On Sunday November 1st, the last Big Thunder Mountain train left the station full of fans and Cast Members moved by the prolonged closing of this iconic attraction. An important refurbishment is indeed due to begin on Frontierland’s favourite experience and its surroundings.
The last train full of Guests returned to the station at 9.10 p.m., to the applause of Cast Members and met by the announcements of the attraction staff. Emotion-filled Guests, many aware of the pending closure, left the station with nostalgic smiles: “It’ll be closed for too long, even though I know it needs it after 23 years,” said one Guest from Nice, before confiding: “There will be a huge void without it, my favourite attraction ever since my first visit. I want to thank all the cowboys who made this such a special last ride. They even offered us the on-ride pictures !”. For enthusiasts, this was a moment not to be missed, and many arranged a group appointment at 8:55 p.m. at the entrance to the attraction, to be sure to be on THE last ride. “It will be weird not to hear its special sound throughout the land for the next few months. But I am sure that the wait will be worth it, and it’s good to know that Disneyland® Paris refurbishes and improves its flagship attractions”, is how Philippe, who came especially from Belgium for the occasion, consoled himself. Other fans were also spotted cameras on hand to immortalize this moment.
As the Disneyland Park closing message was ringing out, indicating the closing of the attraction’s doors for Guests, around fifty Cast Members gathered to greet their favourite attraction.Romina Grochow, Disneyland Paris Ambassador 2015-2016, went to the scene to formalise these festive moments, organized by the land’s management.
“I had no idea this was going to have such an impact. It’s nice to see so much affection for the attraction,” says Yazid Bedjebbour, the Frontierland Manager, positively surprised to see so many off-duty Cast Members coming together for the evening. Olivia Barata is one of them. As a Cast Member at Big Thunder Mountain since July 2014, she wanted to capture the last moments with her colleagues on her camera. Even though she was not on duty, she went to her workplace for a final ride on the attraction and to photograph this moment defined as “historic” by Frontierland employees: “Coming to work at Disneyland Paris was a childhood dream, it came true when I had my first contract here at Big Thunder Mountain, which was also my favourite attraction ever since my first visit in ’92. What I will miss most is the team spirit that prevails among employees there.” she says.
Big Thunder Mountain and Rivers of the Far West will be closed to the public for 13 months for an unprecedented refurbishment. On this occasion, these Frontierland icons will be fully restored, the attraction’s effects rehabilitated and one of “the most explosive” surprises will make the adventure into the heart of the mine even more of an immersion. To ensure these works are carried out under the best possible conditions, the lake will be emptied over three weeks, 10 cm by day. Be sure to check Disneyland Paris News for future updates !