Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Monday, February 18, 2008 5:44 PM
I have only been to Disney World so bear with me here. I love Big Thunder because of its theming and I was Woundering which one out of all the Disney parks is the best. I went to you tube all ready and saw them all but video does not do a justice. I will be making out to Disneyland next year so I can tell the differnce between World and Land. From what I can tell it looks like land gets a bit more attention.
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Monday, February 18, 2008 6:46 PM
A cool thing to do is to goto You Tube and check out the different rides at Disneyland.

timmyk

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Monday, February 18, 2008 7:02 PM
There might be a bit more theming at Disneyland's Big Thunder then Magic Kingdom's version because of all the efforts to re-vamp the ride after the fatal accident which occurred there some years ago. Besides that the differences are small in comparison to the big differences in Pirates and Space Mountain, both of which are much better at Disneyland. *** Edited 2/19/2008 12:04:08 AM UTC by rc-madness***
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Monday, February 18, 2008 7:48 PM
The difference between Disneyland's and Disney World's is the fact that they are completely reversed, and instead of the "wacky worm" track I call which is the area near the bathtub, and houses at WDW, they have hills, and it's much faster at Disneyland. It's hilly at Disneyland instead of that other track I just said. I like Disneyland better than WDW because of that hilly part instead of that wacky worm type of track.

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.

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Monday, February 18, 2008 8:02 PM
I agree, disneyland's thunder mountain is better. Also, disneyland's potc, blows disneyworld's version out of the water. There is a huge differance between the two.
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Monday, February 18, 2008 8:24 PM
I really like BTMR at Disneyland Paris. The station is on mainland, and the ride is on an island. You go under the lake to get there and the lift goes through a waterfall. I just thought it was kind of unique, and AWESOME!
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Monday, February 18, 2008 8:35 PM
When I went on BTMR in Disney World back when I was younger, back in 2000, I thought it was one of the coolest coasters I'd ever been on, it was fast, fun, and totally enjoyable. Since then, I've been on many many more coasters...I went back this past October, rode it again, and thought it was meh. So make your own opinion of it.
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Monday, February 18, 2008 9:17 PM
Disneyland Paris is, in my opinion, the best of the bunch...although I believe the lift through the waterfall that Alex mentions is on all versions (its the first lift). However he's right about the tunnels under the Rivers of America between the station and the main portion of the ride. The drop into the return tunnel is quite exciting!
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Monday, February 18, 2008 9:50 PM
At Disneyland be prepared for most attractions to be at the mininum slightly better then their Florida counterparts. (With a few exceptions like Splash Mt.) Do be prepared to spit on the Florida Space Mt. with disgust afterriding the CA one! :)

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***

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Monday, February 18, 2008 10:16 PM
^ So true... am I the only one that simply cannot STAND the Magic Kingdom, but absolutely LOVES Disneyland? I spent last semester on the Disney College Program and ended up completely hating Magic Kingdom by the time I left, while the three other parks kept getting better and better (And I worked at MGM Studios at Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, so that's not why)...

Anyway, yes, I do prefer the Disneyland BTMR over the Tragic Kingdom's.

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Monday, February 18, 2008 10:28 PM
Can't stand is a bit strong. Disneyland IS better though. :)

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...

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Monday, February 18, 2008 10:41 PM
I would describe DL in one word...Cozy. Great attractions being in such close proximity is what sealed the deal for me. As for BTMR I think I was a little more for this ride at DL just because of the overall park experience. (not muh help I know)
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Monday, February 18, 2008 11:27 PM
Disneyland does not have the iconic castle that Magic Kingdom has. I think its castle could fit in the lobby of Vegas' Excalibur Hotel. Tomorrowland at Magic Kingdom has a much better design with the martian rocks.


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?

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Monday, February 18, 2008 11:38 PM
I've been on three of four, and my favorite is the one in Paris. By a lesser margin, I liked Disneyland's better than Florida's.

And rc-madness, I much prefer the California resort to Florida. All that's missing, in my opinion, are the water parks.

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Monday, February 18, 2008 11:43 PM
BTMRR is, call me crazy, one of my favorite rides out there. Sure it isn't the biggest or the tallest but it is fun. I think BTM is the perfect example of a ride not having to be the biggest or fastest to be a quality fun ride.

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***

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Monday, February 18, 2008 11:47 PM
- Three main lifts (Florida has a fourth 'hidden' lift... bonus points for anyone who can name where it is)

Backstage transfer track?

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Monday, February 18, 2008 11:50 PM
Yup. BTM at WDW has to have one of the longest storage transfer tracks running from the station across the train tracks and down to the storage building.
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Monday, February 18, 2008 11:53 PM
How many bonus points did I earn?
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Tuesday, February 19, 2008 8:08 AM
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...

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***

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008 9:53 AM

Absimilliard said:
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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