View Full Version : Big Thunder Question

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01-08-2002, 12:33 AM
I hope someone can clear this up for me. The spiel on Big Thunder just before the train departs ends with "...this here is the wildest ride in the wilderness." Years ago, did this spiel used to say, "this here is the wildest ride in the old West."

Some people have said "yes" and others have said "no." I've heard guests talking about this and find it curious that we all think it said the same thing.

I grew up riding the one in Florida... and only got to start riding ours here in 1995. At that time it said "wilderness" and I remember then thinking, "Oh they changed it."

Now, when I say years ago, I don't mean a few years ago, I mean around twenty years ago.

And does anyone know why they quit using the doors the train would burst through after topping the last lift? Did it not work properly? One of my friends told me about it and now I notice the doors all the time. It looks like it was a nifty little addition to the "show."

01-08-2002, 12:41 AM
It may have been due to the fact that so few people saw the doors open and it went through so slow that it lost it's appeal.

01-08-2002, 12:47 AM
I don't remember it saying anything other than wilderness, but I don't really have that great a memory. I'm sorry, what were we talking about?

01-08-2002, 05:21 AM
It been "wilderness" as along as I can remember riding it. Which is about 20 years now.

01-08-2002, 07:43 PM
I don't ever recall the saying use anything but "wilderness" ........

I don't ever remember seeing those doors working ............

I do remember being somewhat disappointed by the fact that when the ride first opened it did not have the "flashflood" effect that had been discussed for the 5 or so years during which the new attraction was being planned ...........

01-08-2002, 07:52 PM
Up until about a year or two ago, I always thought the announcement was "old west," but I think I was just expecting west instead of wilderness.......

01-08-2002, 08:13 PM
I miss when you'd go through the dinosaur spot and the spray would actually get you wet (and I seem to believe that it may not have always been a dinosaur skeleton, but I could be wrong about that)

Attractions 87
01-09-2002, 09:23 AM
The spiel on Big Thunder just before the train departs ends with "...this here is the wildest ride in the wilderness." Years ago, did this spiel used to say, "this here is the wildest ride in the old West."

My information is that it has always been "wilderness".

And does anyone know why they quit using the doors the train would burst through after topping the last lift?

It may have been due to the fact that so few people saw the doors open and it went through so slow that it lost it's appeal.

The trains kept slamming into the doors, ruining them, so they've been switched off. I understand they still work, but that they just don't use them.

Attractions 87
(Who is seriously considering making 02 the last year.)

Ghoulish Delight
01-09-2002, 09:37 AM
I too used to believe it was "West." Then, about 18 years ago, I went to Florida thiking "I hope they don't also say 'West' since we're in the East!" Of course, listening carefully I heard it say "wilderness." So I felt vindicated. Then I went out here again within the next year, and that's the point I realized it says "wilderness" out here also. So from that I figured it had always said wilderness and I had just heard it wrong.

Lost Boy
01-09-2002, 07:20 PM
Well folks, those of you who have read the Indiana Jones Secrets post should recoginze me and Tony Baxter. Big Thunder is Tony's ride - the first one he ever did and the ride that got him transfered into Imagineering - it is now in all four Parks.

It has always been Wilderness.

The doors worked only for a short time after the ride first opened. The mechanism which actually is supposed to open the doors before the train hits them has never worked properly. On the last major rehab (when they added the glittering gold fiber optics) the doors were supposed to have been fixed once and for all. Didn't work. Tony hates it when things like this happen as the doors closed would keep that area dark so you could see the special lighting effects better during the day. They are supposed to snap open seconds before the engine hits them. Maybe someday the engineers can come up with a system that is fast enough to work the way Tony designed it.

Did you know that Big Thunder uses a magnetic polarity system and that the coasters can be run in reverse in case of extreme emergency rather than walk the guests off? It's one of the few, if not the only, coaster in the world that can do this.

01-09-2002, 10:30 PM
Hmmm very interesting. But I think they do have the "splt-second" door technology, they use it at test track (I belive it is super fast, but I could be sleepy).

01-09-2002, 11:12 PM
LB: Sounds like Big Thunder - Backwards! should go on the list of attractions for special AP nights ..............

01-10-2002, 12:20 AM
Hmmm, I wonder if it isn't super safe or it may be too costly to keep the reverse system running since you would think they would try that for a special thing, then again it may be viewed as a copy of what SFMM does.

01-10-2002, 01:44 AM
You can always just sit in row 15 and turn around :)

Lost Boy
01-10-2002, 07:57 PM
It's part outside and even the parts inside are subjected to rain, wind (no sleet or snow, but water is enough) and that does cause problems. I am sure that if they want to keep trying, and are willing to spend some bucks they will get it to work. Someday. I hope because it just makes the ride sound so much better than it already is. I think Big Thunder as old as it is, and with no loops or any of the modern tricks, is one of the best coasters anywhere. I always ride it when I go to the Park and my favorite part is that little jig to the side just before you go round the bend into that third lift hill. It's always so neat to watch the people who have never been on the ride and there reaction when the car seems to skid to the side.

Gemini Cricket
01-10-2002, 08:54 PM
I love threads like this where you learn stuff about DL. I think Lost Boy should have his own column for MP. He's full of wonderful facts about the happiest place on earth.:)

Lost Boy
01-10-2002, 09:19 PM
Thank you, but it's more fun for me to look around these posts and just answer questions as they come up. I have been going to DL since the day it opened, and I have made lots and lots of friends that work/worked at the Park over the years.

I don't know everything, no one person does anymore. There is just too much going on. But the things I do know about I am more than happy to share with others who have the same curiosity to find out what makes things work, without fear of spoiling the magic.

01-11-2002, 08:35 AM
It's hilarious for me to read, Lost Boy, that you've been going to Disneyland since day one, since that shattered my mental picture of you! For some reason (maybe the enthusiasm of your posts?) I pictured you as something like a 19 year-old engineering student. I love it when my preconceived notions turn out to be so far from the truth! :D It reminds me to be more careful developing preconceived notions...

01-11-2002, 03:43 PM
are the doors still there??:confused:

01-11-2002, 05:19 PM
the thing where you turn your body on to look at the goat with the dynamite....which way do you turn??? I turned counter-clockwise and it worked. (I think...)

01-11-2002, 06:16 PM
The doors are still there and you can see them by turning around right after you leave the earthquake mine shaft. I believe that you are supposed to face the goat for the goat trick to work.

Lost Boy
01-11-2002, 07:42 PM
You can actually see the open doors as you go past them right at the exit to the mine tunnel in which the rocks "fall" on you. They are open all the time and are quite plain to see if you just look to the left or right as there are two doors, one on each side.

Sorry to disapoint you about my age. I sometimes feel 19 but that's because I spend so much time at Disneyland, my Laughing Place. I am really going to be ... Well now, I can't give away all my secrets. I look younger than I am and let's just leave it at that.

01-11-2002, 10:43 PM
Oh there are so many dirty jokes for this question but... What is the goat trick?:D :confused:

01-11-2002, 11:09 PM
RE: the goat trick

As you reach the top of the hill, you see the goat chewing on the dynamite. Turn to face the goat, and keep facing the goat all the way around the curve. The G force will push you back... it's really fun. Works best in the back car.

01-11-2002, 11:29 PM
Originally posted by Lost Boy
Disneyland, my Laughing Place.

heeeeeeeey, me too!