• Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Apr 25, 2024

Last Updated: Apr 26, 2024

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
  • Year: 1980
  • Type: Roller Coaster
  • Single rider line: No
  • Minimum Height: 40″
  • Ride Duration: 3min
  • Fun 40 years later
  • Fast queues

An oldie but a goodie

For a long, long time, Magic Kingdom was known as being the theme park with Space Mountain, Splash Mountain and the “train roller coaster”. Well, say hi to the classic train roller coaster! Big Thunder is another iconic Magic Kingdom ride, which opened back in 1980. Yeah, this ride is more than forty years old, but let me tell you one thing: it’s still pretty fun and just as good as something modern like Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Magic Kingdom Big Thunder Mountain entrance.webp

Similar to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, this ride is perfect for families of all ages. Big Thunder might feel a bit bumpier than its younger counterpart, but that's to be expected from an older coaster. However, don't worry about loops, inversions, or crazy twists that could leave you sick. Even kids will likely enjoy it, even if there are a few sections where your train goes through a dark tunnel.

The atmosphere is great and makes me think of the Wild West. You are aboard a train journeying through a dangerous and cursed mountain, making loud turns and exploring at least three dark tunnels during your trip. The props used aren’t nearly as impressive as the ones in Expedition Everest or Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but they get the job done.

Magic Kingdom Big Thunder Mountain queue.webp

Speaking of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, do you wanna know how similar it is to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad? Big Thunder hits a top speed of 35mph, just a notch higher than Seven Dwarfs' 34mph. While Big Thunder's highest drop isn't officially documented, visitors estimate it around 30 feet, whereas Seven Dwarfs boasts a 39-foot drop. Big Thunder's ride lasts just over 3 minutes, while Seven Dwarfs clocks in around 2 minutes and 50 seconds. The track layout is similar. Both attractions also offer dark ride elements in the form of props and animatronics.

Magic Kingdom Big Thunder Mountain train.webp

So, yeah, they are pretty similar to each other. Big Thunder is more bumpy than Seven Dwarfs as well, which makes complete sense considering our big boy is over forty years old. It’s also way louder. Does it impact the overall fun? Not really. 

One of the best things about Big Thunder are the low queue times. Well, the low queue times when we take into consideration that we are inside the most popular theme park in the world. While Seven Dwarfs Mine Train often sees wait times of two hours, you'll usually find yourself in line for Big Thunder for only 20-40 minutes. While Seven Dwarfs might edge out as a better coaster, the shorter wait times at Big Thunder often sway me to choose it over Seven Dwarfs on many occasions.

Will Kids enjoy it?

Magic Kingdom Big Thunder Mountain ride.webp

Yes! Most kids love this ride. It’s just as charming as Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, even if it’s not based on any character in particular. This is a great coaster for young guests that loved Magic Kingdom’s The Barnstormer and are looking for something a little bit more intense.

There are a few dark tunnels in this ride, but they aren’t particularly scary. You might spot a few lanterns hanging from the ceiling and even a few bats, but there's no need to worry about ghosts or anything spooky lurking in the shadows.

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