Mine Train through
Welcome to a great attraction in the tradition of the
Jungle Cruiseonly this time its the environment and animals of North
American wilderness areas instead of those of the worlds jungles.
The loading platform for the Mine Train Through Natures Wonderland is in the Western mining town of Rainbow Ridge.
As you wait to board the train, listen to the sounds emanating from the buildings, such as the music from the Last Chance Saloon and the screams from the dentists office above it.
Take a seat on the bench that goes around all four sides in your bright yellow ore car.
Or sit on the jump seat when the ride attendant closes the ore car door.
When your train pulls out of the station, an old miner begins a recorded narration.
Heres some of what he says:
“Howdy, folks! Welcome to the little minin town of Rainbow Ridge,
the gateway to Natures Wonderland. As we head for the wilderness,
a couple of suggestions: please stay seated at all times, and keep
yer hands and arms inside the train. The animals get mighty hungry.
And, uh, no smokin please, cause we dont want to
start a forest fire.
Now, beyond these hills lies Natures Wonderland. Yer apt to see a
whole lotta wildlife, so... keep a real sharp hunters eye.”
“If yuhve never gone beneath a waterfall before, then get
set, cause were comin up on Big Thunder, the biggest
falls in all these here parts. Yuh dont hafta worry though...
unless the wind changes. Them other two falls they call the twin
sistersreckon thats cause theyre always
“Were comin into Bear Country now, folks, and, while were
crossin the old trestle, ya gotta sit real still.
No tellin how long shes gonna last.”
“Ya know, bears are one of the most playful animals there is.
All they want to do is lay around and scratch and fish and swim...
that is when they aint sleepin.”
“Now ahead of us, folks,
is a giant saguaro cactus forest.
The desert heat sometimes gets to ya and makes these here cactus
take on strange shapes, like animals... and sometimes even people.”
“Aha! Look down there on yer left.
Them wild pigs has caught up with ol Mister Bobcat.
Hes in kind of a sticky situation!”
“Say... ever hear of the Devils Paint Pots?
Real mystery of the desert.
Bubblin pots o mud in all kinds o colors.
This is geyser country, too. Uh-oh, there she blows!
Sure glad ya all brought yer raincoats.
But look out now! We never know when shes gonna go off.
Thats why we call her Ol Unfaithful.
Look out now! Heh-heh! You folks in them last cars be ready... shes
Inspired by Disneys True-Life Adventure nature movies of the 1950s,
Natures Wonderland is home to two-hundred lifelike, animated mammals, reptiles,
As your train travels through Bear Country, Beaver Valley, the Living Desert, and Rainbow Caverns, you see:
- Mighty waterfalls cascading off Cascade Peak
- Industrious beavers building a dam
- Brown bears swimming and restingand even one scratching his back on a tree
- Saguaro cacti that look strangely human
- Balancing rocks that may just lose their balance as your train car passes by
- Devils Paint Potsbubbling pots of mud in all kinds of colors
- Old Unfaithful Geyser shooting water high into the desert air
- Colorful, glowing waterfalls inside Rainbow Caverns.
Here’s a secret that not many people know.
If you board the Mine Train around 8:50 p.m., the train will stop on a hillside above the Living Desert.
You’ll be treated to the best view of the fireworks anywhere in the park.
Each pyrotechnic burst in the sky illuminates the otherwise almost-dark Living Desert.
And no noise, except for sound effects from the Living Desert and the explosions in the sky.
The Mine Train Through Natures Wonderland opened in Disneyland in 1960 as
an expansion of the
Rainbow Caverns Mine Train (1956).
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a much faster ride than the old Mine Train.
A thrill ride, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, replaced the Mine Train in 1979.
A tunnel on the other side of the old Beaver Valley pond is from the Mine Train in 2007
But not all is gone.
And as you walk along the trail across from Big Thunder Mountain Railroad towards
Fantasyland, youre walking through whats left of Beaver Valley.
Look across the pond for an old Mine Train tunnel.
Rainbow Ridge in 2005
Parts of Rainbow Ridge survived the transition to a thrill ride.
Buildings from the little town still grace the hills above the
waiting area for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
A canoe from Davy Crocketts Explorer Canoes and Cascade Peak in 1996
The biggest part of the Mine Train ride to survive the demolition of the old ride was Cascade Peak, a rugged mountain with several large waterfalls.
Back in 1960, Cascade Peak was surrounded by little trees, giving the appearance of a mountain rising majestically above a forest.
As the trees grew taller over several decades, Cascade Peak appeared to become smaller and smaller.
The actual height of the peak didnt change, but our perception of its height was changed by the relative scale of the trees and the peak.
Until the end of Summer 1998, the waterfalls of Cascade Peak continued to roar
into the Rivers of America.
Before the end of 1998, Cascade Peak was completely gone.
Years of water damage had taken their toll on the man-made peaks structural integrity.
The problem was solved with a bulldozer.
here to discuss this page on the Yesterland Discussion Forum at
© 1997-2008 Werner Weiss — Disclaimers, Copyright, and Trademarks
Updated October 17, 2008.
Photograph of train in Rainbow Ridge: 1974 by Werner Weiss
Photograph of train and waterfalls: 1969 by Werner Weiss
Photograph of bear with fish: 1975 by Dennis Caswell
Photograph of lazy bears: 1975 by Dennis Caswell
Photograph of cacti: 1975 by Dennis Caswell
Photograph of Mister Bobcat: 1975 by Dennis Caswell
Photograph of geyser: 1966 by Werner Weiss
Photograph of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: 2005 by Allen Huffman
Photograph of a tunnel on the other side of the old Beaver Valley pond: 2007 by Werner Weiss
Photograph of Rainbow Ridge as part of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: 2005 by Allen Huffman
Photograph of a canoe at the base of Cascade Peak: 1996 by Werner Weiss
Excerpts from Mine Train narration based on transcript by Dennis Caswell.