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NaturesWonderland
Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland was an attraction at Disneyland that ran from 1960 to 1977, when it was closed to make way for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

The attraction itself was an expansion of the 1956 Rainbow Caverns Mine Train attraction and featured numerous wilderness environments and animatronic animals.

Summary

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Narrated by an old prospector (voiced by Dallas McKennon), the train ride began in the mining town of Rainbow Ridge. The train ride begins with a journey through a train tunnel into Beaver Valley where beavers are building a dam and marmots look down on guests from the rocks. The trains then go under the waterfalls of Cascade Peak known as Big Thunder and the Twin Sisters. Passing into Bear Country on an old trestle, the trains overlook bears fishing, climbing trees and scratching their backs and pass by two elk battling for mates.

The trains then enter the Living Desert through the Natural Arch Bridge. Sights here include snakes, wild pigs, tortoises, whimsically shaped cacti, a bobcat chased up a cactus by javelinas, colorful boiling mudpits known as the Devil's Paintpots and a series of geysers including Old Unfaithful, the bones of a tyrannosaurus, coyotes, teetering stones in Balancing Rock Canyon, and cougars. Finally, the trains enter the colorful depths of Rainbow Caverns, passing by colorful features such as Bridal Veil Falls, Dance of the Seven Sisters, The Witch's Cauldron, Geyser Grotto, Angel Falls, Devil Falls and the Rainbow Falls. After leaving the caves the train returns back to Rainbow Ridge.

Legacy

Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland was closed in 1977 and replaced by Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which opened in 1979, owing to the demand for thrill rides in the 1970's. When the attraction was replaced, the new attraction would feature several references to its predecessor (one of the reasons being the fact that Nature's Wonderland was an enormously large attraction that encompassed a great deal of Frontierland's real estate):

  • The colorful caverns at the ride's beginning are a nod to the old Rainbow Caverns, though not quite as grand.
  • The town of Rainbow Ridge was preserved for use in Big Thunder Mountain and serves as part of the attraction's load area.
  • Though a different set of Tyrannosaurus bones, Big Thunder Mountain features a climactic splashdown going through dinosaur ribs.

In addition, other remnants of the attraction were left behind and several portions still exist today, such as the Bear Country pond (with the jumping fish still active) and train tunnel and various rock structures from the Living Desert can be seen at Big Thunder Ranch. Across the way from the entrance to Big Thunder, another tunnel, closer to the walkway, remains, still ballasted and with track.

Cascade Peak and its waterfalls remained until 1998, when water damage and other structural issues forced its demolition and an actual ride vehicle was on display as a derelict train with animals popping out for decades until the Walt Disney Archives took it into storage for possible restoration and preservation. In 2014, it was announced that the train restoration project would be taken up by the Carolwood Pacific Historical Society and that the restored train would become a new exhibit for the Walt's Barn area at the Los Angeles Live Steamers Museum.

Much of the new Frontierland-based levels in Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two drew inspiration from the attraction while blending in other Disney elements such as Cascade Peak becoming part of the Tom Sawyer Island-based level, a Seven Dwarfs-inspired Rainbow Falls and the Angel/Devil Falls taking inspirational cues from Beauty and the Beast and Mr Toad's Wild Ride.

The Mickey Mouse TV series dedicated an episode to the attraction and Big Thunder titled "Nature's Wonderland" focused on Mickey and Minnie seeking out the Rainbow Caverns for a romantic vacation, only to end up on a runaway mine train through Big Thunder Mountain and various sections of the Living Desert before finding the caverns (complete with their original music) after a large dynamite explosion opens a path to them.

Gallery

Attraction Remnants


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Main Street, U.S.A.
Disneyland RailroadMain Street CinemaThe Disney GalleryGreat Moments with Mr. LincolnDapper DansMain Street Vehicles
Fantasyland
Sleeping Beauty CastleAlice in WonderlandCasey Jr. Circus TrainDumbo the Flying ElephantIt's a Small WorldKing Arthur CarrouselMad Tea PartyMatterhorn BobsledsMr. Toad's Wild RidePeter Pan's FlightPinocchio's Daring JourneySnow White's Scary AdventuresStorybook Land Canal BoatsPixie HollowSword in the Stone
Adventureland
Walt Disney's Enchanted Tiki RoomIndiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden EyeJungle CruiseTarzan's Treehouse
Tomorrowland
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Mickey's Toontown
Chip 'n' Dale's TreehouseDonald's BoatGadget's Go CoasterGoofy's PlayhouseMickey's House and Meet MickeyMinnie's HouseRoger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin
Frontierland
Big Thunder Mountain RailroadPirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer IslandMark Twain RiverboatSailing Ship ColumbiaGolden Horseshoe SaloonFantasmic!
Critter Country
Splash MountainDavy Crockett's Explorer CanoesThe Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
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Future expansion
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
Resorts
Disneyland Hotel


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Media
Mickey MouseWhere's My Mickey?Comic book
Disney Parks
Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
Characters
Main: Mickey MouseMinnie MouseDonald DuckDaisy DuckGoofyPluto

Supporting: PeteLudwig Von DrakeScrooge McDuckClarabelle CowMickey's ScooterYetiGubblesBady PandaBear DoctorJosé CariocaPanchito PistolesChip 'n' DaleSleepyDocBashfulHappyGrumpyDopeySneezyForest AnimalsHuey, Dewey and LouieOrphansGiant SquidChernabog and his minionsBeagle BoysSpike the BeeEricaMartian RobotMorty and Ferdie Fieldmouse
Cameos: Prince CharmingCinderellaCasey JuniorWalt DisneyHorse HorsecollarOswald the Lucky RabbitClara CluckWillie the WhaleLadyTrampBelleBeastGyro GearlooseKing LouieFlunkeyBandar-logBuzzy, Flaps, Ziggy and DizzySnow WhiteGeppettoPinocchioMortimer MouseThe Three Little PigsTeenagersBig Bad WolfThe Evil QueenPhantom BlotThe Headless HorsemanDirty BillHumphrey the BearMary Poppins

Episodes
Season 1: "No Service" • "Yodelberg" • "Croissant de Triomphe" • "New York Weenie" • "Tokyo Go" • "Stayin' Cool" • "Gasp!" • "Panda-monium" • "Bad Ear Day" • "Ghoul Friend" • "Dog Show" • "O Sole Minnie" • "Potatoland" • "Sleepwalkin'" • "Flipperboobootosis" • "Tapped Out" • "Third Wheel" •"The Adorable Couple"

Season 2: "Cable Car Chaos" • "Fire Escape" • "Eau de Minnie" • "O Futebol Classico" • "Down the Hatch" • "Goofy's Grandma" • "Captain Donald" • "Mumbai Madness" • "The Boiler Room" • "Space Walkies" • "Mickey Monkey" • "Clogged" • "Goofy's First Love" • "Doggone Biscuits" • "Workin' Stiff" • "Al Rojo Vivo" • "Bottle Shocked" • "A Flower for Minnie" • "Bronco Busted"
Season 3: "Coned!" • "One Man Band" • "Wish Upon a Coin" • "Movie Time" • "Shifting Gears" • "Black and White" • "­­¡Feliz Cumpleaños!" • "Wonders of the Deep" • "Road Hogs" • "No" • "Roughin' It" • "Dancevidaniya" • "Couple Sweaters" • "Turkish Delights" • "Sock Burglar" • "Ku'u Lei Melody" • "Entombed" • "No Reservations" • "Split Decisions" • "Good Sports"
Season 4: "Swimmin' Hole" • "Canned" • "Touchdown and Out" • "Locked in Love" • "Bee Inspired" • "Shipped Out" • "Three-Legged Race" • "Nature's Wonderland" • "The Birthday Song" • "The Perfect Dream"
Specials: "Duck the Halls: A Mickey Mouse Christmas Special" • "The Scariest Story Ever: A Mickey Mouse Halloween Spooktacular"

Locations
Snack ShackCafe MinniePatisserie Daisy

Places in the World: Paris, FranceNew York, New YorkTokyo, JapanBeijing, ChinaVenice, ItalyIdahoSan Francisco, CaliforniaBrazilIndiaPamplona, SpainMonacoLondon, EnglandMexicoMoscow, RussiaTurkeyHawaiiEgyptKorea
Allusions to Disneyland: Main Street Electrical ParadeKing Arthur CarrouselThe Haunted MansionGreat Moments with Mr. LincolnSpace MountainRocket to the MoonMine Train Through Nature's Wonderland