Today In Disney History ~ May 28th

Today In Disney History ~ May 28th

5.28

The Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland was a 2 ft 6 in (762 mm) narrow gauge railroad attraction in Frontierland in Disneyland, that featured Audio-Animatronic animals that live in the desert themed in the environment they live in naturally. It opened in 1960 as an extension of Rainbow Caverns Mine Train, which opened in 1956. It closed on January 2, 1977 to make room for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which opened on September 2, 1979.
In 1956, the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train was opened in Frontierland, as part of the Living Desert. Guests boarded a miniature train and were transported through the various scenery of the desert environment, which featured anthropomorphic cacti, the Balancing Rocks which precariously rolled back and forth above the guests, and the beautiful Rainbow Caverns. The Living Desert was also host to other attractions like the Conestoga Wagons, Stagecoaches, and Pack Mules, though the former two disappeared when Nature’s Wonderland was introduced.
Mine Train Through Nature’s Wonderland was designed by Marc Davis when Walt Disney requested him to insert more humor into Disneyland’s attractions. Rainbow Caverns Mine Train was closed and redesigned into Nature’s Wonderland, taking inspiration from True-Life Adventures. The scenes of the Living Desert and Rainbow Caverns were incorporated into the redesign, which had guests boarding a train at the fictional Western town Rainbow Ridge before heading off into the attraction. The train traveled through Cascade Peak, Bear Country, Beaver Valley, the Living Desert, Devil’s Paint Pots (multicolored geysers), and Rainbow Caverns before returning to the station. The attraction featured over two-hundred replicas of North American animals, and the narrative spiel was provided by Dal McKennon.

Due to the rise in popularity for thrill rides, Nature’s Wonderland was closed to build a new attraction, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which opened in 1979. However, Big Thunder Mountain is similar to Nature’s Wonderland, featuring a runaway train as the ride vehicle, the set of Rainbow Ridge is used as the loading area, and a tribute to Rainbow Caverns exists within the attraction.

TMSM Today in Graphic by Sherry Rinaldi DeHart; Wiki

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Michele Atwood is the Owner/Editor of The Main Street Mouse and it’s subsidiaries and author of the books “Moving to Main Street U.S.A.” “How Many Sleeps Till Disney?” and “How Many Sleeps Till Disneyland?” Michele also contributes Disney news to the Joe Kelley Morning Show on 107.3 WDBO in Orlando. She and her family made the move from Michigan to the Orlando area to pursue their Disney dreams. Michele is a life long Disney fan, and has two sons who have followed suit, each going on their first Disney trip before their first birthday’s. Part of the goal Michele has for The Main Street Mouse is not only to keep members informed, but to create somewhat of a Disney Family by relating to others through personal experiences and opinions. Also, Michele is making it a priority to share stories of inspiration and hope to other Disney Fans in an effort to share the Magic and hopefully make a difference in the lives of others. ~ I enjoy writing personal perspective blogs, doing TMSM Meet Ups for our readers, and keeping the constant interaction going with others, sharing the Disney Magic to people when they can’t be at their Happy Place.

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