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  1. #16

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    1840 would be a little too early for a gold mining town and mine to dry up and have everyone leave. I do not know much about the ride's location but I just think that 1840 is too early. Dynamite was invented in 1866 according to Wiki adn was not patented until 1867 so there is no way Sam could have seen a goat chewing on a dynamite stick before 1870 at least. Also there is a problem with a locomotive in an 1840 mine.

    I also thought it was just a runaway mine train and not a haunted ride.

  2. #17

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    The town is Rainbow Ridge. The company is Big Thunder Mining Company, and the boilerplate also says Big Thunder Mountain Ironworks...

    There are 2 stories, one is "Native Curse" one is "Ghost Story". Depending on which one you go with the town itself is either prosperous, or the curse killed everyone and all you hear are their spirit voices. Things go "bad" at Spiral Butte... basically when you see the goat eating the dynamite is when everything supposedly goes south! The spiral is meant to simulate the track itself breaking apart... and it just gets worse from there.
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  3. #18

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    I thought it was still Rainbow Ridge, too, but I just found this picture I took at Disneyland last year:



    Looks like the town is in the process of drying up.

  4. #19

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    On the Disney VMK thing it was still Rainbow Ridge.
    "Happiness is a Low Water Level"


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  5. #20

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    Back when Discovery Bay was going to be incorporated into that area there was a different story:
    Quote Originally Posted by Disney News '92
    The highly imaginative tale includes the legend of a young inventor, named Jason Chandler, who lived in a town called International Village during the peak gold rush years in the Big Thunder region-circa 1849. According to the chronicles, "...the young inventor devised a drilling machine with the capability of boring into the very heart of Big Thunder Mountain. There, the veins of gold ran so deep, it was rumored they could produce a mother lode that would bring a man enough wealth to last a hundred lifetimes and more.

    But a cave-in occurred on Big Thunder, burying 26 miners alive. They would have drawn their last breath then and there, had it not been for the inven¨tor and his laughable drilling machine. He burrowed down into the Earth's core, rescuing the miners from certain death. It should have been a moment of joy and celebra¨tion, but as the men scrambled to the arms of safety, a massive earthquake shook the ground and a cavernous maw opened up, swallowing the inventor and his machine whole. "The miners, as well as the citizens of the village, struggled day and night against the mountain, trying to dig the young man from his living tomb. But they never saw him, or another nugget of gold, again. Big Thunder had taken its vengeance not only on the miners, but on their wealth as well. The mountain had gone bust, and it became just a matter of time before only ghosts resided there.
    Here's my favorite version, from The Disney Mountains: Imagineering at its peak by Jason Surrell. The story is apparently loosely based on the Lost Dutchman Mine here in AZ. It also says Tony Baxter came up with this version:
    In the Disney version, gold was discovered in Big Thunder country in the 1850s, shortly after the Gold Rush began near John A. Sutter's Mill in California, leading to the formation of the BTM Mining Company. But the locals believed Big Thunder Mountain and the land around it to be sacred, and a protective supernatural force dwelt deep within the mountain to protect it from anyone who might deface it in the pursuit of profit. At first, the mining operation went along without incident, but as the miners began using explosives to blast deeper and deeper into the unforgiving rock and laying tracks for the mine train they'd use to retrieve its golden bounty, the mountain's ancient fury was unleashed. Strange noises emanated from a newly opened mineshaft. The spirits of long-dead miners could be heard tapping on the boarded walls of abandoned tunnels. Cave-ins became common occurrences. And then the narrow-gauge engines began rolling out of the station with no human hands at the controls. Entire trains, most times packed with unsuspecting passengers, would race driverless, at breakneck speed, along the spiraling steel and wooden track. The miners began to concede that perhaps the locals were right all along. Maybe the mountain --and their mine -- was cursed. They abandoned their posts, the BTM Mining Company went bust, and soon Big Thunder became just another ghost town dotting the Old West.

  6. #21

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    I prefer this one:

    The Ballad of Big Thunder Mountain

    At Big Thunder Mountain station thereís a frighten trembling man,
    His bodyís weak and feeble and his skin has left his hand,
    When I asked him for a ticket, he turned and shook his head,
    He grabbed my by the shoulder and this is what he said:

    "Before you get on board this train thereís something you should know,
    When I finish with this tale you might not want to go."
    I listened with amazement at what he said was true,
    And now my friend the time has come to tell this tale to you.

    Hear the legend, of Thunder Mountain,
    Victory come and tries to stay away,
    From Big Thunder, Mountain railroad,
    Thunder Mountain Railroad ran away!

    He said as legend has it on one foggy night in June,
    The train and crew pulled out as well beneath the darken moon,
    With a boiler full of water and a tender full of coal,
    The whistle screamed a warning as the wheels began to roll.

    Then like a bucking bronco with a cougar on itís back,
    The train began to run away on miles and miles of track,
    What happened to the crew that night no one has ever learned,
    The train pulled in all by itself, the men did not return.

    Hear the legend, of Thunder Mountain,
    Victory come and tries to stay away,
    From Big Thunder, Mountain railroad,
    Thunder Mountain Railroad ran away!

    The history of Big Thunder, continues to unfold,
    The stories of its danger continue to be told,
    Of avalanche and rattle snakes and earthquakes in the night,
    And voices of that phantom crew that chill your blood with fright.

    So please forgive me mister if Iím standing in your way,
    But before you buy your ticket, thereís one thing I have to say:

    Hear the legend, of Thunder Mountain,
    Victory come and tries to stay away,
    From Big Thunder, Mountain railroad,
    Thunder Mountain Railroad ran away!
    I'm making a note here: HUGE SUCCESS.

  7. #22

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Semiquaver View Post
    I thought it was still Rainbow Ridge, too, but I just found this picture I took at Disneyland last year:



    Looks like the town is in the process of drying up.
    Well, the town was called Rainbow Ridge when that area was Nature's Wonderland. However, I bet they changed the name to Big Thunder when the rollercoaster opened
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  8. #23

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    And it appears there are 38 people left in Thunder Ridge (a combo of both ), so that explains the people in the shops.

  9. #24

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Tach View Post
    I prefer this one:
    Quote Originally Posted by The Ballad of Big Thunder Mountain
    ...
    That's neat, thanks for sharing. I'd never heard that before. Found a video (actually just audio) of the ballad:
    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnKO3v7PJy4]YouTube - Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ballad of Big Thunder Mountain[/ame]

    I love the presentation of it, but there's not much story in it.

  10. #25

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric5675 View Post
    Well, the town was called Rainbow Ridge when that area was Nature's Wonderland. However, I bet they changed the name to Big Thunder when the rollercoaster opened
    We have a winner! And the Surrell book's story (the one attributed to Tony Baxter) is the one in the official Imagineering SIGs (Show Information Guides) for the attraction.
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  11. #26

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    Well,dont you guys think theres too many versions and wayyyyy, to much back story for a rollercoaster.

  12. #27

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by mansionman View Post
    Well,dont you guys think theres too many versions and wayyyyy, to much back story for a rollercoaster.
    Well, there's only one official version, which according to RumRunner31 is the one in the Surrell book. The one to do with Discovery Bay was a proposed change that never came about, and the one from wikipedia has no citation so we have no idea where it came from. The ballad is nice since it just speaks of a haunted mine so it complements all versions of the story. Only the stories two from the different imagineering books seem to clash. I don't think they do.

    The Surrell story establishes that the mine is haunted and abandoned. The "Miner Details" story could just be what happens after the mine is abandoned. The differences in date (only about ten years) could be attributed to the stories passing into legend. Dates get blurred a bit.

    Is it too much backstory? It's just a coaster right? I don't think so. It's part of what makes it a great ride in a Disney park. The best part is that the backstory is subtle and not being shoved in your face. You can ignore it and treat it only as a fun coaster, or go looking for more story in the details around Thunder Bluff.

  13. #28

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    Good points Semiquaver,but at the end of the day it is a rollercoaster with avery big theme. And yes thats what makes it great but like most on this thread ijust dont see the (haunted) part of this minetrain backstory or not.

  14. #29

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by Semiquaver View Post
    I thought it was still Rainbow Ridge, too, but I just found this picture I took at Disneyland last year:



    Looks like the town is in the process of drying up.
    I've seen that sign in person. It's details like this that help make Disneyland the best place in the world. Plus, it answers alot of questions about the backstory

    Quote Originally Posted by mansionman View Post
    Well,dont you guys think theres too many versions and wayyyyy, to much back story for a rollercoaster.
    Nothing at Disney is just a coaster. I hate California Screamin' because it is content with just being a roller coaster. I say the richer the back story the better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Semiquaver View Post
    That's neat, thanks for sharing. I'd never heard that before. Found a video (actually just audio) of the ballad:
    YouTube - Disneyland Big Thunder Mountain Railroad ballad of Big Thunder Mountain

    I love the presentation of it, but there's not much story in it.
    Cool, does anyone know if this song was intended for use in the park?

  15. #30

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    Re: The Story of Big Thunder Mountain

    Quote Originally Posted by mansionman View Post
    Good points Semiquaver,but at the end of the day it is a rollercoaster with avery big theme. And yes thats what makes it great but like most on this thread ijust dont see the (haunted) part of this minetrain backstory or not.
    That is fine you would rather take BTM on face value. You are happy with that and derive pleasure from it. This is not to persuade you to believe in any particular backstory on any ride, but to give you and anyone else in this forum, the opportunity to enrich (deepen, expand) your Disneyland experience by presenting a bit of theatrical backstory. The imagineers designed the ride with that history in mind, but the beauty of disneyland is anyone can interpret the park, rides, and atmosphere anyway they please. You are apart of this particular play and how you choose to move through it is up to you.
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