The wildest ride in the wilderness will ride again a little sooner than expected, as the Disney Parks Blog has announced Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad reopening on March 17. The iconic Frontierland E-Ticket has been down since January 2013 for an epically extended refurbishment, but will resume delighting Disneyland riders ahead of the previously-published April return.
The revamped ride will sport a brand new track (following the same course as the original), rebuilt Rainbow Ridge buildings (again, reconstructed to resemble the rotted originals), and new lighting and sound effects. Most notably, the beloved dynamite-chewing goat is rumored to feature an explosive new digital projection found on the roller-coaster’s third lift hill, formerly the site of an unconvincing earthquake effect.
Cast Members have already been invited to experience the refurbished Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Annual Passholders who want to get an sneak peek can participate in Passholder previews during regular park hours on March 13-16. FastPass and standby lines will both be offered; a valid Annual Pass is required, and blackout dates apply.
If you can’t wait that long, here is a glimpse of the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad making a test run, recorded in late February through a convenient knothole in the construction fence:
And here is an official video with selected point of view on-ride footage: