While at Disneyland last week, a cast member told me a rumor that Big Thunder was going down for a full year for a new and, possibly, an extended track. If what he said was going to happen, it will be a nice addition. But, I wasn't given permission to spell it out, so let's just hope the Imagineers will come through!
I would welcome with open arms a non movie tie-in version of this ride.
^^^YES!!! Some people do have health restrictions, and we'd love to have new things to enjoy, too.
My skeptical nature has me wondering. As long as I've heard of this ride, and most of the ideas were created long before I heard of them, I wonder why it was never built? Is there some fatal flaw that has gone unadvertised? Are there technical issues that are proving to be too challenging? Is it simply too expensive? So few things devised after WRE seem "better", so why was this never built? It could have been themed to a California river and put in DCA, or placed in the Northern reaches of Frontierland where they are considering park expansion now, but they have not yet used it, and I wonder why.
Keep in mind this attraction was meant to be in WDW, not Disneyland.
More info here, specifically why it was never built:
In my opinion, with the direction Disney is headed these days.... We might see another movie tie in ride. Though I sincerely hope we dont, I think WRE is one of the most dynamic ideas WED has ever come up with. It is so beyond original that I cannot come up with a proper word. Im afraid the next ride in frontierland will be a pocahontas one, but Disney should highly consider to implement WRE in the northern frontierland space.
The Western River Expedition will become an instant classic if it were ever build at the Magic Kingdom.
Disneyland's Frontierland needs more "oomph" (which means getting rid of the Petting Zoo & Theatre that are a waste of square feet - along with reopening the area that was closed off which was apart of the original Rainbow Caverns / Nature's Wonderland) along with another dining area / bathrooms....
[all that space beyond this original tunnel could be used to create another ride for Frontierland]
There's been a lotta talk around these parts of bringin' back the original Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland...and...the Original Marc Davis Western River Expedition. Now, with the Lone Ranger comin' up...seems to me all this might indeed be kinda possible.
As for bein' politically correct...do you realize that there is a Pirate in Disneyland who hasn't washed his dirty feet in well over 40 years? There's a certain Redhead in there who has been temptin' pirates, and passersby, ever since the adventure began. I hope the politically correct folks never wash that pirate's feet or replace that Redhead that all the pirates want to buy.
Adventure sometimes calls for pirates to rest a spell with some contented pigs in the mud...or burn down towns for that matter...or tempt little kitty cats with a bottle of rum...
The Western River Expedition had a lotta humor in it...Marc Davis brought that same brand of humor to the Jungle Cruise where it's O.K. to take pictures of the Elephants cause..."they all have their trunks on."
The Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland showcased the Wildlife and Natural wonders of our country in much the same way as the Jungle Cruise showcases the critters found in the exotic corners of the world. There's a feller on the Jungle Cruise still sellin' shrunken heads after all these years...
Both these new attractions should NOT be thrill rides...there's more than enough of them around the parks these days. Instead, they should bring back adventures for the whole family and celebrate America's Frontier West...it's scenery, history, legends, and wildlife...
Having said that, of course, taint nuthin' wrong with "balancin' rocks" and beautiful waterfalls and geysers and such... a whole lotta us old timers are hopin' that one day they will bring back Cascade Peak with it's beautiful waterfalls right there on the banks of the Rivers of America.
Twernt nuthin' prettier than seein' the ol' Mark Twain comin' round the bend at Cascade Peak...
Given the amazing things the Imagineers have done with the scenery in Carsland...there is just no doubt that they could bring back Nature's Wonderland and throw in the Western River Expedition...bigger, and far better than it ever was. It would truly be a wonderful addition to the park, bringing back some of Walt's original philosophy for the park...a place where young children and older adults could laugh and play and learn together...not just teenagers and twenty somethings...
Sides, I've always been mor'n a little fond of the Old West don't ya know?
Adios for now. Talk to ya on down the trail.
Wild Ol' Dan