The wildest ride in the wilderness!

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If yer lookin' for the wildest ride in the West . . . while in the East . . . then you've come to the right place, pardners!  Frontierland's star attraction is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, one 'transplanted' attraction that I can definitely say is bigger and better in its Orlando incarnation.

While in most cases I've come to appreciate and admire the genius of Disneyland's economy in design, this sprawling serpentine train-run-amok really takes advantage of its larger footprint in the WDW park. Its spacious track layout may not enjoy as many corkscrew thrills as Anaheim's, but the more vast scenic terrain give a much better and varied experience during the ride. All this topped off by the flooded mining town at the finale put the BIG in Big Thunder Mountain.

One of several popular attractions I got to ride repeatedly during the "E-Ride Nights" special admission for Resort guests, when the MK closes to the general public and folks staying on the Disney property have the major attractions to themselves.

Ain't it a butte?!

Run-away railroad!

While the early closing hours (in March) took a bit of getting used to, this welcome perk allowed repeated rides with little to no lines throughout the Park, encouraging multiple trips on this and other attractions. Big Thunder was rip roarin' fun every time!

I passed on riding Splash Mountain, which had both the longest lines and the least differences between Orlando and Anaheim, but it's a definite must-ride when in the MK.

Those used to the California version will note that passengers ride side-by-side in bench seats, rather than in-line -- and the reverse is true between the two parks' seating plan on Space Mountain. Go figure.

This Splash Mountain is also considerably more sizable than its Disneyland counterpart in scale, though I believe the final flume drops are comparable.  Always a fun method of getting soaked while you're in the Magic Kingdom, by all means drop in when you visit!

Now, pardners, let's giddyap to other lands this a-way, there be plunderin' pirates ahead

This way to the Soakin' Place

© 2000-2002 scott weitz