The single most important thing though about Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad though is that it's NOT in the same place as at WDW. It's NOT by Splash Mountain. I was so lost because of that fact. So, remember that, and look at the map to find it. You will get used to it after a couple days being there, but it's tricky because you think it would be in the same place that is at in at the Magic Kingdom (WDW).
I haven't ridden all four. I like Disneyland's the best of the two I've ridden. It's a little more wilder.
Disneyland has a snake, turtles, and the goat actually makes noises. The station is outside with no roof instead of a roof at WDW also.
Anyway, about Thunder: The 3 I've ridden, FL, CA, and Tokyo were VERY close to each other....none truely stood out. *** Edited 2/19/2008 2:51:35 AM UTC by Peabody***
Anyway, yes, I do prefer the Disneyland BTMR over the Tragic Kingdom's.
Disneyland feels like a living breathing place, where Disney World is sort of stale and too perfect. If that makes any sense at all... Disneyland feels better, and has better rides.
That said, the only difference I noticed is that the station and queue is outdoors and not inside like in Florida. Gotta love southern Cali for that...
Aside from that Disneyland's attractions are much better simply because all their attractions are contained in one park while Disney World spreads them out in three or four. It makes sense California Adventure is having so much trouble with Disneyland right across the street. Few parks can compete with all those attractions.
While the verdict might be out on Big Thunder in California being the better coaster and Disneyland being the better park, a better question would be where folks prefer to spend their Disney vacation; in Disney-world or Disneyland & California Adventure?
And rc-madness, I much prefer the California resort to Florida. All that's missing, in my opinion, are the water parks.
All four BTMs are roughly the same design:
- Three main lifts (Florida has a fourth 'hidden' lift... bonus points for anyone who can name where it is)
- All follow roughly the same design for the general part of the ride (Florida has the "flash flood" trick track area, Paris has the underground part, etc.). The rides start going up "A" lift and have a sharp turn off the top of the hill, after a few big U turns the train hits "B" lift which is outside and features a "large" swooping drop that curves under the lift. A helix follows before another big U turn into the "C" lift which features the "exploding" mine area. TDL, DL and WDW drop off C lift and bounce back up before a swooping drop and a pass through a mid-course break (over a wooden bridge) before diving down past dino bones and into the brakes. Each of the rides are slightly different but roughly follow that pattern.
- DL's version, while almost the exact same layout as WDW (beside the trick-track section), is a actually a mirror image of WDW;s version and is smaller (hill size and total ride length- DL's is about 30 seconds shorter).
- WDW's BTM is actually taller than the park's castle and Spaceship Earth and is only two feet shorter than the Tower of Terror.
- The ride, espically the WDW, when running all the trains can really move the people through a hour- if I had to guess i would say WDW's BTM has to be one of single most popular (ridership count wise) in the world).
I perfer WDW's over DL's version. While I'll agree DL's seems wilder, the WDW just seems so much grander to me not to mention the latest refurb fixed many of the AAs and sound issues. *** Edited 2/19/2008 4:48:58 AM UTC by Andrew***
Backstage transfer track?
In 2007, after an important rehab, they added a FIFTH lift. This one is on the hill before the headknocker tunnel (after the helix between Lift B and C). What's interesting is that it doesn't seem to be running most of the time, so you only got the slowing down and horrible sound of the anti rollbacks. Now, why did they add that lift you'd ask? The reason is that a certain group of visitors to Disneyland Paris (the "zyvas", basically the thugs that live in the poor Cites around Paris) love to stand during the ride and anyone standing at the headknocker tunnel... So, during summer and vacation times, 1 E-stop every 2-3 days is caused and due to the placement of the block brake on an uphill slope, releasing the train would just send it back into the helix. Maintenance had to grab steel cables that run alongside the whole ride and tow the train to the C lift, which was a 3-4 hours procedure.
Then, they were forced to call every department and attractions in the park in order to get spare cast members to provide riders! The ride can't run empty and since you have to evacuate the guests before towing the train, cast members are needed.
With the fifth lift now, maintenance just need to activate it and it will send the train to the C lift without the need for a tow move and evacuation. So, no more 3-4 hours breakdown in the middle of busy periods.
As for my favorite version, I rode all 4 within a year and currently, I'm leaning toward the Tokyo version, due to its awesome waiting line and great drop at the end. *** Edited 2/19/2008 1:09:33 PM UTC by Absimilliard*** *** Edited 2/19/2008 1:10:02 PM UTC by Absimilliard***
Sorry Andrew... BTM at Disneyland Paris also features a 4th lift, at the end of the ride. After the big drop under the river, there are some brakes and then, a 4th lift. The 4th lift is there because in the winter, when the weather is cold, the train goes too slow to make it back to the stations! So, after initial testing, they added a fourth lift...
Intresting... based on videos I never noticed that one. To be techincal though the Florida version does have seven lifts in total. Three lift hills, a storage lift, and 3 lifts near the bases of each lift hill to grab the train and pull it up to the hill (mainly to help if the train has to get winched out of the brake zones).
Thats also intresting about the E-stops because that is one part of the ride I could never quite understand... the placement of the brakes on the ride. Seems like on Thunder the brake zones are all placed where if the train is stopped it has to be winched out and over the next hill. Never quite understood why they would put a brake zone on a incline but I'm sure there was a reason. Florida needs that extra lift like you said because that is a common problem - train gets stuck in a brake zone and maintenance has to come and winch the train.
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