Tag Archives: Big

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Reopens at Disneyland

Thunder Mountain Railroad - The LA Times

Only at Disneyland would they tear down an old and dilapidated gold mining town in order to build a new and identical gold mining town and make it look old and dilapidated again.

“The goal was to bring it back to exactly the way it was,” said David Smith of Disneyland’s facilities and maintenance department, which oversaw the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster rehabilitation project.

The “wildest ride in the wilderness” is expected to reopen to the general public on March 17 after a 14-month rehabilitation, the most extensive overhaul since the ride opened in 1979.

Except for one key scene, the ride won’t look any different to the casual observer — and that’s the point.

So much of the Disneyland experience is about passing along generational experiences — parents and grandparents reliving their childhood memories with their offspring. To that end, Disneyland set out to make the refreshed ride look and feel exactly like it did for every one of the 225 million passengers who rode it over the past 35 years.

While the coaster follows the same route about three-quarters of the track has been replaced, with only the three lift hills and the maintenance spur unmodified. The new train bodies look virtually identical to the originals with an updated chassis underneath.

Throughout the attraction, the Bryce Canyon-inspired buttes have been repainted, the audio system has been refined and the animatronic animals have been reengineered. Even the Rainbow Ridge gold mining town at the end of the ride has been rebuilt from the ground up.

Brady MacDonald, a writer for The Los Angeles Times, rode the refreshed Big Thunder coaster this past weekend during employee previews and found the experience to be just as he remembered it with all the off-your-seat whoop-de-dos and come-over-dear seat-sliding turns still delivering the family-friendly thrills he loved for decades.

The track is still a bit tight and will take a while to break in, making the ride seem slightly faster than it used to be (although Mr. MacDonald was told it remains the same 28 mph). It’s definitely a smoother and quieter ride, making it easier to hear the enhanced audio effects you might have missed before (assuming you’re not riding with a train full of hooting and hollering cast members).

The first lift hill has an updated animatronic flying bat scene that recalls the dancing ghosts in the Haunted Mansion dining room. The stalactites and stalagmites that follow feature new paint and lighting that make the cavern glow with a rainbow of colors.

Along the way you’ll find all your favorite animatronic creatures right where you remember them — from the howling coyotes and dangling possums to the tail-rattling snakes and neck-swaying turtles. Everybody’s favorite dynamite-gnawing goat now sets up the payoff in the new explosive finale.

The new and improved third lift hill, which once quivered with quaking rocks, now features a series of “Danger – Keep Out – Blast Area” warnings that portend a combustible climax. As the train climbs the lift hill, a trail of fuses race up the walls toward a cluster of dynamite as steam blasts from cracks in the cavern. At the top of the lift a mix of sound, lighting and fog effects create the illusion of a tremendous explosion that envelops riders. Mr. MacDonald recommends sitting toward the rear of the train to get the best view of the special effects.

The Big Thunder refurbishment and the addition of the Captain America meet-and-greet at Innoventions mark this summer’s only major additions at Disneyland. Save for the possibility of a new parade and some spiffing up of old favorites, expect next summer to be equally light on new attractions with the park’s 60th anniversary on the calendar.

That leaves fans wondering and waiting for the next major expansion at Disneyland,  which could be another update to Tomorrowland with a Star Wars or Marvel overlay and a much-needed refresh for the 1977 Space Mountain indoor roller coaster.

Until then, we welcome back the beloved Big Thunder Mountain in all its old and faded glory.

YouTube Video

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

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Sources:

1] Brady MacDonald, Review: What’s old is old again for Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain, The Los Angeles Times, March 11, 2014, http://www.latimes.com/travel/deals/themeparks/la-trb-disneyland-big-thunder-mountain-review-20140310,0,1376848.story#axzz2vleWVtOI.

[2]  Anthony Hays, Disney News Round Up: Big Thunder Walls are down and more!, Micechat.com, March 12, 2014, http://micechat.com/60623-disney-news-round-big-thunder-walls/.

Now Open Sundays, Big Robot Collection Just Arrived

New Store Hours

#1 – Big News, Toy Anxiety will now have Sunday hours beginning the first weekend in November.  Starting on November 4th, Toy Anxiety will be open from Noon to 5:00pm MST.  This is a permanent change for your shopping convenience!

Just Arrived. Robot Collection 

#2 – We have acquired a nice collection of tin wind up robots including modern Billikens and many other reproduction robots of various sizes with various features.  Come by and check them out!

Sunday: Toy Anxiety will be having a big sale at the TMAC Toy Show in Tucson

Toy Anxiety will be at the TMAC Collectible Toy Show and Sale in Tucson tomorrow. We will be having a big sale on all new Star Wars figures and vehicles, 1/18 scale military, and loose modern Star Wars figures.

 Mention this e-mail for something extra special!

Tomorrow – Saturday, August 20th! Big Sale at Toy Anxiety!

Hi everybody!

We just wanted to give all of our local friends and customers a heads-up. Tomorrow, August 20th, we are having a SALE on everything in the store. We need to clear some space so we can reorganize; that means you all get to save some money.  Discounts are on all items on
the sales floor.

Discounts are as follows:

20% OFF – all items with white price stickers

15% OFF – all items with yellow price stickers

10% OFF – all items with computer-printed price signs

Also, don’t forget to bring cash and check out “Phoenix’s Littlest Toy Show,” which is also happening tomorrow, right down the sidewalk from us. There are a few new sellers going to be there with lots of new toys.

It should be great!  We hope to see you there.

The Gang at Toy Anxiety

SDCC 2011 Exclusive #102: IDW The Big Book of Carl Barks’ Barney Bear

Recommended by Chris Sims of Comic Alliance!

A collection of comics by the legendary creator of Scrooge McDuck, Carl  Barks.

The Big Book of Carl Barks’ Barney Bear reprints these  strips for the first time in color and in English, and while I’ve never heard of  it before, it’s high on the list of things I want to pick up. As much as I love  Barks’ work on the Duck books — and Yoe’s previous collections of “lost”  classics like Dan DeCarlo’s Jetta — this one’s an easy sell.

SDCC 2011 Exclusive #81: IDW Publishing POPBOT BIG BEAUTIFUL BOOK

POPBOT BIG BEAUTIFUL BOOK

POPBOT BIG BEAUTIFUL BOOK, which collects the long sold-out POPBOT Volumes 1 through 8. This huge 11″ x 14″ hardcover collection showcases over 400 pages of Ashley Wood art and comes with a slipcase. Strictly limited to 500 copies.

• Now available for pre-order at http://bit.ly/popbot.

Ashley Wood will be based at the IDW booth #2643 throughout Comic-Con, and will be available for signings.

POPBOT BIG BEAUTIFUL BOOK ($125, hardcover with slipcase, 400 pages, 11” X 14”) is available for pre-order through IDW Publishing, for pick up at San Diego Comic-Con or delivery after August 1.

SDCC 2011 Exclusive #46: Mezco Little Big Planet: SDCC SackBoy Set

The Little Big Planet: SDCC SackBoy Set is priced at US$40 and features two figures: Blue Denim and Beige Denim Sackboys. Both feature a yellow hat and black shirt with the SDCC logo, and each character is separately packaged and features 7 points of articulation.