Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad to close for upgrades

Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will close for upgrades in January.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)
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Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is closing Jan. 7 to undergo an overhaul to replace its tracks and vehicles and to give it a new paint job.

It will be the third major overhaul of an iconic ride in as many years.

The railroad in the Frontierland section of the Anaheim park has been operating since 1979 and portrays a runaway train that speeds through a barren Old West mining town.

The ride is expected to reopen in the fall of 2013.

Disneyland completed a similar overhaul to its Matterhorn bobsled ride earlier this year that also included a paint job, new tracks and new vehicles.


Matterhorn’s new vehicles have received mixed reviews. The old vehicles crammed two riders per car, with one sitting in the lap of the other. The new cars offer individual seats for each rider.

Splash Mountain, the flume ride at Disneyland’s Critter Country, underwent a major makeover in 2011.

A spokeswoman for the park said Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will get new trains but they will probably resemble the existing trains, with no major changes to the seats.


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