Red Canyon Ridge2

The Red Canyon Ridge is an expansion proposal for the land of Frontierland (Disneyland) to occupy the areas of Big Thunder Ranch, the region where Cascade Peak once stood and the land that connects both areas, as well as Backstage area. The complex features a sprawling “dual adventure” E-Ticket attraction, the Red Canyon Ridge Railroad and a small “sub-land” known as the town of Red Canyon Ridge.

Right,  a 1/240 scale model of the Red Canyon Ridge Complex. Everything is represented as if the complex was seen from the air. Big Thunder Mountain is represented as a drawing. Being that it is a concept model, not all the details such as Animatronic figures and props were included.


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Brief overview of model, as "seen from the air"



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The Town
The little western town of Red Canyon Ridge represents a typical mining town where storeowners and operators were optimistic about settling out west and the prospect of success (and maybe some gold). Unlike their colleague Big Thunder Mining Company, Red Canyon Ridge and it’s main employer, Red Canyon Ridge Mining & Timber Co. are thriving and alive, which keeps the land happening and with the time period of Frontierland (whereas Big Thunder has a feel of an abandoned town, almost as though guests are visiting in a later timer period).


The town of Red Canyon Ridge, named for the linear-like arrangement of the cliffs located along the rivers of America (and also a nod to the former Rainbow Ridge), features an array of western style-buildings, both for show and practical uses. Shops and restrooms are located here, as well as some “show buildings”; buildings with “look-in” windows that feature audio-animatronic scenes of barber shops, card games, and many others.

Perhaps the most prominent of these buildings, is the Last Chance Saloon (red building). This establishment mimics the classic saloon type building in almost any typical western town, with a long hall with a bar on the right, and towards the back, a pianist entertains the crowd in the back. Here in the Last Chance Saloon, (which is reality, is a really big and fancy ODV kiosk) guests can take a break from the crowds and grab a soft drink from the bar, served to from authentic bar taps. For those laying down the money, sharp eyes will notice the cash registers, which while are state-of-the-art, are backdated with push button keys and pop-up numbers. Guests can relax indoors or go outside to the shaded patio with views of the nearby desert scenery and the passing trains returning from their journey to the loading area.

Guests in the town at about noon will be treated to a gun showdown between the Town sheriff and the town enemy, Black Bart. Surround speakers located in the area broadcast sound effects such as gunfire and ricochets bouncing off nearby rocks and boulders. It should also be noted that the rock buttes from the former Mine Train Thru Nature's Wonderland are still intact

Attraction

But the biggest piece of this big expansion is the signature attraction, the Red Canyon Ridge Railroad. This “E-Ticket” attraction is a massive, sprawling addition to Frontierland that will literally dwarf Big Thunder Mountain in scale and scope. This attraction is a moderate speed mine train ride that pays homage to the 1960 attraction Mine Train through Nature’s Wonderland and takes guests on a scenic tour of the deeper parts of Frontierland. Unlike Big Thunder Mountain, Red Canyon Ridge Railroad caters to all ages that enjoy such detailed classics like Pirates of the Caribbean and Haunted Mansion but without out the high-speed thrills of a roller coaster. This is more of scenic tour ride, a ride to relax and get away from the crowds, and not a heavy, literal, story driven attraction like Walt Disney World’s Expedition Everest with a complicated back-story guests need to pay attention to and understand. This is a simpler adventure, one that is a narrated attraction, much like the former Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland and Submarine Voyage.

At a glance, this attraction may seem like one big ride, but it is in fact, TWO completely separate operating attractions. Although both share the same area and vehicles, they both have their own distinct “flavor”. The Red Canyon Ridge Railroad features two train lines that feature different experiences that reflect two major occupations of the time period that often go hand and hand (logging and mining):

  • RED: Wilderness Route (Logging)  Guests are taken to the backwoods of Frontierland where there is a logging operation, views will be also seen of wildlife, and a bit of danger from the town outlaw.
  • YELLOW: Tunneler’s Route (Mining) The other train line takes guests to horseshoe valley to see geothermic features, and then travels deep underground to see a large mining operation, deeps chasms, long tunnels, and in conclusion, the legendary Coates Caverns (a reference to Rainbow Caverns and it’s creator, WDI’s Claude Coates).




When guests enter the queue and then the train station, they have the choice of either taking the Tunneler’s route (mining) and the Wilderness route (logging). This creates a re-ride able attraction that is sure to grow long lines. These two train rides intertwine with each other around the Red Canyon Ridge complex and create “layers” that Disneyland has had success with before in creating magical lands. The Tunneler’s route occupies the middle and lower ground levels, and the Wilderness route takes the higher region of the land and both routes utilize a large show building just outside the berm.

Layout Drawing for all the visible areas for both attractions, surperimposed over present day Disneyland

As mentioned, scale is a big feature on the Red Canyon Railroad. The biggest addition to Frontierland will be the majestic Cascade Canyon, a 90ft. high mountain vista that carries over the Bryce Canyon look and feel of Big Thunder Mountain and borders on the back corner of the River’s of America. This dramatic rock formation not only adds to the scenery of Frontierland, but also hosts as the infrastructure for the ride. Concealed in the rockwork is the first show building for the Tunneler’s route of the Railroad where a large mining operation is seen. But an even bigger show building awaits riders just beyond the berm. This 28ft. warehouse like structure hosts both routes of the Red Canyon Ridge Railroad, with the Tunneler’s route taking the inside of the building with scenes of dark caverns, tunnels and mining operations and the Wilderness route taking the top. The roof of the building—which features a complex system of drainage and watering systems—is where the Wilderness a route takes place with forests and logging operations, a real nature like experience.

Trains

The ride vehicles for the attraction will be modeled after the classic Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland trains. There will be 10 of these trains in total, with each line having 5 trains. Like their predecessors, these trains will be battery powered because of their quiet, efficiency, and easy to operate nature. Each of the two lines will feature different train styles to reflect the feel of their respective journey. Each train will feature 8 cars, each capable of holding up to 10 passengers each, makes this ride an extremely family-friendly attraction. Not only is the attraction family-friendly, but also extremely efficient in terms of capacity. With 8 trains running (two trains are in storage on stand-by, with one in each line’s respective facility) at a time, the hourly capacity is extremely high, which makes this ride perfect for soaking up the crowds on busy days.

Although the trains may look old, they have a few features packed into them they make them more technologically advanced than what meets the eye. One is the communication system between the trains and the scenery; at certain points of the journey, the whistle—pulled by the engineer—will trigger a special effect that will happen in the scenery. This special effect can range from an engineer scaring off a bobcat trying to reach a bird’s nest, or by accidentally starting an earthquake. Another feature on these trains are “rumble packs” mounted under every car. These vibrating motors shake and rattle the car at various degrees of intensity to help accentuate some of the effects happening in the scenes. These “rumble packs” can shake the car at certain times to simulate rough track, create the feeling of an earthquake, or give some “oomph” to a dynamite explosion. (Almost like an enhanced motion vehicle, or EMV).

Each lines has their distinct style for the trains, although they share an identical chassis and mechanics. The trains for the Wilderness route are dark green with a “Russian iron” boiler jacket with brass trim and a diamond stack. The cars are identical to the ones from the Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland. The trains for the Tunneler’s Route are grey in color, with accents of red on the domes and headlight. The engine has a cap stack and the cars are made to look like ore cars with riveted metal sheeting and curved bottoms. All locomotives on both lines are named for famous people of the time, both real and legend, such as John Sutter, Wyatt Earp, Pecos Bill, Paul Bunyan, Davy Crockett, Slue Foot Sue, and Jim Bridger.

The Ride (Wilderness Route)

Let’s take a tour…

After entering the town of Red Canyon Ridge, let’s take a ride on the Red Canyon Ridge railroad. Entering the queue past a rustic mining structure, we notice that there isn’t any fastpass, so there’s only one line to worry about. Since the ride is an efficient one, the line isn’t that long, so the wait has a good pace. The queue winds around the Living Desert relics from the Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland, which haven’t moved in over 50 years. As guests pass by this sub-land on the Big Thunder walkway, we enter the switchback portion of the queue. Rocks and trees surround this area and we can see the back face of Cascade Canyon.

Queue line that weaves around the load area. Also seen are the two train lines coming together back to the station

Nearing the end of the switchbacks in the queue, we head for the train station, with a sign adorning the outside “Red Canyon Ride Mining & Timber Co.”. At this point, before we enter the building, we have the choice of either taking the logging oriented route, the Wilderness route, or the mining one, the Tunneler’s route. For the first go around, we’ll take a ride on the Wilderness Route. Since the Wilderness route takes the higher elevations of the land, its load area is located on the second floor of the station structure. Climbing upstairs we get a glimpse of the load area for the Tunneler’s route on the ground floor and once we reach the top, there’s an open-air area with a nice panorama of Big Thunder Mountain. We give our number of members in our party to the CM adorning a prospector outfit of the time and we’re assigned our car number. Before long, a hunter green train with a diamond stack and a steel-blue boiler jacket and named “Paul Bunyan on the cab enters from the left and slows to a stop. It’s a nice homage that the trains take after the look of the Rainbow Caverns mine trains before that attraction was upgraded to the Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland in 1960 (with their yellow trains).

The loading station for both attractions, located along the Big Thunder Trail. The Wilderness Route loads on the top level, while the Tunneler's route loads on the bottom.

After sitting down in our dark green car, we are joined by another group, since these cars can hold a good number of people each. After a quick chat, the train blows it’s whistle twice, indicating that our journey is beginning. The train pulls out of the station and we slowly make our way across a curved trestle bridge. Our host comes on over the speakers in the cars, an old prospector fellow, much like the narrator from the Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland attraction:

“Howdy Folks! Welcome aboard the Red Canyon Ridge Railroad—the Wilderness route.
Since we’ll be crossin’ some high trestles ahead, please remain seated at all times and please keep your hands and arms inside the train, there are some hungry critters out there lookin’ for a lunch!”

The train curves to the right and exits the trestle bridge and onto a hillside bank of the former Country Bear lake. Lower down, the trains for the Tunneler’s Route are beginning their journey as their train enters the tunnel in the hill—the exact same one used by the Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland in the past. Our train is actually passing over the old Pack Mule trail and the former spot of Cascade Peak. Our narrator continues with the safety spiel in Spanish.



Curving around the former spot of the Cascade Peak, the train has turned around and is heading north, running along the riverbank of the River’s of America. Although Cascade Peak is now gone, we can see up ahead that it has returned in a different spot, but MUCH bigger!

“Today we’ll be headin’ for the backwoods where we’ll be takin’ a look at our loggin’ operation and also some scenery worth sight-seein’”.



The train picks up speed as now we’re in the straight stretches along the riverbank. It’s peaceful here, as the train moves along through the trees with an occasional canoe passing by on the river. The tranquil scenery slowly starts to transform as our train progresses further, to more dramatic rock formations.

“Up ahead is Cascade Canyon, the terminal point for all the big rivers here in Red Canyon Ridge. This is also the last point before we start entering the deep woods of the west”.

The roar of the various waterfalls coming off these magnificent rock formations grows louder and louder. We pass under one of the waterfalls, dry of course. Both of the train lines are running parallel to each other now, with the trains heading for the mines lower down. This is sure to make a nice photo for those taking pictures from the passing river craft!



The name Cascade Canyon refers to the type of waterfalls, “Cascade”, but the name is also yet another homage to a feature of Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland, Cascade Peak.

Passing over a natural arch bridge, our train passes another dramatic and picturesque waterfall and the scenery slowly changes again as we leave Cascade Canyon. The sound of the waterfalls disappears and we enter the forests of Frontierland (and we’re also onto of the roof of the massive show building; it may look like ground level, but in reality, we’re 28 ft. off the ground).

“As we leave Cascade Canyon behind and enter the backwoods of the frontier, you can see why we call this the Wilderness Route! Out here you never know what you’re going to find, such as…hey looky there!..."

On the right we see an animatronic bobcat slowly climb up a tree—with a bird nest full of freshly hatched eggs!

“Get down from there, you crazy cat!”

The engineer blows the whistle and the animatronic cat slides down the tree, and the birds are saved as the other passengers chuckle. (This is one of those scenes where special communications takes place between the scenes and the train).

A couple of bumps as we pass over a turn-out to track spur leading to a tunnel opening (which is the storage/maintenance facility for the Wilderness Route trains) and we approach a river stream running on the right.

Although not represented in the model, this area is where the logging operation scene takes place. The gray area in the foreground is the maintenance and storage facility for the trains (there is an identical facility directly below for the Tunneler's Route trains)


“Anyways, here is our main loggin’ operation; as you can see, we have plenty of resources here to supply our need for the great expansion west.”

This area is LOADED with activity and movement. There are steam donkey’s puffing out steam as they haul trees up a slop, lumberjacks with the crosscut saws cutting away, others chopping up downed trees, and some moving large timbers down the river.

Here’s one of our top lumberjacks, Big Joe. He’s mighty proud of his latest cut, and you can see why!

The train passes by a gigantic log from a tree that was freshly cut down. “Big Joe” stands proudly next to it, grinning away satisfied with one hand on his axe. The train rounds a bend to the right and there’s a steam crane hard at work moving a log. We think everything is under control, but little do we know, the operator is having a hard time moving the log, and the crane starts to go out of control!

“Up ahead is where our logs get ready for transport by rail and …wait a minute! What’s goin’ on here? I think our new guy William is at the controls of that crane and I don’t if he be in control of it! Hang on I’ll get us out of here!”

William the crane operator, with a worried expression on his face, gives us a bit of danger as he swings the log over the heads of the passengers as he tries to get the crane under control.

The train picks up speed slightly until we reach a safer area.

“Whew, that was close! Uh-oh, it looks like we’re not quite safe yet, look up ahead, a family of black bears! Careful now, don’t make an sudden movements!”

Animatronic bears on each side of the tracks in close proximity to the train stare at the passengers as bears prepare to continue on with their journey.

“Well then, as we round the bend approaching Panorama Point, you can see why what inspired settlers to move west with the amazing scenery and abundant resources.”

The view of Panorama Point, and the edge of the showbuilding. This area is also where the family of black bears is seen.


The train runs near the edge of a cliff (and the edge of the show building) and guests can get a great view of Horseshoe Valley with it’s geothermal features and as well as the backside of Cascade Canyon.

“This land brings us the good, the bad, and unfortunately, the ugly—outlaws comin to get rich themselves by robbin’ other folks out here. Uh-oh! There’s the town outlaw, Black Bart! He’s havin’ a shoot-out with some of our towns folk!”

On top of a waterfall is an animatronic of “Black Bart” the outlaw notorious for coming to Red Canyon Ridge and causing trouble. As he ducks below a rock, a few animatronic people on horseback fire their guns at him, and he fires back too! Ricochets are all around thanks to surround sound speakers and the splashes in the pond and the dust on the rocks.



“Black Bart has be known to try and sabotage our logging business, and the sheriff has been after him ever since.”

Making a Right turn, the train moves parallel to a side track, and all of a sudden, an Animatronic Black Bart appears pumping away on a handcar moving next to the train! He’s got some TNT on the handcar, and our narrator can tell he’s up to no good:

“Black Bart looks like he’s up to no good; we’re do you think you’re goin’ pal?” The narrator yells. “We gotta tell the town sheriff!”.

The waterfall in the foreground is where the shoot-out with Black Bart takes place. Guests will encounter Black Bart again as he moves on a handcar on the spur line above parallel to the track.

Black Bart disappears behind some shrubbery as his track curves away and we continue our journey. The train begins to negotiate a very tall trestle over a deep pond in a rocky chasm.

“As we pass over Yensid Gorge, you can see the colorful… hey, is that Black Bart up there…?”

We see an animatornic Black Bart pop up from so rocks and he has his hands ready on a dynamite plunger. There’s dynamite on this bridge!

“EEHH! He’s got the bridge rigged with TNT, we gotta highball the heck outta here! He’s gonna blow the bridge up!”



The train picks speed drastically and it heads for a tunnel opening up ahead. As all the cars move into the tunnel swiftly, a loud explosion is heard and strobe lights in the tunnel suggest the explosion of the bridge. The “rumble packs” under the cars vibrate away in sync with the sound as the “shock waves” from the explosion move through the tunnel.

As the train moves through the darkness of the tunnel and back into the sunlight, our narrator comes back on:

“Whew, it looks like all of you made it, he almost got us there! Ah-ha, there’s a problem with lightin’ off dynamite near a town like Red Canyon Ridge, the Sheriff is bound to catch you in no time!”

Off to the right on a grassy hill, Black Bart is tied up and the Sheriff nods to us from his horse.





“Thanks Sheriff! Well folks, we’re concluding our journey here on the Wilderness route of the Red Canyon Ridge Railroad and I hope you enjoyed the tour. As we enter the station, please gather your personal belongin’s and wait until the train comes to a complete stop. Then lift up the jump seat in the middle and door will come right open. To exit just head right for the front of the train. Be sure to come back again…. so long!”

The train goes over a trestle bridge with the queue line below and we pull into the station and come to a complete stop. We head for the front of the train and go down the stairs and exit into the Big Thunder Walkway, eager to start on the next journey the Red Canyon Ridge area has to offer!


The Ride (Tunneler’s Route)

Now it’s time to the ride the other adventure of this “duel-adventure” land, the Tunneler’s route of the Red Canyon Ridge Railroad. We enter the queue as before and when we eventually reach the station buildings, we change directions to go to the ground floor load platform where the Tunneler’s Route trains stop. We are assigned our car number and we await the train. Since we’re on the bottom floor, it’s slightly darker than the load platform up top, but lanterns are lit so we can see easily. The train we’ll be riding arrives, this one with a cap stack, grey boiler, and red accents on the domes and the cab named for John Sutter. We notice that the cars are different slightly too, rather than wood and square, these cars are metal with rivets and curves near the bottom, almost like ore cars; definitely different from our last train!

Loaded in, our engineer blows two toots on the whistle and the train lurches forward. Crossing over Bear Country Lake, we can tell we’re definitely lower than we were last time, as we can see the train we took leave for yet another adventure again. Our narrator for this journey, another prospector, gives us a welcome:

“Hello folks! Welcome aboard the Red Canyon Ridge Railroad—The Tunneler’s route. Today we’ll be headin’ for the mines where we have tours of our operations as well as some neat geothermal features out in Horseshoe Valley. Now some of these mines are rather deep, so please stay seated at all times, and keep your hands and arms inside the train, there are some tight clearances in the tunnels.”

Speaking of the tunnels, as our narrator continues with the safety spiel in Spanish, we notice our train is entering a very familiar mine tunnel in the side of the hill; yep, the EXACT same tunnel the trains from the Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland use to use when they crossed over Bear Country in the old days. After being in the dark for several seconds, we come out and running parallel to the Rivers of America, with trains up higher from the Wilderness Route.

“As we negotiate the ridges of Cascade Canyon, take a good look at the view, it’s gonna become a lot smaller and darker in no time as we head into the mines!"




The train passes under a waterfall as we did on the other ride and there’s a tunnel opening ahead. The train crawls into the darkness and our eyes adjust.

“Here’s a preview of what we’ll be seeing later, our large mining operation in what we be callin’ the ‘Big Room’; as you can see, we’ve been pretty busy!”

An opening in the rock wall reveals a large chamber of carved out rock with lots of activity going on down lower level. We can see other trains from the Tunneler’s route down there, so it looks like we’ll be descending downgrade pretty soon to get to the bottom.

Coming out of the tunnel and back into the sunlight, we enter Horseshoe Valley, an area named after the basic shape of the track laid down here. When the guests are in this area, they are completely surrounded and cut off from the outside world by mountain vistas all the way around. The backside of Cascade Canyon can bee seen and the trains of the Disneyland Railroad passing by complete the picture perfectly. Our narrator notes the special features located in Horseshoe Valley

Horseshoe Valley, named for the shape of the track, is home to many geothermal features. The Disneyland Railroad trains pass by as the mine trains descend downgrade lower so it can pass under it's own track in the mines


“Folks, we’re in Horseshoe Valley now, home to some of the strangest earth features you’ve probably ever, such as bubblin’ mud pots, geysers, hot springs, fumaroles, and Hot spring terraces. You can say this is a real hot spot in the desert!”

The train rounds around the curve and we can see all kinds of things happening, like geysers going off, vents letting off steam, and colorful mud pots bubbling away. We cross a small bridge passing over a hot spring fed by a waterfall coming through the trees.



As the geothermal features slowly move farther away, it is noticeable that the train is getting lower and lower into the earth (for main reasons, the train needs to pass under it’s own track). Some pieces of mining equipment are stored outside just outside the mine tunnel we are about to enter. Even a camp is set up for some of the workers out here.

“Now we’re going deep into Relwot mine, the largest one that we know of in the west. This is where we carve out tunnels for future transportation use, but we also process ore and maybe some gold if someone is lucky”.

(“Relwot” is just my last name spelled backwards). The train descends further into the tunnel and our eyes adjust to the darkness and the sunlight fades away. Before long, we enter the “Big Room”, this time on the lower level.

Like the logging operation on the Wilderness Route, there is a lot of action and activity going on here; miners sorting rocks, noisy machinery running, cranes moving equipment, another train just like the one we’re in ready to depart for another mine tunnel full of cargo, and to top it all off, one of the Disneyland Railroad trains passes through the “Big Room” on a high wooden trestle. The “Big Room” is in fact a small show building hidden beneath the rockwork for Cascade Canyon. In matter of seconds, our train will be entering the massive show building by passing under the Disneyland Railroad tracks and “beyond the berm”.

"This is our main mining operation down here and on the right, we’ve got another one of our trains ready to haul cargo out."

The walls slowly become closer as we enter the show building outside the park. Our narrator tells us of the different mining techniques:

"On the right we see a fellow usin’ hydraulic mining, blastin’ those rocks out with water, though we gotta be careful, we don’t want to great a lake!"

A miner with a hose shooting a large stream of water at a rock wall, debris and excess water fall into a small pond below.

Everything is lit by lanterns and the locomotive headlight. Since most of the rock is ore, everything has a red hue to it, which is where the “Red” in Red Canyon Ridge comes from.

“Whenever we can, we’ll blast. Those with sensitive ears, you better cover ‘em up!

This section deals with blasting rock out with dynamite, through the use of projections in the three small “chambers” on each side of the train. Each chamber has shadows of miners getting the charges ready and Animatronic figures are busy in the foreground getting the plunger ready (or plugging their ears with a pained expression). One at a time, each “chamber” sets off their TNT with a loud bass noise accompanied by flash from strobe lights and fog. The “rumble packs” under the cars time the vibration with the sound to accentuate the sound.

“Can y’all hear me? Good! Well, sometimes we can’t use TNT, and in these places, we have to dig by hand.”

Animatronic miners grunting away are chiseling away at the rock as the quarters get smaller and smaller all around.

We enter a narrow tunnel and the light reflects all kinds of minerals off the walls. The tunnel widens and we encounter a few turnout switches with spur lines leading to different mines. Our train enters the darkest one.

“We’re heading into one of our most unique tunnel routes here in the Relwot mine, the one that leads to the legendary ‘Coates Caverns’”.

The train enters the tunnel and we’re in total darkness. Occasionally, there will be an opening in the ground, one that shows a very deep chasm (thanks to a mirror effect). The “rumble packs” under the cars shake the car in random intervals, and our narrator explains why:

"We don’t use this line very much, and so hand on, we’ve got some rough track ahead."

The light transitions from pitch black to dim blue/green as the train enters a large, deep cave, this one flooded and spanned by a rickety trestle.

“I can’t seem to remember the last time we inspected the trestle, so everyone just sit real still, no tellin’ how long she’ll last!”

As everyone in the train sits still, looking down into the pond below, we can see strange fish, those who have never seen the light of day. A waterfall thunders from a hidden water spring, and it echoes throughout the rocky cave. The train slowly creeps across the trestle and into another dark tunnel.

“Now folks, here’s a real treat for you, the legendary Coates Caverns, with it’s mysterious water spectacle of every formation and color of the rainbow...”

The narrators voice fades out as he is over taken by the sound of the water from the hundreds of water features contained in the climax of the Tunneler’s Route, Coates Caverns. Coate’s Caverns is a tribute to one of the most remembered and spectacular scenes of the Mine Train Thru Nature’s Wonderland, Rainbow Caverns. The caverns are named after Claude Coates, the creator of the concept that captivated riders over 50 years ago with the black light waterfalls of color.

Coates Caverns isn’t a duplication of the original Rainbow Caverns. This is a total upgrade and improvement of the original now that technology has come this far. The colors are more intense and vibrant thanks to the new improvements in black light dyes. The fountains dance and synchronize together to the mysterious chorus reminiscent of the music that played in the original Rainbow Caverns. In addition, there are water streams “jumping” over the train that are illuminated with LED’s (since dyed water landing on guests isn’t a good idea.

As guests enjoy the colorful water features for several minutes, the engineer blows the whistle and it echoes throughout the caverns. All of sudden, a low bass rumble is heard the “rumble packs” start going again. The fountain become more dramatic as they all turn red and bubble violently! Is it an earthquake? A volcano? Whatever it is, we gotta get out of here!

“Uh-oh, I don’t think Mother Nature likes being disturbed, I think there be a cave-in in progress, we need to steam on outta here!”

The train picks up speed and the walls narrow as the water dances like dangerous fire. The chorus that was once peaceful and tranquil now swells to a dramatic tempo. There’s an archaic lift used to haul cars out of the mine, looks like it still works luckily!

The train has just come out of the main show building and is now passing under the Disneyland Railroad tracks and back in the park, but sill underground, the only way to go now is up.

The chain lift for the Tunneler's route, where chaos is happening, is concealed in the rockwork in the direct center of the picture


Chugging up the lift, shaky, but still moving, the rock walls on each side shake more and more as we make our way up. Boulders and rocks break loose and move violently, and if things couldn’t get any worse, thousands of gallons of water spill into the cave and pour down the sides of the rock walls and the sides of the lift. Can the train make it out?

“Hang on tight everyone, we’re almost out!”

The front of the train reaches the top, still in darkness, and just as the last few cars crest the top of the lift hill a thunderous sound occurs—the lift collapses! The train hurries through the dark tunnel and there is silence as the sound of the waterfalls fade. Our worried prospector narrator comes back on:


“4…5…. 6…. 7… and 8! Looks like all of you in them ore cars made it! Whew, what an adventure!”

The train comes out of the dark mines and into the blinding sunlight. As our eyes adjust, we can see we’re back home and guests are enjoying their drinks at the Last Chance Saloon patio area.

"Well folks we’re nearing the end of the tour, we appreciate you taking yur time to visit the mines and we hope you come back soon. Please stay seated until the train stops, then gather your belongin’s and lift the jump seat in the middle and the door will come right open. Then head for the front of the train to exit. Thanks for joinin’ us and come back reeaal soon!"

Conclusion



Because of the very flexbile theming and abundance of stpace, the two lines of the Red Canyon Ridge are open to numberous additions, changes, or even overlays. This attraction is what Frontierland needs, one that excites the visitor, and takes them back to America’s early days of pioneering and exploration—something that has been missing for decades.