Today is the 40th anniversary of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom. The ride opened September 23, 1980. It’s one of the big 3 mountains at Disney World; Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It’s the cornerstone of Frontierland, and a must do for any trip to Disney.
Unknown to most guests, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has an extensive backstory. At Magic Kingdom, the ride follows the gold rush of the 1800s. A group of settlers discovered gold on Big Thunder Mountain, and the small town of Tumbleweed became a sensation overnight. An extensive line of mine trains popped up, in order to mine as much gold as possible.
Unfortunately, the townsfolk didn’t realize the town was built on on sacred Native lands. The disruption of the land caused the spot to be cursed. Therefore, great tragedy befell the town. It faced a flash flood, causing the town to be abandoned. Some time later, travelers discovered that the trains still worked. So they opened the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad for visitors to take rides on the cursed trains.
BTMR and Kidney Stones?
In 2016, an article was published stating that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad helped patients passed kidney stones. Dr. Wartinger noticed that on multiple occasions, his patients passed kidney stones after riding the ride. He then asked Disney if he could test his theory, and rode the ride with a fake kidney a bunch of times. His tests revealed that 70% of the time, the kidney stones passed while on the ride. The number of kidney stones that passed varied. It depended on what row the person was in. Unfortunately, Space Mountain and Rock n’ Roller Coaster DO NOT have the same effect.
Happy 40th Anniversary to this amazing roller coaster! Do you ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad every trip?