A series of new official photos released by Disneyland Paris offer a first look at the refurbished Big Thunder Mountain, with rare up-close angles on the painstakingly refreshed scenery and props guests will only normally hurtle past at high speed.
Even better, and before we even look at ride itself, the rekindled geysers are revealed!
Hidden behind construction walls for over a year, this is the first time we’ve been able to see the payoff in this particular corner of the epic refurbishment all around the Rivers of the Far West. The geysers now look more dramatic than ever.
From a dilapidated, overgrown corner just last year (below), the “Old Unfaithful” geysers loved by Frontierland fans once again look like real “bubblin’ pots o’ mud in all kinds of colours” — to quote the old classic Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland.
This time, the colours seem even more vibrant than the original 1992 look and they should apparently burst back into life with their erupting water and steam effects very soon.
Over on Big Thunder Mountain itself, an official Disneyland Paris photographer captured unique images of a preview site visit last Friday:
Notably, no photos were release of the “explosive” new scene installed on Lift C.
Replacing a simple effect of moving rocks, the new scene incorporating projection mapping, lighting, sound and particularly fierce smoke effects is something that really has to be experienced more in person.
Production manager Björn Heerwagen revealed, according to Dlrp Express, that the scene has been lifted from that only seen so far in California, but adapted for the different space available in Disneyland Paris. As the tunnel is narrower, cavities had to be dug into the walls either side to install the projection mapping equipment.
A falling oil lamp lights the fuse which triggers a huge dynamite explosion, your Big Thunder Mining Co. wagon falling down the subsequent drop just in time to escape.
Elsewhere, Wilderness Island behind the attraction itself seems to have been left natural, with plenty of moss still covering its rocks and waterfalls.
While over on the shore, beside the former River Rogue Keelboats loading dock, the caves of Smugglers’ Cove have seen repainting and freshening-up to match the mountain opposite. Sadly, it still seems unlikely the keelboat ride itself will return again.
Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing is at least planned to reopen alongside Big Thunder Mountain, on Saturday 17th December 2016, with cruises provided by the faithful Molly Brown, who returned to the dock this week.
Pocahontas Indian Village is also due to reopen, although only very briefly until another closure from 9th January to 22nd March 2017. To feed the mountain’s explosive new smoke effects, land near the playground has been used to install large gas cylinders, currently being neatly wrapped inside a wooden cabin building.
• Soft-Opening Date — Big Thunder Mountain will soft open for public tests from Friday 9th December