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Big Thunder Mountain at Disneyland ParisLast updated by Nick on Wednesday, April 17, 2013 09:33
Submitted by Nick on Tuesday, June 05, 2012 10:54
Key informationOur rating:
Apr 12, 1992
The Frontierland area is dominated by Big Thunder Mountain, which sits on an island in the centre of the Rivers of the Far West. While similar in style to the big thunder mountain attractions at Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom, the Disneyland Paris version has several unique features – include its water-bound location.
The ride’s backstory is based around the gold-rush town of Thunder Mesa, which has long since been abandoned by most prospectors and miners. The extensively-themed queue leads to an indoor station, which contains two separate boarding areas (one for guests in the standby line, and one for FASTPASS holders).
Riders board a “mine train”, and are immediately plunged into darkness as they race at high speed through a tunnel under the Rivers of the Far West. They are then carried to the top of the first of three lift hills, which is housed in a tunnel. At the top, the train bursts out into the open at the top of Big Thunder Mountain itself, racing around a series of twists and turns. A second, outdoor lift hill follows, giving guests the chance to admire the scenery (and some animatronic animals that are located close to the track).
After another short race around the mountain, the trains start up the final lift hill. This is also housed in a tunnel, in which a disastrous collapse is about to occur. Fortunately, the train emerges in the nick of time, soaring through several more turns before plunging back into the final tunnel and emerging next to the station.Review:
All of Disney’s Big Thunder Mountain roller coasters offer a stunning combination of thrills and immersive theming, but Disneyland Paris’ version stands out as being the very best of all. This is largely due to its island location, which serves to make it the clear centrepiece of Frontierland and also creates a sense of being isolated on the mountain while riding.
While very young children will be unable to ride due to the height restriction, the vast majority of kids old enough to experience Big Thunder Mountain will love it. While its size can make it a little intimidating, in reality it is quite slow for a roller coaster and the thrills are all generated from the ride’s integration with the surrounding scenery.
It’s possible to ride Big Thunder Mountain dozens of time in a single day and still discover something new each time. The attention to detail in the theming of the queue and the ride itself is staggering, and it’s hard to believe that the mountain itself was not transplanted directly from Monument Valley.
While its sheer popularity does lead to long queues in the late morning and afternoon, Big Thunder Mountain’s capacity means that it operates a very effective FASTPASS system. We strongly recommend using this during the day, and reverting to the standby queue in the evening when lines are shorter.Top Tip:
More so than any other ride at Disneyland Paris, Big Thunder Mountain is utterly transformed when it gets dark outside. Aim to ride at least once before sunset, and at least once after.
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Latest news on Big Thunder Mountain:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopens at Disneyland Paris following derailment
Wednesday, November 2, 2011 08:32
Disneyland Paris has reopened the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad rollercoaster, just days after a derailment forced its closure.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad derails in accident at Disneyland Paris
Monday, October 31, 2011 08:10
A train on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad rollercoaster at Disneyland Paris derailed on October 27, 2011, forcing the ride's closure for the second time in less than a year.
Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster reopens at Disneyland Paris following accident
Monday, May 23, 2011 17:15
The Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster has reopened at Disneyland Paris, several weeks after a serious accident forced its closure.
Upcoming refurbishments, rehabs and closures
We are not aware of any scheduled refurbishment periods for Big Thunder Mountain. Do you know of any upcoming "rehabs" that we're missing? If so - please contact us so that we can keep the list up-to-date.