1980: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Magic Kingdom Park)
Editor’s Note: This post is part 10 in a forty-part blog series in celebration of Walt Disney World Resort’s upcoming 40th Anniversary. Please welcome to The Window Seat Emma Nicholson, Walt Disney World Moms Panel Guest Author and guest blogger.
In 1980, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad opened at Magic Kingdom Park. This runaway train roller coaster is one of the many wild, but mild, attractions the whole family can enjoy.
Walt Disney World is well known for its huge array of family-friendly attractions and entertainment. Whilst many people have fond memories of their first experience of the classic rides like it’s a small world and Dumbo The Flying Elephant, many families, just like mine, look forward to nothing more than sampling some of the exciting thrill rides during each and every trip.
My family has been lucky enough to enjoy all of the white-knuckle family thrill attractions found at each of the four theme parks many times over the years, and these are our favorites:-
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Many of these attractions are extremely popular. If these are simply must-dos during your visit, I would highly recommend arriving at the park of your choice in time for opening and concentrating on these rides first and foremost before the crowds build up throughout the day. It is amazing how many attractions you can experience during those first couple of hours before many other guests arrive at the parks.
In order to keep wait time down to an absolute minimum, other good times to queue for these popular thrill rides are during parades and show times, as well as at regular meal times when many guests will be occupied elsewhere in the parks. Be sure to pick up a Times Guide as you enter each park to find out what time the shows and parades will be taking place on the particular day of your visit.
All of these attractions offer Disney’s FASTPASS Service, which saves your place in line for an attraction while you enjoy the rest of the theme park and cuts down on your wait time. I would advise all guests to take advantage of this fantastic complimentary service as much as possible.
Families with youngsters who are too small to ride any of these attractions (which all have height requirements varying from 40” to 48” or taller) don’t need to worry. Disney’s Rider Swap option allows guests to take turns waiting and then “swap” with another adult guest from their party to experience the rides without standing in line twice.
With so many different thrill attractions available for the whole family to enjoy at Walt Disney World Resort, there really is something for everyone – even the most daring of guests have the opportunity to put their nerves to the test.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at the Magic Kingdom has been a family favorite of ours for many years now. Although the timing can be tricky, I would strongly suggest that any thrill seeking family try to experience this ride at least once during Wishes Nighttime Spectacular. It truly is an unforgettable, unique way to watch this amazing fireworks extravaganza.
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From time to time, the Window Seat publishes articles and blog posts written by guest authors to give you a fresh perspective on the world of travel.