Thursday, April 21, 2011

3 From Nature's Wonderland, January 1974

Here are a few scenes from the wonderful Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland. This ride would only be around for another three years after these photos were taken!

"Bear Country" was a favorite of mine, in large part because the mine train crossed above the scenery on a trestle that was probably only about 20 feet high - but it felt higher! Below you would see bears fishin' and scratchin'.

Geysers, bubbling pots of colored mud, and strange weathered rock formations were all part of the Living Desert.

Our photographer almost missed this bobcat - one of several bobcats visible throughout the ride (there was another trapped atop a saguaro by wild pigs, and another attempting to get at an owl's nest). Was there another one that I am forgetting about?


TokyoMagic! said...

Speaking of the trestle....I wonder if one the NW trains ever broke down on that trestle out there over the water? If they were ever going to recreate this attraction today (which I know they never would), I'm assuming it would have all sorts of ramps and railings built alongside it like Alice In Wonderland.

Thanks for the NW pics today, Major!

Anonymous said...

I can't recall a breakdown story circulating on the attraction during my tenure (mid 70s). Since it was battery powered, there would have been plenty of warning of the train's performance. The 'engine' had a pin coupler up front in which another train could have backed up and connected to it. The trestle would now have the railings and walkways which would destroy the feeling of floating over the water. And that was the fun part.

Major Pepperidge said...

I want to be safe just like anybody else, but there has to be a way to do things like the old trestle (or the Alice in Wonderland ramps) without ugly railings. Inflatable slides, like they have on jet airliners? I have no idea, but Disney has some smart people presumably working on it.

The fact that nobody can recall any case in which a vehicle was stranded on either of these rides after so many years of operation is pretty strong proof that both were/are safe.

Coconino said...

These rides are all on wheels. If there's a problem, the operators can just roll it to a safe spot to evacuate.

Those bears look great, what a fun ride Nature's Wonderland must have been!