The first portion of the ride to be enclosed in scaffolding was the water splash drop, with scaffolding appearing on the first day of closure and growing to a full covering five days later. Work here seems to currently be focused on the iconic “Big Thunder Mining Company” hut, whilst a large floating raft with work equipment has been moored at several locations around the island to clean and repair rockwork lower down.
The section of elevated track before the water splash has also been covered in scaffolding, as has the mountain entrance just before the third lift hill. The walkways around the loading station have become home to all manner of work equipment, paints cleaning items, the major problem for those working on this epic project of course being how to transport these efficiently across the Rivers of the Far West to the island itself. Big Thunder Mountain in Paris is, of course, the only one of Disney’s four to be located on an island completely cut-off from mainland by water.
Further progress was reported by Disneytheque.com two days ago, when most of the huge loading station was also covered in scaffolding. It’s unsure what the scale of the work going on here will be, but the tired queue of the attraction has long been a point of disappointment for many guests. One change, however, is known. DLRP Today contributor Kristof (aka Raptor1982 at Photos Magiques) reports from a reliable source at the attraction that new air gates will be installed at the attraction’s two boarding stations. These loading gates will be similar to those installed last year at Space Mountain: Mission 2 and Peter Pan’s Flight, to stop guests stepping onto the track if a train isn’t in the station.
To warn guests of the closure, the park has not only posted notices outside the park gates and on each entry turnstile under Disneyland Hotel, but on the construction walls around the attraction has also added a superbly themed closure sign, complete with pickaxes and a goldpanning dish.
Featured photos by: Disneytheque.com, Dlrp.fr, Photos Magiques.