Behind the Walls: Update on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Refurbishment at Disneyland Park

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

I’ve got an exciting photo to share with you today from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland park. Paul Hiffmeyer, our chief photographer, was recently able to witness a major milestone in the attraction’s refurbishment – the first new train testing the brand-new track that was just installed at the attraction! Check out this photo he brought back for me to share here on the Disney Parks Blog:

The First New Train on the Brand-New Track at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

And there’s another Big Thunder Mountain Railroad update to share with you today: the wildest ride in the wilderness is now scheduled to reopen in Winter 2014. So hold onto your hats and glasses until then, and keep an eye on the Disney Parks Blog for more sneak peeks and refurbishment details.

For more about the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment, click the links below:


  • Any update on a date for BTMR?

  • Any idea when this ride will be open? My boyfriend and I are taking a trip down to Disneyland and it’ll be his first time at the park, I would really love it if we’re able to take a ride!

  • Hi Erin! I noticed the date was set for Big Thunder to reopen on February 1, 2014, but now it looks like that is no longer the case. I think it was about 10 days prior to it being scheduled to reopen that they changed it. Do you know what happened and if they have a new estimated date to reopen? I am very disappointed because I scheduled my trip for a date that it was supposed to open, now my trip is so close and the reopen was changed last minute. If you have any information I would appreciate it, thank you so much!

  • Aw man! My husband is in construction so I know completion dates are never what they first appear. I thought I gave it enough cushion by planning our trip at Christmas. So bummed I won’t get to share my absolute favorite ride with my kids on their first trip to DL. I guess I’ll have to “hold on to my hats and glasses” on another visit. Sad!

  • We will be there for Christmas. I was hoping for this to be re-opened by then. It is my daughter’s favorite ride!

  • All the other blogs I’ve been reading are saying they are targeting a Feb. 15th 2014 reopen and by the sounds of some of the responses here I’m guessing that isn’t too far off. Such a bummer. It’s definitely one of my favorite rides at the park and I’ve been seriously missing it.

  • I plan on being there from January 3 – January 6, 2014. I sure hope that this ride is open by then. I was so disappointed to see it closed during my visit in February 2013.

    Nothing like the original ride at Disneyland Park.

  • So disappointed 🙁 Thought I planned my November trip deep enough into fall to ensure being able to go on my favorite ride.

  • I’m with Kimberly (post #17). I, too, need confirmation status of our beloved goat, please and thank you.

  • I have two college
    daughters, along with my wife and I who will be very disappointed this weekend when we go. Big Thunder was by far our number one ride and we made a point of riding it up to 4 times in the same day. Nothing else compared to the smooth exhilarating ride!

  • While I appreciate the update I can agree with everyone else that it is rather disappointing. We planned our 1st trip all the way from NC expecting it would be open for our visit this December. I hope it is the same ride experience as WDW since I probably won’t have a chance to ride it at DLR again. 🙁

  • Why did the date get pushed back? We were psyched to see it dec since we missed it this summer.

  • The only thing I really care to know is to be reassured that the goat will still be there. I have literally had dreams where I take a friend to Disneyland who has never been before, we go on BTMR, and there is no goat. And for the rest of the dream I am extremely disappointed.

  • We are so looking forward to take off our hats n glasses – cuz this here is the wildest ride in the wiiiiiilderness! 🙂

  • I’m sure Disney would love more, than to get our beloved ride reopened. but with all the new additions and changes that have happened, sometimes “Estimations” for completion of things. Can and do get hindered on occasion, or something comes up that couldn’t be seen. I for one have no issues waiting for a safe dang near brand new classic ride, to be reopened. Being in the arts and entertainment business myself, it’s allways best not to rush. When one rushes, things will and can be easily over looked. Winter 2014 for reopen, can’t wait.

  • Thanks for the update Erin. 🙂

    I’m looking forward to riding the attraction again.

  • Oh snap I was bummed at first that it was going to miss my birthday and pushed back until Feb but now maybe for my next birthday heh. I’m sure it will be worth it /fingers crossed.

  • Thanks for clarifying, Erin. To me it reads as though it’s a year away.

  • How about we say Winter 2013-2014?

  • WINTER 2014?! I almost fell out of mein upper perch!! I do hope you mean the Jan-March 2014 timeframe, and not literally next year!!

    • Yes, Gregory. Early 2014.

  • Aw, sad news! This was supposed to open back up this fall and I’m making my 2nd trip this November and was looking forward to riding it (one of my faves). 🙁

  • Didn’t you guys post it would be open on Halloween? It also said on the post outside BT that it would open fall 13. :/

    • Cinthia – This is an update to the previously announced time frame. Signage at the attraction has been updated as well to Winter 2014.

  • It reopens in February.

  • Winter 2014 could be Jan, Feb or Mar. So, I guess we’re looking at a 4 month min?

    • That is correct, Tom. We expect the attraction to reopen this winter.

  • Please tell me that’s a typo and it’s Winter 2013. My daughter has been looking forward to riding this and we’ve been eagerly awaiting my son breaking the 40″ milestone in the hopes he could ride it when it opens back up. Been a long wait for us.

  • Is this the same type of train and track we have at WDW in FL ???

  • Winter 2014? All of your other blogs said fall 2013. Hoping just a typo. Love this ride and look forward to it being open during our Christmas visit

    • John – This is an update to the previously shared date. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is now scheduled to open in Winter 2014.

  • I must say, I am excited to ride this when it is all done. Looks like a lot of care and attention and love have been put into it. It is my favorite ride in the parks.

    Thanks for the photo.

  • A whole year?

    • Monica – to clarify, we mean Winter 2014 in terms of early in the year.

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