Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad's Back Wheel

So right now, I just got back from a very quick trip to Disneyland.  This won't be a pictorial, but just a post about something.  Something that I think will make a lot of fans happy.

Earlier today a friend and fellow Magic Eye blog reader, David was visiting the Disneyland Resort today and has some interesting news about Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

He texts me asking when the last time I was at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  I told him Friday, March 28th 2014, was the last time for my weekly blog.

After some time, he texts me about Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. And I was surprised and shocked to get the following text...

"It's back!
The back wheel on the locomotive. It's back.
But only on one train"

I couldn't believe it.  I had to read that text a couple of times just to be sure I was reading it correctly. I quickly called him to get more information

David mentioned that as he was walking along Big Thunder Trail, he caught a glimpse of a Big Thunder train as it passed by but didn't pay that much attention until it was going across the bridge after the tunnel.  He happened to look up and saw the locomotive and saw what he thought was the back wheel. So David decided to watch another train to see if he did indeed see what he saw.  The next train goes by and nothing. Knowing that they would be running multiple trains, he decided to spend some time on the Big Thunder Trail bridge.  Soon another train rolls by and nothing. David said that he probably just mistook it for the front wheel and was about to move on.  But because he heard the rumble of the dynamite explosion scene on the last lift, he knew another train will be passing by shortly and decided to stick around for the train ...just in case.

And sure enough,his patience paid off because as that train came down the tracks, he could see it...the back wheel. It was finally back on one of the trains.  And when he saw that, he immediately sent a text to me. I told him that I am gonna have to get over there. David said that he would meet me on the Big Thunder Trail bridge.

Looking at the clock, I knew I only had less than 2 hours available. So I quickly grab my stuff and head out. All the while I am checking Twitter, Facebook, and Disney fan sites on my phone to see if anyone else had posted about it. Every chance I got, I kept checking my phone.  But no one. It was still relatively early, on a Tuesday, so maybe I would get lucky and be the first.

Finally I get there and text David I have arrived.  He meets me at the Big Thunder Trail bridge and we watch for train #3. As it passed by, I got so excited that it gave me goosebumps.  I told him that when I was there on Friday, the back wheels on all the locomotives were still missing and that I pretty much gave up hope about them every returning. We waited and as it came around again a short time later, I took some pictures with my phone so I could Tweet it.  When I used my camera phone (with different settings), it couldn't get a clear, pristine shot of the train and the wheels.  I tried several times, but just could not get it. I was getting frustrated.  Plus, my hands were sweaty from the excitement that I was afraid that the phone would slip from my hands and into the pond below so I decided to rely on my camera. We stood on the bridge for probably 20 minutes with me just taking shots of train #3. The two Big Thunder Cast Members at the exit noticed me taking photos on that one particular train.

One of the Cast Members came over to me. Oh gosh, at first I thought he was gonna ask if I was from one of the Disney fan site to strike up a conversation.  The Cast Member mentioned that he noticed me taking pictures of train #3 and asked if it was because of the back wheel.  I told him yes and he struck up a small conversation.  He told me they started the day before and installed the back wheels on one train and that the wheels were suppose to be installed on the locomotives during the testing after the recent major refurbishment, but for whatever reason, wanted to hold off a bit on the installation.  He continued to say that they have to wheels sitting in the back and so right now they are just testing a set on each train.  If everything goes as planned, then the wheels come back on each of the trains.

After the photo shoot and small conversation, I told David that I have to leave and I pretty much booked it out of Disneyland.

I got back, looked at the photos, and decided on one photo to show.

And here it is ....


Disneyland Resort, Disneyland, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Big Thunder, Big Thunder Mountain, April Fools, April Fool's Day

Isn't it lovely.

Even as I look at the photo, I get excited all over again.  I mean, the back wheel! I just hope that everything goes as planned and Disney is able to restore the back wheels on all the locomotives. Without the back wheels, it looks so ridiculous.

And if everything goes well, maybe the other Big Thunder's in Florida, Tokyo, and Paris will get theirs back as well.

There are a few I would like to "Thank" for this momentous occasion whether or not they had a hand in it at all

Thank You -
Walt Disney Imagineering
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Management
Maintenance Management
April Fools, for without you, this post would have never been possible

Until Next Time...

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