Sunday, September 28, 2008

Disneyland - Big Thunder

Hello Adventurers and Adventurettes!
I was out of town for a couple days, so sorry for the extreme lack of posts. For punishment, I was sent to the African Veldt and spent seven hours up a tree with a mechanical rhino beneath me.
Oh, the indignity.

Did I mention that I worked Big Thunder Mountain Railroad?
It was 1987.
I had it all.
Big brown hat.
Big klunky boots.

No, it wasn't some sort of Village People disco outfit.
This was Thunder.
If there's a close second to Jungle Cruise as far as fun jobs at Disneyland, it's BTMRR ("Big Thunder Moutain Railroad").
The crew there had a blast. We loaded and dispatched trains. We stood at the entrance and rejected kids that were too short.
We walked guests off the mountain during breakdowns.
We goofed around on the intercom.

You get the drill.
By the way, you try pulling an eight hour shift in those old boots they issued for Thunder. It's a wonder I can still walk.
Anyhow, one quick BTMRR tale to close out this week.
Tale is that the folks who built the attraction were working on the part of the track known as "Spiral Butte." That's where the train enters into a circular portion of the track around and through "Spiral Butte." (See the photo---thanks to "Arizona Steve" for the picture!).

Well, they built one side of the circle and then they built the other. When the two lengths of track met about the middle of Spiral Butte, they were not perfectly aligned. Doh!
No problem. A little Disney magic and imagineering and the track was bent just a touch so that the two sections of track would meet up.

Now when you ride through Spiral Butte, long about halfways through it, at high speed, you'll feel your car shift a bit toward the outside of the turn. When your hiney jiggles at that spot, this old prospector wants you to remember how the track was bent.
Some say this is just an old dusty story from Rainbow Ridge.
I say, it's true!
After all, this here's the WILDEST ride in the Wilderness!!!

See you next week!