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Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

An Attraction in Magic Kingdom

Last updated: February 23, 2024

At a Glance

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.

Current Standby Wait Time
Lightning Lane - Genie+
Next Available Return Time:
4:40pm
Guest Overall Rating
Our Overall Rating
Preschool
Grade School
Teens
Young Adults
Over 30
Seniors
Duration
7 min
Rider Switch?
Yes
Minimum Height
40 in
Queues
  • Standby
Accessibility
  • Physical Considerations
  • Must Transfer From Wheelchair/ECV
  • No Service Animals

Ride Through

Touring Tips

When To Go
Before 10 a.m., in the hour before closing.
Loading Speed
Moderate-fast
Early Theme Park Entry?
No
Wait per 100 People Ahead
3 min
Extended Evening Theme Park Hours?
Yes

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."

Other attractions you might like

Users who like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, generally also like:

Wait Times

Here's roughly how many minutes you'll wait for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at each Magic Kingdom Crowd Level.

1
10 to 35
2
18 to 48
3
24 to 51
4
28 to 51
5
33 to 53
6
37 to 60
7
43 to 67
8
49 to 77
9
59 to 90
10
71 to 113
Hourly View
Wednesday,
Jan 6, 2021
View another date
Wait Times for
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
 
Wednesday,
January 6, 2021

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Submitted Wait Times
50 min Posted Standby at 11:59am
27 min Actual Standby at 1:04pm
50 min Posted Standby at 2:32pm
27 min Actual Standby at 2:32pm
70 min Posted Standby at 3:22pm
48 min Actual Standby at 3:22pm
52 min Actual Standby at 3:27pm
53 min Actual Standby at 4:16pm
50 min Posted Standby at 6:52pm
28 min Actual Standby at 6:53pm
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