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  1. #1

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    Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    So, yes, I know that there have been multiple posts about the Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland.

    BUT

    A lot of the pictures that were posted no longer work.

    I don't know why, but I'm having a VERY hard time conceptualizing exactly where the train went through and how big the route was. I know that the track used to go through what is now Big Thunder Ranch and that tunnel that you see from across the pond is a leftover tunnel from the Mine Train and that the pond was always there. But I'm starting to get very confused about the path going into Fantasy Land. Did that trail always exist? Did people walk under the train if that trail did exist? Did the train go through Tom Sawyer Island? Was Cascade Peak Tom Sawyer's Island or was Tom Sawyer's Island always another thing altogether? I also know that those little buildings by Thunder Mountain were Rainbow Ridge. But was there more to Rainbow Ridge than what is left today?

    Again, I'm having a very hard time conceptualizing this entire attraction and I have no idea why. I know Disneyland from the late '90s onwards like the back of my hand. Can somebody please explain exactly what direction the train went in, where it went, what you can see of it today, and what didn't exist back then? Working pictures would be very helpful, especially side-by-side pictures of then and now from the same or similar angles.

    Thank you very much!

  2. #2

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    Basic info: the Big Thunder trail as it exists today was not there, the trains ran through that entire area along with the ranch. There were more buildings to Rainbow Ridge, I believe, and the trains departed directly in front of them at ground level. The attraction never went to Tom Sawyer Island: it wound around through the current Big Thunder plot, the trail, along the river bank (currently inaccessible) and where the ranch is. The tunnel by the pond would have been returning towards the modern attraction area, not leaving. The large arched rocks currently at the ranch entrance were part of the Living Desert section, and the Big Thunder roundhouse (behind the gates visible from Rancho Zocalo if you look out the side-facing windows) is roughly where the rainbow caverns where, if I recall.

    Likely someone else will have more detailed info and photos...
    when the spooks have a midnight jamboree....

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by RegionsBeyond View Post
    Basic info: the Big Thunder trail as it exists today was not there, the trains ran through that entire area along with the ranch. There were more buildings to Rainbow Ridge, I believe, and the trains departed directly in front of them at ground level. The attraction never went to Tom Sawyer Island: it wound around through the current Big Thunder plot, the trail, along the river bank (currently inaccessible) and where the ranch is. The tunnel by the pond would have been returning towards the modern attraction area, not leaving. The large arched rocks currently at the ranch entrance were part of the Living Desert section, and the Big Thunder roundhouse (behind the gates visible from Rancho Zocalo if you look out the side-facing windows) is roughly where the rainbow caverns where, if I recall.

    Likely someone else will have more detailed info and photos...
    Daveland Disneyland Nature's Wonderland Photo Page

    Here's a map

    /vbulletin/showthread.php?t=304395

    I was luck enough to ride this as a kid before it was shut down. It took up a huge amount of space from where big thunder is now to ROA back to the train tracks at the back of the park.
    Last edited by dland_lover; 11-11-2011 at 07:47 PM. Reason: Removed link to non-partner site with forums, per MiceChat policy.

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    yesterland.com should answer your questions

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    In addition to the excellent map Ni_teach linked to, here's a handy axonometric I use sometimes:

    Name:  Nature's Wonderland Axon jpeg.jpg
Views: 599
Size:  228.9 KB

    Tom Sawyer Island is a little bit south and across the river from this photo. The two entities were always separated; as far as I know, TSI wasn't really affected at all when Nature's Wonderland went the way of the Wild West.


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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by marktwain View Post
    in addition to the excellent map ni_teach linked to, here's a handy axonometric i use sometimes:

    Name:  Nature's Wonderland Axon jpeg.jpg
Views: 599
Size:  228.9 KB

    tom sawyer island is a little bit south and across the river from this photo. The two entities were always separated; as far as i know, tsi wasn't really affected at all when nature's wonderland went the way of the wild west.

    ive been looking for something like this for a long time!!!!!!!! Youre awesome

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    Thank you very much for all your replies.

    yesterland.com should answer your questions
    Thanks for the tip, but that's unfortunately where all this confusion began. :'( I heard about the Mine Train through Yesterland and after reading the article, I felt extremely confused.

    Daveland Disneyland Nature's Wonderland Photo Page

    Here's a map

    Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland - VMKMagic Forums
    Thanks for the link. I've seen the Daveland photos, but I think the biggest source of confusion for me through those pictures is the fact that I can't help but look at them and not know what it is I'm looking at.

    That thread helped tremendously.

    I saw the illustrated map first and that honestly opened up a whole new world of confusion. I think it's because I thought that the tunnel that you can see in what's left of the old Bear Country was what you departed out of. I also watched a video on youtube where a guy talks about what you can see now of the desert and led a group to the Bear Country tunnel and declared that looking through that tunnel was all you could see of the actual attraction. However, the way he worded it confused me a bit (I think) because he made it sound as though you could actually go up to that tunnel back when it was still the Mine Train and look through to see a sliver of the attraction, which made me think that past that tunnel, it just opened up into the Living Desert, which to me, made no sense because I heard that Big Thunder Ranch was where the Living Desert once was. So looking at these maps makes me think that the reason why I was so confused about it is because I must have misconstrued various descriptions of it.

    So now, if I understand this correctly, all that's left of Rainbow Ridge are those small buildings in Thunder Mountain, whose current queue is in a pit that was not there when it was the Mine Train. The path to Fantasy Land goes past what was once Rainbow Ridge, through Beaver Valley, along the Bear Country pond, through where the Natural Arch Bridge once stood, past the Balancing Rock Canyon, and in between the Seguaro Forest and the Devil's Paintpots. Some cacti from the seguaro forest still stand today on the north side of present-day Thunder Mountain. But when the ride was in operation, the Mine Train went through a tunnel, along the Rivers of America, around to where the Fantasy Land trail is today, looped along where present-day Big Thunder Ranch is, entered the Rainbow Caverns, and came back out at Rainbow Ridge. The Bear Country then had nothing to do with (Country Bear Jamboree) Bear Country/present-day Critter Country because back then, it was Indian Village.

    I feel pretty good that my confusion has cleared. Is my head all in the right place now? Or is there still something that I'm missing?

    I have to admit, though, I looked at a 1962 map of Disneyland for part of writing this response... and now I'm starting to confuse myself over Fantasyland. Somebody tell me to stop thinking!
    Last edited by dland_lover; 11-11-2011 at 07:49 PM. Reason: Removed link to non-partner site with forums, per MiceChat policy.

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    i had similar problems on Yesterland with Adventure Thru Inner Space

    ---------- Post added 11-02-2011 at 01:45 AM ----------

    oh and if you need to know about the pre 1983 fantasyland, im your man

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    Yeah... I have no idea why this is confusing me so badly. I really don't have problems with how everything else changed. I understand what all happened to Tomorrow Land and can visualize that pretty well. But I'm also under the impression that Tomorrow Land hasn't changed as dramatically. Neither has Adventure Land.

    I think that I may have thought that Tom Sawyer's Island was involved with the Mine Train in some way because I saw another picture with Cascade Peak that made the whole thing look like it was an island with the train going around it and canoes paddling in front. So I think that I thought for a moment "Oh. Maybe Tom Sayer's Island wasn't always there?" But that didn't make sense either because I know that Cascade Peak was taken down in 1998. I don't remember because I was 7 (and obsessed with Indiana Jones) at the time and I never went on the Mark Twain, canoes, or Tom Sawyer's Island, so I don't ever remember seeing it.

    I think now Fantasy Land is confusing me because I'm trying to figure out if Dumbo moved. Although the rest of the issues that I'm starting to have with Fantasy Land will probably be resolved the next time I go to Disneyland (in December! I'm excited!).

    But man, is it ever gonna be a mind trip the next time I go to Frontier Land. O_O

  10. #10

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    Here's a side-by-side shot of the area in 1960 and in 2007. You can see that a lot has changed in that part of the park - not only is the Mine Train gone, but the railroad has been pushed out to the north.

    Name:  minetrain.jpg
Views: 523
Size:  76.8 KB
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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by Anatomical View Post
    I think now Fantasy Land is confusing me because I'm trying to figure out if Dumbo moved. Although the rest of the issues that I'm starting to have with Fantasy Land will probably be resolved the next time I go to Disneyland (in December! I'm excited!).
    Yes, Dumbo moved in 1983 when Fantasyland was renovated. Originally, Dumbo was further west -- there wasn't a pathway from Frontierland into Fantasyland as there is today, and Dumbo was in the spot where that path enters Fantasyland now.

    Where Dumbo now sits was the pirate ship and skull rock; where the Carrousel sits was once Mad Tea Party, and the Carrousel was farther south closer to the castle.

    Here's another image, of 1955 Fantasyland and the present:

    Name:  fantasyland.jpg
Views: 524
Size:  34.4 KB

    (Just a plug: in our app "Mouseaddict" you can toggle map views and see what the park looked like in the past.)
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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    Thank you very much, everyone!

    Your responses and pictures have all been extremely helpful. I think I understand better now and I feel mildly embarrassed that I was as confused as what I was. But I guess it's understandable, especially for someone who hasn't been around long enough to see/remember huge dramatic changes in Disneyland (I'm not counting DCA's new makeover as a change to Disneyland). The whole Mine Train removal looks like it was one of the biggest overhauls that Disneyland had seen.

    I haven't been there since I got confused over this whole thing, though. My family will think I'm crazy next time I go- I haven't told them about my confusion yet... my mom didn't go to Disneyland until the late '80s/early '90s and every time I ask my dad, he can't give me a good answer because he's the type of guy that doesn't understand why Disneyland's past seems mysterious to me. My grandma and I rarely discuss Disneyland unless we're at Disneyland. And even then, she doesn't talk about what it was like the first time she visited back in the late '50s, unless it's to giggle and praise the Jungle Cruise and talk about how it hasn't really changed since she went on it the first time.

    I guess most of the mystery just has to do with the fact that I spent so much time there that thinking about it being any way other than the way that I know it is a really strange thought to me. No matter, I think that Disneyland is still a beautiful place that has maintained a kind of integrity that other amusement parks aim for, but never quite hit and I think it must have always been a wonderful place to go to, especially when Walt Disney was still around.

    (Just a plug: in our app "Mouseaddict" you can toggle map views and see what the park looked like in the past.)
    Thanks for your pictures! They helped a lot. I'll have to check out that app.... it sounds cool!

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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    i dont wanna add to your confusion but yes Tomorrowland has changed alot since 1955, in 1967 it was revamped to the point where when it reopened, it was unrecognizable now other then the addition of space mountain and the addition of the captain eo theater, tomorrowland's buildings havent really changed at all since the 60's

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    Talking Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    This reminds me of and brings back fond memories of MiceChat's first "official" armchair imagineering competition in which member "Nautilus" won with his Red Canyon Ridge Railroad concept. Here's his YouTube video of his creation:




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    Re: Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland Questions

    These old pictures have really depressed me. This is the one attraction that I've not ridden on that I would have most loved to have seen. It just seems like it would have been incredible. Disney, build something else like this!!!!

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