"Hang onto your hats and glasses, folks, cause this here's the wildest ride in the wilderness!"
And so it is!
As your mine train car rushes in and out of the mine, into the mountain, through canyons, into the town and over the river, you can almost believe the spirits of
are real. Disney lore tells us that gold was discovered in Big Thunder Mountain in the late 1800s and the towns of Tumbleweed and Dry Gulch sprung up around it. Of course, you need a mine train to transport your gold to and from the mine and, hence, the establishment of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (BTMRR). Soon, the miners began to experience eerie things – cave-ins, flooding, equipment malfunctions and ghostly sounds in the caverns. The trains themselves seem to take on a life of their own, apparently possessed by spirits of the mountain who were angry with the removal of its gold. Word soon spread that the mine was haunted, the mine subsequently abandoned, and the towns became true ghost towns. Big Thunder Mountain
Fast-forward to today and we see that new prospectors, ignoring the legends of old, have resurrected the Mining Company. But as we soon shall see, some legends are merely the truth in disguise!
On November 19, 2012 Disney announced a new backstory for
. According to the Disney Parks Blog: Big Thunder Mountain
|Portrait of Barnabas T. Buillion.|
He's supposed to look like Tony
Baxter (Disney Imagineer credited
with the design of BTMRR), but I
think he looks a bit like a young
— Disney Parks Blog
This new piece of information ties in nicely with the original backstory of
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and enhancements to the queue will provide more to the story as well as the introduction of a new character, Barnabas T. Bullion to the story line which currently includes two colorful residents of the town of . Cousin Elrod floats along the now flooded town in his bathtub, and Professor Cumulus Isobar, with this rain making machines, which seems to have worked a little too well. Speaking of the residents of the town of Tumbleweed, if you take a peak inside the Gold Dust Saloon, you’ll see a lively party upstairs and evidence of a card game on the first floor. The cards are facing up on the table and it appears to look like a real hand in a card game. Look quick, because your mine car travels fast. You might have a better view of the town from the Walt Disney World Railroad which passes just along the edge of Tumbleweed . I often wonder if the cards on the table have a secret meaning. Maybe the dead man’s hand? Similar to what you might find on the wall in Pecos Bill’s Tall Tales Inn? I would love to find out if anyone knows? Big Thunder Mountain