On January 7, 2013, Disneyland Resort’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad closed for what is expected to be a 9 month refurbishment process. This will be the Disneyland resorts third refurbishment of a ride in the past year and a half. Both the Matterhorn Bobsleds and Indiana Jones and the Temple of the Forbidden Eye, closed for refurbishments in 2012 and have reopened to mixed reviews.
Although people have completely loved the refurbishment on “Indy”, which has added new fire effects, as well as upgrades to the already existing scenery, Matterhorn, hasn’t had the same success. Although many people have enjoyed smoothness of the new trains, people have claimed that the ride has lost speed, and has lost much of the thrill factor with the minimizing of the bumpiness.
Disney has released that some of the new elements of Thunder Mountain will be new trains, new, smoother track, and a refurbishment of the scenery itself to make it look similar to Bryce Canyon National Park in Utah. The ride is also rumored to have new 2 person rows with individual lap bars instead of its original design, of shared lap bars with rows that could fit as many as 3 riders. This update of Big Thunder was somewhat expected after the ride’s brother in Orlando’s Disney World closed for a 5 month refurbishment earlier this year.