Posts Tagged ‘goats’

Goodbye Goats: Video of Big Thunder Ranch’s Closing Day at Disneyland

by on January 14, 2016

In my professional opinion, one of Disneyland’s greatest assets is its deep bench of minor attractions that can be enjoyed by all ages, to balance out the heavy-hitting E-Ticket rides. Accordingly, ever since I began working on the Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, I’ve been advocating for Big Thunder Ranch‘s goats as the park’s greatest under-the-radar treasure. This year, I’ll have the sad duty of deleting all references to the Ranch from the next edition of the Unofficial Guide, as the petting zoo (along with the adjacent barbecue restaurant) ended operations for good at 4 p.m. on Sunday, January 10, 2016. Of course, I had to be there for Big Thunder Ranch’s closing day — along with every annual passholder in California, apparently — to witness the end of an era.

I was wise enough to get my final scritchings in with Big Thunder Ranch’s whiskered stars on Saturday, since I knew the competition to get “last petting” bragging rights would be intense among goat groupies. Even on Saturday, the Ranch was busier than I’d ever seen before that weekend.

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Seth Kubersky’s Best Week Ever June 11, 2015: Disneyland Flora & Fauna

by on June 11, 2015

Disneyland flora fauna goats

Get down with the goats and other Disneyland flora and fauna in this Best Week Ever! (Photos by Seth Kubersky)

Well, faithful Best Week Ever followers, I just flew in from Anaheim, and boy are my arms tired! (Hey, we can’t all be as funny as Derek Burgan.) I truly had one of my best weeks ever, as any week at the Happiest Place on Earth is pretty special.

I was visiting the Disneyland Resort to update the upcoming 2016 edition of The Unofficial Guide to Disneyland, and especially to review the parks’ new nighttime spectaculars. I had mixed feelings about some of the new after-dark additions, and you’ll shortly be able to read my full reviews of Paint the Night, Disneyland Forever, and World of Color — Celebrate! both online and in print. But something I have absolutely no hesitation endorsing is the wonderful world-famous Disneyland flora and fauna, which I enjoyed observing in abundance during my stay.

I know that most guests’ main interests at the Disney resorts are the rides and shows, and I love a ride on Radiator Springs Racers or the Indiana Jones Adventure as much as anyone. But some of the most magical Disney park memories I’ve ever made have involved the beautiful bounty of plants and animals — both carefully cultivated and amusingly untamed — that reside therein. And not to knock the Walt Disney World horticulture department, which does and impressive job (especially during the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival), but there’s just something awesomely intimate about the agricultural encounters I’ve experienced out west.

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The Lovable Livestock of Disneyland’s Big Thunder Ranch

by on August 22, 2012

It's been a little over a month since my last visit to Disneyland, and I'm currently suffering serious withdrawal from my fuzzy friends. No, I'm not talking about the man-sized mice mascots, as much as I love Mickey and his menagerie. It is the actual animal inhabitants of Disneyland that I miss the most.

Many repeat resort visitors have an attraction that they insist on experiencing on every single visit to Disneyland. Some guests don't consider a Disney day done until they've taken a trip on Space Mountain or Peter Pan's Flight. My wife won't leave the park without at least one visit to the Enchanted Tiki Room, and I'm personally partial to a day-ending adventure with Indiana Jones. But if there is one place that I find myself more often than any other, it has to be the Big Thunder Ranch.

This hidden treasure of Frontierland, tucked along the path to Disneyland, doesn't receive the foot traffic or popular acclaim of its similarly named neighbor, the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Most people who stumble into it are probably hungry for barbecue at the adjoining open-air eatery, or hunting for Billy Hill and the Hillbillies at their summer home on the Festival Arena stage.

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