It was another round of bad publicity for Frontierland‘s biggest attraction on 27th October when one of the trains at Big Thunder Mountain suffered a minor derailment, but luckily this turned out to be a blink-and-you-miss-it blip for the ride. On the evening of Thursday 27th October, a coach near the back of one train derailed before the second lift hill in the middle of the ride, causing it to lift off the rails on a straight piece of track. Travelling at “low speed”, according to reports, there were thankfully no officially recorded injuries and all guests we safely evacuated from the island.
The attraction closed immediately, as pictured in the photo from 28th October above, but ultimately only remained shuttered for three full days. It reopened on Monday 31st October, just in time for the sold-out Disney’s Halloween Party that evening, having been deemed safe to resume service after all the necessary checks and verifications. Visitors such as member sfr31 on Disney Central Plaza have remarked that the ride was nevertheless operating at reduced capacity, with long queue lines and only three trains in operation. Reports of the incident — from its possible causes to the coaches which derailed and even the exact location of the derailment — have been contradictory to say the least, though a photo of the train has now appeared on the website of a South of France news service.
This incident clearly has no connection to that at the ride in April earlier this year, when a piece of fibreglass scenery fell and injured a guest, but no doubt its Cast Members will be hoping the “wildest ride in the wilderness” stays out of the headlines for the foreseeable future.