The fellow’s name is Barnabas T. Bullion, and he’s the gold magnate who rules the Big Thunder Mining Company with a golden fist. Imagineers have already begun working overnight in the park on the attraction’s new interactive queue, where you’ll be able to see this portrait, as well as an additional landscape portrait of the mountain itself.
According to the enhanced backstory: “Barnabas T. Bullion is the founder and president of the Big Thunder Mining Company. The longtime mining magnate comes from a powerful East Coast family and considers gold to be his very birthright by virtue of his oddly appropriate name; in fact, he considers the ultimate gold strike to be his destiny. And that is why he is having so much trouble with Big Thunder Mountain. According to superstitious locals, Big Thunder Mountain is very protective of the gold it holds within, and the unfortunate soul who attempts to mine its riches is destined to fail. And so far that prophecy is coming to pass. The mine has been plagued by mysterious forces and natural disasters ever since. And yet the Big Thunder Mining Co. is still in operation. In fact, Bullion is discovering new veins of gold and digging new shafts every day, offering a closer look at the Big Thunder mining operation than ever before. But a word to the wise for anyone attempting to visit the mountain: watch out for runaway trains.”
Look for these new additions and a number of additional interactive elements in the coming months at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, the wildest ride in the wilderness!
Who doesn’t love a good mystery – and we just happen to have one to share with you today. Our friends in Walt Disney Imagineering just sent us this portrait as a sneak peek of one of their upcoming Walt Disney World Resort projects. Any ideas which attraction this may soon be a part of?
Here’s one hint to the identity of this fine fellow: “His obsession with gold will ultimately lead him to ruin.”
Our friends at Walt Disney Imagineering just shared with us that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in Frontierland is next in line for such an addition. When it opens, guests will be able to participate in the story of the Big Thunder Mining Company like never before. It’s guaranteed to be a blast!
See more about the enhanced queues at Walt Disney World Resort in these posts:
Imagineer Melissa Jeselnick will be with us right here on the Disney Parks Blog, beginning at 1:15 p.m. EDT, to answer some of your questions about what’s changing at the attraction. We’ve received a ton of questions so far, but please keep them coming. You can submit your queries right here for Melissa during the chat.
Keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog and follow @WaltDisneyWorld on Twitter for the latest Test Track changes. While you’re on Twitter, join in the conversation by using the hashtag #TestTrack.
Since Jennifer shared those first renderings of our reimagined Test Track at Epcot, there’s been a steady stream of requests for more. Well, we’ve got something better than an update. On August 27, Disney Parks Blog readers will be the first to chat live with one of the key Imagineers working on the project – Melissa Jeselnick.
Melissa will be chatting about how you’ll be able to design your own custom concept vehicle when the attraction is reopened in late fall and how you’ll be able to put it through its paces on the hills and switchbacks of the Test Track circuit.
We’ll also be sharing something you’ve never seen before from the attraction, so mark your calendar. You can also share any early questions in the comments below and then check back on August 27 at 1:15 p.m. See you then.
Imagineer Jonathan Ackley will join us right here to answer some of your questions about the behind-the-scenes creation of these interactive experiences. Our chat will begin promptly at 1:15 p.m. but feel free to begin submitting your questions in the comments before we begin. We’ll answer as many as possible in the allotted time.
This year, we’ve shared many inside looks at our new Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom role-playing game and our interactive experience Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure here on the Disney Parks Blog. But on June 7 at 1:15 p.m. Orlando time, you’ll have access like never before. We’re thrilled to announce that we’re partnering with Walt Disney Imagineering to bring you a live chat with Imagineer Jonathan Ackley.
If you don’t know Jonathan, you should. He’s a senior project producer and creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering who focuses on interactive shows at Disney Parks. His work includes helping create the animation you encounter on a Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom adventure. He also designed the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure at Epcot and most recently worked on Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure.
Get to know Jonathan and take a look at what he shared earlier this year.
You can share any early questions for Jonathan today in the comments below. See you back here for the live chat next week.
One of my favorite places for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time, coffee time – any time, really – is Jolly Holiday Bakery Café at Disneyland park. From the sandwiches and sweets to the enchanting details, it has quickly become a guest favorite. But no matter how many times you stop by for a treat, you’ll always find new details you never noticed before. In the video below, Jonathan Peters from Walt Disney Imagineering shows us some of the special touches at Jolly Holiday Bakery Café.
UPDATE: New Orange Bird images have emerged from this morning’s announcement. Check out the new images below!
Well, isn’t this a surprise?
Early this morning, D23 representatives announced the return of the historic Orange Bird character live in Adventureland before a small group of D23 members.
In case you aren’t familiar, Orange Bird was a character who was developed specifically for Magic Kingdom Park in the 1970s. This cheerful bird originally greeted families at Sunshine Tree Terrace in Adventureland, where guests could also enjoy citrus drinks and buy Orange Bird gifts. At one time, the character even had his own record, which was released in 1971 to feature “The Orange Bird Song” – a tune penned by the Sherman Brothers (composers of the songs in “Mary Poppins” and “The Jungle Book”).
Beginning today, Orange Bird will return to Sunshine Tree Terrace signage and quirky drink cups, and a new line of Orange Bird merchandise has already appeared on the shelves! Also, an Orange Bird statue that was on display at Sunshine Tree Terrace in the 1970s was retrieved from the WDI Sculpture Studio in California, and is now on display.
We’ll have photos to share from the announcement shortly, but in the meantime, here’s a brand-new desktop wallpaper by Jason “Tiki” Tackett for you to enjoy!
Check out these posts for more of the latest happenings at Magic Kingdom Park: