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Re-Opening: The Wildest Ride in the Wilderness

A Disneyland favorite is back on track(s).

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Paul Hiffmeyer
    BIG THUNDER RETURNS -- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopens to guests at Disneyland park on March 17, 2014. (Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

    MOST MEMORABLE NARRATION: If you were a tot in Southern California, or have called the area home for a half decade or longer, chances are you've visited a certain theme park in Anaheim. Hint: It's the theme park that began all theme parks, or at least the quintessential example of theme-park-ery in the modern area. Another hint? You can see a mountain or two, inside it, from the 5 Freeway. Yep, indeed, it is Disneyland of which we speak, and fans know the rides so well -- you probably just rattled off "Matterhorn" and "Space Mountain" when we brought up mountains, right? -- that they can recite along with some of the audio that plays inside the attractions. Ever stood inside the Haunted Mansion's stretching elevator with a bunch of serious DLers? Yeah, they're saying every single word.

    BUT... we'd like to put forth that the most famous line of ride narration within the park is spoken at the beginning of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. It is, the prospector-y voice tells us, "the wildest ride in the wilderness," a line that a lot of riders say along. Which is all leading up to this darn-tootin' news: The runaway train coaster, which has been shuttered for renovations, will re-open on Monday, March 17.

    WHAT'S NEW: The ride, which opened in 1979, now has "an upgraded track," "an enhanced audio system," and fresh paint for some of the peaks. Word has it that the tech'd-up audio will produce clearer sounds from the animatronic animals along the track. Does this mean you'll hear the rattlers rattling more distinctly, and that mountain goat with the dynamite stick in its mouth? Listen up. And listen for the start of the ride, when your fellow riders talk along with the narration, the better to prepare for "the wildest ride in the wilderness."