Tuesday, August 11, 2020

More Disneyland Paris

It's time for another installment of photos from Huck Caton's 2016 visit to Disneyland Paris! In spite of Huck's lukewarm (to put it generously) reaction to DLP, I would still jump at the chance to see it for myself someday.

Here's a sign in front of "it's a small world", a 3-D version of the attraction poster, which is kind of nice, although I think it would have been nicer if the children in the boat didn't look like they were paper cutouts. As you can see, the façade of the attraction (in the background) is more colorful than Disneyland's white and gold version - perhaps that makes more sense in a climate that probably sees a lot more rain and cloudy days (like this one!). I guess they don't have the ticking clock face?


If there's one thing I'd love to do, it would be to check out "Les Mysteres Du Nautilus". And only a 5 minute wait! It is a walk-thru of Captain Nemo's magnificent Nautilus submarine, much like the attraction that was in Anaheim from 1955 through 1966. 


Oh yeah! So cool to see a large (but still reduced-scale) version of Harper Goff's incredible design. Until a few years ago, I didn't know that the lozenge-shaped thing at the stern is a detachable lifeboat. On my model (purchased through the Disney Store a long time ago) it is the switch that turns on the lights inside the sub.


I'm sure Huck took this photo of this diagram so that he could build his own Nautilus when he got home. 70 meters long, that's over 200 feet! What a sight it would be to see a truly full-sized version. I think it's interesting that they say that the power source is "electricité", but not nuclear electricité. I suppose that the nuclear energy was implied rather than explicitly stated.


The next two are late additions to today's post, thanks to Huck sending them to me! I love this map of Vulania, home of Captain Nemo's secret lair. Notice all the shipwrecks on the rocks around the south shore.


And here's a tantalizing glimpse at part of the interior of the nuclear-powered submarine. I love the idea of a walk-thru of the sub (a callback to the Tomorrowland attraction at Disneyland from 1955 to 1966).


I thought that DLP's version of Space Mountain was called "Discovery Mountain", but we can see that the poster to the left says "Space Mountain: Mission 2". It opened with a Jules Verne-themed "From The Earth To The Moon" concept. Now it has a Star Wars theme?! I love the idea of a Space Mountain with a "cannon launch", but have to admit that (in my opinion) the outside of this ride looks like a big plastic toy.


Huck said that the Pinocchio attraction in Paris is a flop - I've never really understood why the Anaheim version isn't more popular, I think they did a wonderful job of evoking the classic dark rides. 


And Huck pointed out that they went to all the trouble of building this beautiful Toad Hall replica, only to make it a restaurant rather than a ride. Quelle horreur!


Never fear, there are even more photos from Disneyland Paris from Huck. THANKS to him for sharing!

35 comments:

Nanook said...

Major-
The Nautilus is a real beauty. And indeed, no need to wait - as the folks are doing for Space Mountain.

Thanks again to Huck.

Chuck said...

The Nautilus - another attraction we missed due to that three-hour lunch. [sigh]

A couple of married friends of ours were at DLP the same time as us, and we spent a few hours with them. At one point, the guys and girls split off, and the other guy and I decided to ride From the Earth to the Moon (as it was originally called). As we pulled out of the load station, he looked over at me and said "I should probably tell you I don't do well on roller coasters."

Me: "How so?"

Him: "I usually throw up."

Fortunately, he didn't, and we rode it again with me and one more time with his wife.

Your avatar always reminds me of this ride. There was a giant projection of a smiling, Georges Méliès-style Moon on the highest part of the show building's ceiling.

Thanks again, Huck!

Andrew said...

Thanks for sharing your pictures, Huck!

I think that small world in Paris has the sun/moon rotate back and forth similarly to the smiling face at the other parks.

Thanks for the sub pictures... love that map and think that it's in the Maps of the Disney Parks book.

And really... no monocle in Toad's hand?! ;-)

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, the face on the IASW clock, does rock back and forth to a loud ticking sound. The "parade of dolls" also comes out of the clock, every fifteen minutes.

Notice how below the shield on Toad Hall's facade, there are the words "No Consumus Frog Legus." When I was at DLP, Toad Hall was closed for the day, but one of the doors was open, so I went inside. The lights were all turned off....it was kind of creepy!

TokyoMagic! said...

P.S. Thank you, Huck!

Pegleg Pete said...

Great pics today – thanks Major and Huck! The Nautilus walkthrough is nice and atmospheric, but still not a patch on the old 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea at WDW. The DLP iteration of Space Mountain remains my favourite of all the versions, but then again, I haven't been on it since the Star Wars overlay... Looking forward to more of these.

MIKE COZART said...

DLP’s SPACE MOUNTAIN was designed and went into fabrication and production under the name DISCOVERY MOUNTAIN. Michael Eisner felt it needed be associated with the existing Space Mountains to be a guest draw . Eisner thought “ Discovery” sounded too educational and people wouldn’t understand that it was a thrill attraction. It’s designers were “well it’s NOT really a space mountain “ So reluctantly already past the fabrication point the entire graphics package was halted and re - named SPACE MOUNTAIN. But already completed and being tested in Paris were the rocket sleds and moulded into the vehicles bodies were the intricate initials DM and they were left there until the attraction was recently re- themed as MISSION 2. Discoveryland’s lead designer and art director said if guests ask why there is a DM on all the Space Mountain rockets , tell them it stands for DELANEY MOUNTAIN!

Ironically Tim Delaney was hired at WED Imagineering in 1976 and his first job was creating the murals for both levels of SPACE MOUNTAIN’s STARCADE at Disneyland!

He also designed the attraction poster for PEOPLEMOVER THRU THE FANTASTIC SUPERSPEED TUNNEL - which you’ll notice used the same colors as used in the lower level STARCADE murals as the SUPERSPEED tunnel was designed to be located inside the PeopleMover up ramp into Space Mountain before ultimately being relocated into the upper floor of the Carousel Theater.

Stu29573 said...

I don't do well on coasters either, although I'm braver than my wife. I probably wouldn't ride...whatever that DLP coaster is called today. I did ride Rockin' Roller Coaster at Hollywood studios twice...and turned pretty green both times. A 60 mph launch straight into a corkscrew isn't my idea of a good time (although many love it). Give me a pirate boat or a Doombuggy any day! By the way, I do enjoy the stateside versions of Space Mountain!

Melissa said...

i can no longer ride extreme coaster because of my health, but Space Mountain is still OK. The Florida version, I am given to understand, is a bit more herky-jerky than the others but it’s still fun.

I love the water texture on the iasw globe, and the little proscenium on the Pinocchio facade. I guess the Paris situation is a reversal of the Magic Kingdom, which opened with a Mr. Toad ride and a Pinocchio restaurant.

I’m a huge Méliès fan, but I’m afraid the classic moon face image has been soured for me by the insane Eric Idle version from the current incarnation of Journey into Imagination at EPCOT. *shudder* I tried to link to a picture for anyone who’s not familiar, but Blogspot says, “Reference "“http:" is not allowed.” ?? I think it just doesn’t want to be responsible for anyone seeing that hellish image. I’m surprised Google doesn’t just return a page saying, “You suuuuure you wanna see this, buddy?

The Nautilus is on my list of first stops if I ever get to DLP.

Big thanks to Huck and the Maj for today’s little moment of escape!

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, after I finish my full-sized recreation of Nature’s Wonderland, I will be building a walk-through Nautilus in my lagoon (the small lagoon, not the big one)!

Chuck, I’ve never been so mad at a three-hour lunch! It seems a little weird that your friend did not tell you about his tendency to vomit on roller coasters until it was too late. Why would he even want to take a chance? Presumably he didn’t bring a change of clothing! Maybe it was his idea of a joke? I like the idea of a Georges Méliès themed ride, not even a roller coaster necessarily! Especially in a French amusement park.

Andrew, now that I look more closely, it does appear that there is a half sun/half moon that probably rocks like the DL version. I like Rolly Crump’s funkier design at Disneyland, but that’s just me. Toad used to have a monocle, but he had lasik surgery and now has the eyes of a much younger toad.

TokyoMagic!, I wonder if they used the exact same molds to create the “parade of dolls” in France? They should have put a beret on top of the smiling sun/moon so that we remember where we are. Wow, you just walked inside an open door clearly not meant for the public? You hoodlum! Pretty gutsy though, too bad you didn’t see anything cool. I had frog legs when I was on a cruise ship - I figured “It’s now or never”. I can’t say I was impressed.

Pegleg Pete, I wonder if the Nautilus walk-through is a carbon copy of the old Disneyland walk-through (1955-1966)? That’s one of those extinct attractions that I’ve always wished I could experience. And yet… how could it possibly compare with the 20,000 Leagues attraction? One has static displays, the other actually takes you through “liquid space” with narration by Captain Nemo himself!

Mike Cozart, I actually thought that it was called “Discovery Mountain”? Maybe I’ve only seen the “working title”. So strange that Eisner would think that guests would be turned off by the word “Discovery”. In a way it implies that people are dumb, or that they are not drawn to things that require a brain. I’m sure everyone knew what kind of ride was inside that building! Somehow that reminds me of publishers changing the name of the first Harry Potter book (“Harry Potter and the Philospher’s Stone”) to “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” for the US market because nobody wants to read about a philosopher. Way to dumb down something for us, thanks! I actually got to interview with Tim Delaney once - didn’t get the job sadly. Then he amazed me by asking me if I could give him a ride somewhere after the interview. I was super embarrassed because my old Buick was a mess, the seats were ripping and I had to move junk out of the way so he could actually sit. I wonder what he’s doing these days? I got the impression that Disney “let him go”, which was kind of a shock.

Stu29573, the first few roller coasters I ever experienced were Disneyland coasters, and those are fun but not super intense; I think they were a good introduction to thrill rides. Knott’s didn’t have any coasters, and I’m not sure early Magic Mountain did either, which seems hard to believe. How do you feel about Big Thunder? That one is pretty smooth and fun for non-coaster folks I would imagine.

Melissa, the last time I took my niece and nephew to Six Flags Magic Mountain, we rode a couple of coasters that made me wonder if I was getting too old for such things! They are INTENSE. Interesting that they made Pinocchio a restaurant (and Toad a ride) at WDW. I don’tk now much about “Journey Into Imagination”, I’ll have to do some Googlin’ to see if I can find the Eric Idle version of the Méliès moon man. It must be really awful!

DrGoat said...

Nice pics Huck. Never made it to France, but I made it to Italy several times to visit cousins. Too bad Italy doesn't have a Disneyland Italia. The dark rides would be good especially Pinocchio.(Ha Ha)
Love the Nautilus pics. Always have been attracted to that design. I took a Autocad training course back in the 80s and one of my projects was that beautiful submarine. I still have a scan of the drawing I'll shoot to you Major.
Riding roller coasters are a distant memory for me. Health-wise also Melissa, plus getting dizzy is not on my list of things to do anymore. With the exception of Thunder Mountain.
Great pics, thanks Huck and Major.

Stu29573 said...

Major, I love Big Thunder, but it's not as smooth as Space Mountain. I prefer Space Mountain because Big Thunder has too many lifts (in my opinion) that break up the momentum of the ride. The best Runaway Mine Train I ever experienced was The Runaway Mine Train (apply named, huh?) at Six Flags Over Texas. It was the first mine train designed and built by Arrow and features a final plunge that starts in a saloon and then goes into a tunnel under the lake. Alas, the track has been altered and shortened over the years, so it's nowhere near as fun now. They ruin everything...

"Lou and Sue" said...

Thanks, Huck & Major, I'm enjoying our trip to Paris - great pictures!

I noticed the use of turquoise(!) - it must be their favorite color. The color palette, overall, seems different from our [U.S.] parks'. Maybe it is the cloudy, gray skies that give everything a different "feel."

Am looking forward to more days in [Disneyland] Paris with everyone...

Sue

Melissa said...

I was sad to hear of the recent closure of Primeval Whirl as Disney’s Animal Kingdom; although the Dinoland area isn’t my favorite, I do love a Wild Mouse style coaster. I didn’t get to ride Goofy’s Sky School when I was at DCA, but the videos look like fun. There’s a cool dark Wild Mouse at Kennywood called The Exterminator, but I kind of miss being able to see where I’m going!

JG said...

Loving the 20K Nautilus! The lifeboat is seen a bit in the movie, I always loved how it slid into the special slot. I can't remember if the cover comes off or stays with the Nautilus.

The novel is fairly circumspect about the source of the electrical power, probably since nuclear power was only a suspicion at the time of writing. Verne seemed to figure that eventually "something" would be discovered to provide all that electricity. Just speculating on an electric-powered ship was visionary enough, IMHO.

The interior photo looks very much like the "Pump Room" scene in the old Disneyland exhibit, which is etched in my memory.

I found my old 20K picture book, bought at Disneyland in 1965, with hand-drawn illustrations based on the Disney film, including an "elevation drawing" much like the one on the sign in the post. I am planning to scan this to PDF, would anyone be interested in a copy?

I do love Disneyland "Space Mountain", my first ride was with my Dad, on his last trip to the Park. I wish I had known that when we were there, I would have taken more pictures with him. Every trip, I think about that.

It's too bad that Eisner thought people would be too stupid to understand that Discovery Mountain could be a thrill ride. The general population is not as thick as Disney executives.

Thanks Huck and Major, very interesting photos today!

JG

Chuck said...

JG, I remember the first time I saw the Disney version of 20K on The Wonderful World of Disney around 1980. I was in 5th or 6th grade and had read the book within the previous year. When they showed the Reactor Room, I made some incredulous comment about how in the world would they have had nuclear power in 1868?

My dad responded with "Well, how else do you think they would have powered it?"

My know-it-all-because-I-read-the-book response was "Electricity!" with an implied "Duh!" at the end.

I clearly had something to learn about power generation.

Sign me up for the PDF.

Major Pepperidge said...

DrGoat, I can see why Disney chose France for their European theme parks (centrally located, mainly), but Italy would have been kind of awesome! Not sure if Italians do the three-hour lunches, though. I just got home after being gone for a few hours, I’ll check my email to see if you sent those drawings - I look forward to seeing them! If I ever do go on serious ((Magic Mountain) roller coasters again, I feel like I need to wear cargo pants (even though they are uncool) so that I can keep my keys, phone, and wallet in pockets that will close securely. I was so worried that any one of those items was going to fly out, mid-ride… I could feel them moving!

Stu29573, wow, that Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags Over Texas sounds pretty awesome. I was just going to ask if it was still there, but see that you already answered my question. Bummer!

Lou and Sue, I am assuming that the use of turquoise was supposed to evoke patinated copper, but that’s just a theory. I’ve seen photos of DLP with everything covered in a soft layer of snow (same with Tokyo Disneyland), it’s such a strange sight, but very pretty.

Melissa, I honestly don’t recall ever reading or hearing the name “Primeval Whirl” before - I guess it’s a variation on some sort of spinning ride (like The Scrambler)? Wild Mouse coasters are always unsettling to me due to their lack of banked turns, I start thinking about the stresses to the metal, and imagine my vehicle snapping loose and flying through the air!

JG, it’s been quite a while since I’ve watched “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” - but I have Disney+ now, so one of these days I’ll get on it. I never thought about what happens to the cover, I guess it would make sense (to me) that it would stay with the Nautilus. I know you’re right about the non-specific source of the Nautilus’ power, but the movie seems to strongly hint that it is nuclear. I wonder how those old Verne novels hold up today? I read a few when I was a kid, and I think I liked them but didn’t love them. Sure, I would like to have a PDF of the elevation drawing you mentioned! Eisner and his guys loved to underestimate people - thinking that the Swiss Family Treehouse was past its day because “nobody knows who the Swiss Family Robinson is anymore”. I’m not sure knowing who they are takes away from the wonder of that classic treehouse - plus it’s not very hard to figure out the gist of it.

Chuck, I probably should have been more critical, but I think I must have decided that Captain Nemo was so brilliant that he discovered nuclear energy nearly a century before the “first” nuclear reactor elsewhere. I think a 10 or 11 year-old can be forgiven for not knowing much about where electricity comes from! One of the things that I tell my niece and nephew is that the older I get, the more I know that I don’t know.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Major, cargo pants or......a fanny pack.
;)

DrGoat said...

JG, I wouldn't mind a copy of that PDF. I can give you my email, let me know.

Anonymous said...

Melissa: Not just water "texture" but good old-fashioned water, ITSELF… flowing and wet even! Whoa! ;)

I'm lucky that roller coasters don’t bother me but the Dunkirk script supervisor who joined me on this visit didn’t realize DLP’s Space Mountain took riders UPSIDE DOWN until we’d already been on it. Oh, my.

I think DLP’s edition is the only SM that does this.

Imagine his displeasure when we rode Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril later and it, too, turned riders upside down.

He was not pleased. (I personally found it pretty hilarious… but let’s not tell him. You know how sensitive movie people are.)


~Huck

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, the door to Toad Hall was open and there wasn't a "closed sign" posted anywhere. Initially, I did just walk in because I thought it was open. I really couldn't see much of anything inside, due to the lights being off. I did take just one flash picture and then I left, but I don't remember the picture coming out very well.

Melissa, that is real water bubbling up under the Small World boat and then sheeting down over the globe. I just went to look for a video of it, but the water was not running in the one and only video that I could find of the sign. And I agree with you about Journey Into Your Imagination at EPCOT. That has to be THE worst ride Disney has ever come up with. Well, maybe it's "tied" with a couple others.

Stu, I also have to agree with you about Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and how the chain lifts keep breaking up the momentum. I was so excited when it was under construction, but then when it opened, it was such a let down. To this day, I still can't understand why they didn't just do what had already worked for the Matterhorn and Space Mountain, and get the lifts out of the way at the beginning of the ride.

JG said...

@DrGoat, and others interested in the PDF of the 20K book.

I will scan it up and send the link via Major P.

If Major doesn't mind being the go-between, maybe you can let him know your email, or tell him OK to share, he has mine. that way we don't have to publish them here.

JG

Melissa said...

That’s so cool about the actual water on the it’s a small world globe!

@DrGoat, your story about the guy being surprised on the roller coasters reminds me of the time my Dad tricked my Mom into going on Big Thunder Mountain. It was our first trip to the Magic Kingdom. He knew she had been afraid of roller coasters since childhood, so he told her it was just a scenic train ride. (My sister and I were elsewhere in the park, so I don’t know what approach they took that made it so she didn’t see any of the track, or if she saw it and he convinced her it was part of another ride, or any of those kind of particulars. But the entrance is far enough away from the parts you can see, so it doesn’t seem implausible to me that she really didn’t know.) But the joke was on him, because as soon as they went down the first hill she fainted and slumped against his shoulder. It turned out later she had high blood pressure. It was kind of awful at the time, but she laughs about it now.

Chuck said...

Major, the joke was on me when Captain Nemo nuked Vulcania. Can't do that with electricity.

Melissa, what's even cooler is that they have actual water inside the ride!

DrGoat said...

JG, Major has my email already so if he agrees, we're in like Flint.
Melissa, I think if my Dad did that to my Mom, he would live to regret it, at least for a while. Not a great way to discover you have high blood pressure but glad it turned out well.

Major Pepperidge said...

Lou and Sue, I’ve never owned or worn a fanny pack, and see no reason to start now!

DrGoat, if JG sends the PDF file to me, I can forward it to you.

Huck, funny, I was thinking, “What did they coat that globe with that looks so clear and watery?”. WATER is the answer! The thought of going upside down in a darkened roller coaster sounds really cool to me; when our Space Mountain went down for a few years due to track fatigue, a part of me hoped they might put in a loop or a corkscrew, but that’s OK, I like it just the way it is. I need to look up the DLP Indy ride, I have no real concept of what it is like. I wonder if your script supervisor had ever been to a Disney park before? It would not be unreasonable to expect the rides to NOT go upside-down.

TokyoMagic!, now that we know it’s just a restaurant, I guess it wouldn’t be that cool inside. Still, strange that they just left the door open. Wow, “THE worst ride Disney has ever come up with”, that is saying something (“Superstar Limo”), now I really need to look for a video of that thing! I guess I have low standards, because I quite enjoy Big Thunder, in spite of its multiple lifts (how many total I wonder?), but there is something “pure” about a coaster that manages to use gravity for the whole ride after one lift hill.

JG, yes I can definitely do that, no problem at all.

Melissa, I’m glad your mom laughs about your dad’s practical joke now! I was thinking she could have been really mad. That would have been scary to see her faint. Did they have to carry her off of the ride, or did she regain consciousness by then? I must be no fun, because I generally am not fond of practical jokes, they are often mean.

Chuck, maybe Captain Nemo had the biggest Big Bang Cannon, loaded with a billion pounds of Bangsite. It’s possible!

DrGoat, it shall come to pass!

Anonymous said...

My script supervisor pal and his wife and daughter not only have Disney Premium Annual Passes (good for both DL and WDW) but he was able to add a year of DLP to his pass for $68 (which tells you how much that place is hurting for business). Once he added DLP to his monster pass, I was able to buy a two-day pass to DLP and the Walt Disney Studios park for $65 with his discount. Sheesh!

They also do Disney Cruises as a family all the time. BUT… he is a large fellow and every movie he’s on he manages to break a limb or two. On Dunkirk it was a busted foot to go along with his already ruined knee, bum back and bad neck. So, those surprise inversions were something to experience sitting next to him, I’ll tell you what!

The custodial offices at DL were pretty much embedded into the Mine Train area so we all watched its destruction and the construction of Big Thunder at close range. Chuck Boyajian, who started at the park as head of janitorial months before the place opened, had an office that extended into the back of the Mineral Hall shop space. I unlocked the MH door on the Fritos side one Monday/Tuesday shift just to see if there was anything left from the good old glowing rock days… but the place had long since been emptied. Rats! (No, there weren’t any rats—at least I didn’t SEE any!)

Anyway, one night in mid-August of ’79, word went around that Big Thunder had progressed beyond running trains full of sandbags (and large employees; have we ever discussed that procedure? They tested Space Mountain that way, as well) and that employees could swing by after 9:00 p.m. (on a break, in costume only) to try the thing out. So, I waited until my Bell girlfriend had a break and timed mine to coincide.

We headed over to Frontierland (Bell costume on the westside?!? Bad show!), waited in a two minute line and rode the thing. Everyone reacted the same… meh. Just when things started to get going, it would slow to a crawl and another lift would enter the picture. The last run was the worst because it never really got started before crawling into the station. Some people actually booed (which I thought was pretty funny).

We knew the RO who was working unload and she said, “I know, it sucks, right?” We had to agree.

All that said, the danged thing seems popular enough… although, to this day, I have no idea why.


~Huck

Major Pepperidge said...

Huck, it seems almost beyond belief that an annual pass for DLP is less than $70! As you said, that is a pretty solid indicator of how unpopular it is. Very sad. Disney Cruises… I guess if you have kids and like spending time aboard ship, a Disney cruise might be OK. I’ve been on two cruises (non-Disney), and sometimes felt trapped on the boat when I wanted to be exploring the land nearby. “Alaska’s right there, but I’m stuck here playing shuffleboard!”. It sure would have been heartbreaking to watch the razing of Nature’s Wonderland, but I probably would have had high hopes for whatever was replacing it. I’m glad you at least tried to see if there were any old Mineral Hall artifacts left laying around, I’ve heard too many stories of amazing things being thrown into dumpsters. Amazing that even the Ride Operator was nonplussed by Big Thunder. I think it’s fun enough, especially at night, but can appreciate the criticisms.

Anonymous said...

Well, I think the main reason Steve got such a steep discount was his combo DL and WDW premium pass (do they still offer such a 365 days at either place thing—and what does THAT cost?). I seem to recall a normal DLP annual (every day) pass was something like $125 which is still pretty cheap. Maybe he had a super jumbo DL/WDW/Cruise pass thingie that got him an even bigger discount when adding on a park.

They offered to sell me an annual pass for $90 (with Steve’s discount) but I figured I’d probably never visit again and didn’t want to go search around for the pass processing place. I thought the two-day pass for $65 was all I needed.

Turns out… I was right! ;)


~Huck

Major Pepperidge said...

Huck, yes, $125 is still insanely cheap in my opinion. Even your two day pass for $65 seems like a blast to the past! Your friend must be a hard-core Disney enthusiast, more so than I am these days (I used to be pretty hard-core myself, but things have changed.

MIKE COZART said...

BIG THUNDER should in no way be like SPACE MOUNTAIN or the MATTERHORN. It has an entirely different theming , time and place. One thing hoists and lifts are very typical in mid 19th Century mines. Also BTM is a SCENIC attraction where there needs to be moments of slower speeds ...... to take in themed moments integral to the overall show. This works perfectly with the physics and mechanics of bringing the Thunder trains up shorter lifts ....and letting it energy run out to another lift. Big thunder could not have the lifts and be brought up a single oddly inexplainable giant chain lift inside the famous swiss mountain - or have two long cumbersome rackety chain lift for a “space launch”

also you have a dummy and a 5 car train for big thunder doing double spiral loops and other tight turns that also use up a great deal of each lifts momentum. Space mountain and matterhorn use tandum generally light weight cars and can maintain longer uses of gravity momentum.

If Big Thunder was a copy of space mountain those imagineers would be failures.

That’s why there are Disney Theme Parks snd there are other amusement parks. ( DCA does not count)

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, I did add that the Journey Into Imagination was maybe tied for the "worst" attraction with a couple others. Super Star Limo would definitely be on that list, in my opinion. I would also add WDW's "Stitch's Great Escape" and "The Enchanted Tiki Room: Under New Management" to that list!

Huck, after all these years, I felt like I was the only one who thought that Big Thunder kind of sucked. It's nice to know that there are others, who feel the same way! I think that was the first time I was ever disappointed with something Disney did.


Stu29573 said...

Ok, I'll give you that BTM shouldn't be a copy of any of the other coasters (I actually never said it should), but I am comparing it to the original Runaway Mine Train at Six Flags Over Texas (note: original. Not the chopped up abomination they have now) It also had three lifts but still managed to be zippy and interesting. The original was cloaked in trees, that have unfortunately been mostly cleared away. I was surprised to find that the top speed is 35 mph, not lightning fast, but pretty quick, nonetheless, and pretty much exactly Big Thunder's top speed. So the problem isn't in the number of lifts nor speed, but in the layout. Don't get me wrong, Big Thunder is a good effort, but it seems that the track route could have been made a bit more interesting and paced better.

Andrew said...

I always thought that the reason Big Thunder has multiple lifts was so they could run more trains and thus reach a higher capacity. Roller coasters need to have a place to stop before they reach the next train's "zone" as a safety measure, and having lift hills is more thematically appropriate than stretches of flat track with brakes.

Tires are used as the "block brakes" on Matterhorn for its small cars, and they are hidden in the darkness in Space Mountain.

MIKE COZART said...

ANDREW: the lifts on Big Thunder Mt. are in locations where the momentum of the train’s speed is about to run out. The lifts feature show elements to set up or enhance the “storyline” the version built at Disneyland in 1979 was one of 7 final /master track layouts development from several dozen earlier layouts. The final 7 all met the computer’s criteria for what kind of dips and rises and spirals that could be linked through the entire track layout. But the one built was the one the attractions designers liked best.

Also well known is how the early designers of big BTM studied “mine train rides” at other amusement parks and really wanted to make an effort that it didn’t have that “toy set up on a grassy hillside “ look and spent a great deal of time and money developing a way so that the rock work looked realistic and that the mining routes were built into the existing landscape and not the “wet paper bag “ rock work built up to the track. 40 years ago the rock work was some of the most advanced ever done by Disney let alone a competitor park. The same imagineer who developed the rock work for the Matterhorn also did for BTM.

The feel of the ride was intentionally not to be smooth , but “clattering” , “rough-shod” and jerky.