The ride has closed - Yes - but its memory lingers on through the Order of the Red Handkerchief - Mine Trains International. This is one of the oldest clubs formed by former cast members of the Mine Train Ride. Over the years they have also taken in cast members that worked in Adventureland and Frontierland. In fact they just had their annual dinner banquet at the Holiday Inn on Saturday November 7th with about 50 in attendance including WDI's Tony Baxter.
I wish I could become a member of that group as the Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland is my all-time favorite attraction. I can still "ride it" in my head 33 years after I last rode it for real. Rainbow Caverns Mine Train opened on July 2, 1956, then closed October 11, 1959. The Nature's Wonderland area was constructed and the track was extended during the next 7 months. Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland opened on May 28, 1960 and closed permanently on January 2, 1977. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened on September 2, 1979 and Big Thunder Ranch first opened on June 27, 1986.