Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a popular roller-coaster attraction at Magic Kingdom park in Walt Disney World. If you have heard mention of the wildest ride in the wilderness, this is the one!

This article will cover everything you need to know about riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Magic Kingdom. We’ll look at the height requirement, the best times to ride, and other frequently asked questions about the ride.

Riding Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a must-do attraction for most theme park fans. But, while the ride promises a thrill, it’s not necessarily scary.

Over the years, I have found that most guests leave this ride laughing or with a huge grin. It’s too much fun!

This article was updated on February 4, 2023.

First, we’ll look at the quick reference chart for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Big Thunder Mountain RailroadMagic Kingdom



Disney World Height Requirement:


Disney Genie+ Attraction


Ride Type:

Thrill, Roller Coaster

Seats Per Vehicle:

Generally, two per row, or
one adult with two kids.

Disney Rider Switch:


Good For:


Scare Factor:

Mild to Medium

Must-Do List:

High Priority

Perfect For:

Kids, Tweens, Teens, Adults
Mild Thrill Seekers

Special Mention:

Make sure to secure any hats or glasses.
This here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is located in the back of Frontierland next to the upcoming Tiana’s Bayour Adventure. You’ll hop in one of the mine trains and take off through an old gold mine.

But beware, the gold mine is reportedly haunted. The story goes that trains race through the mine all on their own.

You’ll start inside the mine, similar to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. In the beginning, there are a few dark spots before you race outside around the side of the mountain.

After that, you’ll go through various ups and downs that tickle your tummy. Perhaps, the best part, though, is all the fast turns that leave you sliding across your seat!

However, while this ride is thrilling, it isn’t necessarily scary. But there’s one catch!

Big Thunder Mountain does have a height requirement.

While waiting to board, you’ll find yourself on a descent into the mine shaft. Signs out front indicate a path called Nugget way.

Here’s a look at the entrance to the queue for the roller coaster.

Out front, you’ll find standard warnings indicating that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a thrill attraction and not suitable for all guests. Make sure children meet the 40″ height requirement.

The queue of Big Thunder Mountain has a few interactive elements but is usually relatively fast-moving.

At one point, the line will split, and you can decide whether to go to the right or left side.

Tip: When the line splits, it doesn’t make any difference which side you choose. Just keep your party together.

It will appear pretty quickly that either your line or the line beside you moves along much faster. However, that isn’t the case.

The lines are called in rotation. So within a few minutes, the opposite line will start moving faster.

Soon after, you will board your train car. There is one lap restraint bar that comes over guests.

From my experience, larger adults will provide a decent amount of slack between the lap bar and smaller children riding with them. Make sure your child holds on well.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a roller coaster with small to medium drops. The ride also has some side-to-side sliding inside your train car.

Like the Barnstormer, this attraction is an excellent introduction to roller coasters. However, the actual ride lasts a bit longer and is much more exciting than the Barnstormer.

Once you board the train, you’ll race off into a dark cavern where you might be sprinkled with a bit of water. Then, you’ll race back outside and encounter a few hills with drops.

The ride tends to have slow moments of anticipation as you climb the hills before racing off again.

Some guests prefer to ride toward the front, while others think the back is a more thrilling ride. If you have a special request, ask the cast member, and they will grant your request when possible.

Usually, that means skipping the boarding process to get your desired spot on the next train.

Here are a few more photos of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Every time I ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, I feel like I’m on one of those Disney commercials on television. It makes me smile and laugh, no matter what.

The gentle drops add just the right amount of tickle without being too much. And the way it forces you to lean in just a little closer with your friends and family brings a smile. You can’t help yourself.

When the train pulls back into the mine, everyone giggles and proclaims they want to do it again. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, simply put, is a feel-good ride.

Know Your Disney Rules When Riding With Children-Any child under the age of seven or younger must be accompanied by an adult fourteen years or older.

The best time to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is typically first thing in the morning before 11:00 a.m. You might also easily ride it during the Festival of Fantasy parade.

Related: Festival of Fantasy Parade with Route

Lastly, you might ride Big Thunder Mountain during or immediately after the evening fireworks. The fireworks draw crowds away from popular attractions making for shorter lines.

And, of course, you can always purchase Disney’s Genie+ and get a return time for this attraction. So you might combine that option with one of the other best times to ride and be able to experience the ride twice!

Here are a few other rides in the same area:

If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, check out our reviews of Disney World Resorts.

The Magic Kingdom Area Resorts include:

Additionally, the Disney World monorail review provides valuable tips and information. We keep it updated quite often.

Lastly, you might want to check our overview of every ride at Magic Kingdom.

As for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, it truly is the wildest ride in the Wilderness! Enjoy! Does everyone in your party meet the height requirement for it?

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