Mine Train thru Nature's Wonderland
There were more “rides”* on Main Street U.S.A. than in Frontierland on opening day July 17, 1955. The Rivers of America boasted boats like the S.S. Mark Twain Sternwheel Packet Steamer, and the 'wide open spaces' of Frontierland were filled with Natures Wonderland through which two attractions featured a ride - Pack Mules thru Nature's Wonderland and Wagon/Stage-Coach through Nature's Wonderland. both equestrian in nature. It wasn't until 1960 that my favorite opened, the Mine Train featuring Rainbow Caverns. [more]…
Nature's Wonderland at Disneyland
The Beauty of America's Deserts Evolves from an Anaheim Orange Grove
When Disneyland opened to an eagerly awaiting pubic in 1955, 22 adventures and attractions (there are now more than 50) were presented for the first time, one of which was the Mine Train journey through Nature's Wonderland. As the first Mine Train pulled out of it's Frontierland station, its load of "pioneers" were comfortably seated in railway cars to recall those long-forgotten days of mining and desert prospecting. The engineer headed his locomotive toward the buttes and rock formations and told a story to his passengers: " few years ago, this was all row after row of orange trees. Today…cactus, snakes, sagebrush, desert. That's progress for you."
One of the most popular, and beautiful, attractions in the Park, the Mine Train ride is based on elements of four Disney films, three of them Academy Award winners. Bever Valley, Bear Country, The Living Desert, and The Olympic Elk, provided the inspiration for the seven-acre Nature's Wonderland.
So realistic are the more than 200 life-like animals, birds and reptiles that the migratory birds which fly over Disneyland have often attacked the animated ravens and owls. With its forest, desert and mountains, and with "Old Unfaithful Geyser" spouting water 70 feet in the air, Nature's Wonderland is indeed the early western wilderness, re-born for a later western civilization.
The last few minutes of the Mine Train Ride are perhaps the most beautiful moments of any Disneyland attraction, the Rainbow Caverns. Here is a series of underground chambers, lit only by dazzling ribbons of water cascading down cavern walls and into streams of red, blue, green, yellow and purple.
When Walt Disney envisioned this part of Nature's Wonderland he called in a noted scientist to determine if it could be done. The scientist proved that all of the colors wold turn to gray. Walt's reaction? "Well, it's kind of fun to do the impossible."
A few months later the Rainbow Caverns opened at Disneyland. Today, years after the completion, visitors can pick out six distinct and beautiful colors—none of them gray!
Early in its journey, the Mine Train passes Big Thunder, the largest water fall in Disneyland.
After traveling safely through Bear Country…
…and Beaver Valley…
…things get rocky around the bend in Nature's Wonderland.
And Old Unfaithful erupts at the worst moment, as passengers on this train will attest.
Thrills and desert beauty are around every bend as the Mine Train Chugs across the Frontierland Desert. Rock formations spinning downward toward passengers are just the prelude to a breathtaking climax: spectacular Rainbow Caverns, where multi-colored stalactites, stalagmites and waterfalls are viewed.
Remember when you were courting that best girl?So many happy, carefree hours…the same atmosphere you find throughout Disneyland…whether you're
blasting off on a rocket flight to outer space, or prancing merrily to a calliope tune aboard one of 72 lively steeds on Fantasyland's carrousel.
The whole family loves a show…and one of the most popular at Disneyland is Richfield's
The World Beneath Us. In CinemaScope and Technicolor, this Walt Disney cartoon motion picture tells the story of oil…presented by the company which fills you car with the West's formost premium, Richfield Boron Gasoline — over 100 octane.
Grand Opening of
Nature's Wonderland Rail Road
The Wilderness Route
Mine Trains & Pack Mules leave
Rainbow Ridge in
to take you on a TrueLife Adventure through the newly explored
with its splendid scene spectacle and amazing life-like activities
of more than
200 Birds • Beasts & Reptiles
at work and play
in their Natural Habitat made possible through the
marvelous medium of audio-animatronics
SEE Beaver Valley • Cascade Peak
Bear Country • Olympic Elk
Experience the grandeur of
Natural-Arch Bridge THE Living
Desert & THE Saguaro Forest
Thrill to the drama of
Old Unfaithful Geyser, Rattle
Snake Gulch • Graveyard of the
Dinosaurs • Balancing Rock Canyon
Climaxed by the Spectacular & Magnificent
© Walt Disney Productions
The 'Locomotive' and two ore cars were from Mine Train through Nature's Wonderland which opened in 1960 and closed to make room for the current attraction at that location, the roller-coaster (which had the accident) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Great news! You can now get close enough to touch it. It's being restored for display and is located at Walt's Barn, the Carolwood Pacific Railroad Museum and the birthplace of Imagineering. Visit 12 times a year, on the third Sunday, at 5202 Zoo Drive in Griffith Park, Los Angeles, CA. [seen in: www.flickr.com/search/?tags=natureswonderland }
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