation allowing you to enter your theme park admission ticket into a machine which will then return your ticket along with a fast pass ticket that will state a time to return to the ride and bypass the queue.
At the time of our visit the park was quiet so the fast pass service was not in operation but the queue was only a maximum wait of 10 minutes or so anyway and it moved pretty quickly.
The queue for the ride is decorated with western style gold mining equipment along with various sound effects. The Queue splits off into two queues to he left and the right but the majority of riders veer to the right causing a longer more excessive queue so my first tip in my reviews from Disney would be to advise you to take the left in the queue it will be a shorter queue as most people tend to follow other people in the queue rather than splitting off.
The queue then begins to descend down a flight of stairs which are also separated into two along with the queue to allow you to remain in two separate queues and this will then take you down to the platform to access your ride.
As you get to the front of the queue a crew member directs you to your loading bay when the train arrives into the station the gate automatically opens to allow you to enter the mine train ride.
It is two people per carriage and the lap bar lowers down to secure you to the ride, you are allowed to take bags onto the ride as long as they are stowed away; by your feet.
The train starts to rumble out of the station and the red lantern to the top of the train car's corrugated tin roof goes out and the carriages follow on into the darkness as we enter the first of a pitch black tunnel and we swoop to the right hand side before there is a deafening clatter of the train about to climb the first of three hills, this is the most spectacular of all the climbs and this is the section that crosses your from the mainland station onto the island section of this attraction and this is what makes this ride different to other Thunder Mountain rides in the other Disney Parks.
The ride curls over the top of the hill and begins a coiling descent around the mountain and the smooth, thrilling ride continues. Tight spirals take you to the front of the mountain where you dive under a family of possums that spin around as the carriages pass and the remaining hills take you up and down without any real drops, so it is ideal for someone wanting to ride a mild rollercoaster.
The ride seems to continue for what seems like a life time and passing various scenerary you start to feel as if you are in a run down episode of a western but as you hit the final climb and you look up to the roof you can see that the mountain seems to be falling in and it's a tough climb to the top to escape before it falls in and a small drop and a few more twists and we come to the end of the ride with a sharp stop.
It's a great ride that's not too scary for even the youngest of rollercoaster enthusiasts and as with all Disney rides that fact that a standard rollercoaster is housed in such a great design makes it all the more enjoyable.