One of our family favorite rides at Disneyland is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. You have to be over 40 inches tall to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the castmembers will check any children close to that height several times (use the Baby Switch passes if you have young children). We love this ride because it is a lot of fun and doesn’t have big drops. You mostly experience a lot of g-forces as you go down several sudden small drops then around the curves. You have one lap bar per row, so I always wrap my arm around Kyle (who is a little smaller) because during some of the sudden drops younger kids bounce up an inch or two. By wrapping my arm around him it solves the problem completely. Do remove any hats- I have seen quite a few almost blown away. Good to note that one adult can sit with two children in one row.
Our biggest tip about this ride is to be sure to make use of the Fastpasses. You rarely have to wait more than an hour after picking up your Fastpass and in that time you can go ride another ride. Fastpasses are distributed throughout the day unlike Space Mountain. When you are about to enter the queue line to use your Fastpass- get another set of fastpasses. You can do this as soon as you are 1 minute in to your return time window. You’ll be able to get two rides in a very short time no matter how long the queue line is.
Have you ever heard of the “Goat Trick” on this ride? I’m not sure where it really started and I don’t think I actually ever heard of it anywhere before I figured it out, but the first time I heard a reference to “The Goat Trick”, there was no question I knew what it was! Now be very careful not to over think this one, it really is quite simple, just follow a few simple steps the next time you are on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and you’ll soon be sure to be in on the trick!
As you begin to climb hill number two (this is the long climb with the snakes and turtles on the left), position yourself comfortably in the left corner of the seat so you are at an angle looking out the right side of the train. Be sure to stare at the Billy Goat on the raised area on the right and look at it absolutely as long as you can, literally until you can’t see it anymore. You’ll end up really dizzy and disoriented by the end of the turn and it’s just lots of fun.
We highly recommend sitting in row 15 (or close to it), because the ride is more fun that way. Sitting too close to the front of the train, makes for a much less thrilling ride in our opinion. As you crest the hills you are left slowly going over them while the back of the train finishes the climb. You can ask a castmember to seat you at the back of the train, you may have to wait for the next train, but it only adds a couple minutes at the most. Well worth the wait if you ask my kids.
Have you tried the Goat Trick? Post a comment about it!