It is widely believed that Disneyland’s famous ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad’s designed simply by Walt Disney’s childhood himself verses the fictional where gold was discovered in the small town known as Rainbow Ridge in the American Southwest.  Walt Disney lived most of his childhood in Missouri where he was able to see many mountains such as the Taum Sauk Mountain, Ketcherside Mountain, and Hughes Mountain. It is believed that he came to love and appreciate these great landscapes so much that he wanted to incorporate it in his park.

In 1911, he and his family moved to Kansas City, where he grew a passion for trains. This is where people say he started to combine his passion for mountains and trains and incorporate in a ride, known as Big Thunder Mountain.

According to his fellow coworkers, he was negatively effected by the burden of debt accumulated in 1923 and started incorporating his desire for money to fix this problem into his design. This desire is reflected through the gold represented in Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Eventually after drawing out his design for the Railroad, it is said that he learned the importance of a dollar and that he would represent it through the dynamite. The dynamite is believed to signify how fast money can be lost and that one should never take it for granted.

Rumor has it that he collaborated with Tony Baxter and Bill Watkins, two Imagineers, to piece his final draft of this soon to be roller coaster. He wanted it to be friendly and relatable for families and kids of all ages. The three of them are believed to come up with what is known today as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

-Jonathan Yoshihara