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    Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

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Description And Comments

Every age group, from grade-schoolers through adults, rates Big Thunder as the best roller coaster in the Magic Kingdom. The idea is that you’re on a runaway mine train careening through a gold rush frontier town. Big Thunder contains first-rate examples of Disney creativity: a realistic mining town, colorful caverns, and an earthquake, all humorously animated with swinging possums, smart-aleck buzzards, and the like. Ride it after dark if you can. Seats in the back offer the best experience.

In terms of intensity, we put this coaster at about a 5 on a scary scale of 10—it has tight turns rather than big hills or drops, and no loops or upside-down parts. Because it’s outdoors and kids can see most of the ride, it’s a better introduction to “real” roller coasters for young children than Space Mountain; we’d recommend trying it if your kids enjoyed Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Touring Tips

A Midwestern mom offers this tip to families with children who are too short to ride:

If you're switching off on Thunder Mountain or Splash Mountain and have young kids to entertain, there's a fantastic little playground nearby where you can pass the time (and it's a great meeting place when the others get off the ride). It is completely covered and near the restrooms too! It's located next to Splash Mountain, under the train tracks.

Guests experience Disney attractions differently. Consider this letter from a lady in Brookline, Massachusetts:

Being senior citizens and having limited time, my friend and I confined our activities to attractions rated as four or five stars for seniors. Because of your recommendation, we waited an hour to board the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which you rated a 5 on a scary scale of 10. After living through 3 1/2 minutes of pure terror, I will rate that attraction a 15. We were so busy holding on and screaming and even praying for our safety that we didn't see any falling rocks, a mining town, or an earthquake. The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad should not be recommended for seniors or preschool children.

A Vermont woman feels there’s more to consider about Big Thunder than being scared:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad was rated a 5 on the scary scale. I won't say it warranted a higher scare rating, but it was much higher on the lose-your-lunch meter. One more sharp turn and the kids in front of me would've needed a dip in Splash Mountain!

However, a reader from West Newton, Massachusetts, dubbed the ride "a roller coaster for people who don't like roller coasters."

Ride Through

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Wait Times

This chart shows you roughly how long you'll wait for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad when you visit on a day with a given Magic Kingdom Crowd Level. The blue bars represent the average "peak" wait time (that is, how long the line will be at its busiest). The bottom and top black lines represent the range of peak wait times to expect (for you fellow nerds out there: it's the 5th percentile and 95th percentile of peak wait times). Please note that these are estimates, and for a better forecast for your travel dates, see Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Wait Times.

Attraction Photos

Special Comments

40" minimum height requirement; children younger than age 7 must ride with an adult. Switching-off option provided.

Special Needs

Other Attractions in Frontierland

Touring Plans with Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

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