Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Jungle Cruise to Undergo Extensive Refurbishments in 2020 at the Magic Kingdom

Jessica Figueroa

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Jungle Cruise to Undergo Extensive Refurbishments in 2020 at the Magic Kingdom

So maybe The Rock was right after all. Things are gearing up at the Magic Kingdom for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary on October 1st, 2021, and it seems Cinderella Castle pathways and Tomorrowland aren’t the only things getting some much-needed updates and TLC. Over in Adventureland and Frontierland, refurbishments will be taking place as well…

Big Thunder Mountain

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad will begin a large-scale refurbishment next year, likely completed by the Summer of 2020.

You’ll recall that the last time this ride saw any major changes was back in 2013 for the installation of the updated, interactive queue. Despite that, BTMR’s queue is still one of the hottest and most tortuous experiences in Walt Disney World.

Well, this refurb should finally bring the explosive finale sequence that was installed at the attraction in 2014 at Disneyland and in 2016 over in Disneyland Paris. In the sequence, projection mapping effects show dynamite exploding throughout the cavern, leading to one massive fog filled explosion as you head into the final drop. You can check out the effect in the video below:

We’ve seen this addition go on and off the refurbishment schedule for years now, but it appears it is finally happening.

Magic Kingdom Jungle Cruise Sign
(C) Matthew Cooper Photography –

The Jungle Cruise will also be undergoing a fairly large refurbishment before the start of the 50th Anniversary.

While The Rock has hinted at movie tie-ins for the attraction with the upcoming release of the Jungle Cruise movie in 2020, Disney has prematurely shot that idea down, and it’s still unclear whether that is to come to fruition. In any case, the attraction will definitely be seeing some improvements and general updates for the 50th Anniversary, and the refurb just so happens to be the same year as the release of the film.

No exact start or end dates have been announced for either refurbishment as of yet.

Are you looking forward to any of these updates and changes for Walt Disney World’s 50th Anniversary? Let us know in the comments below!

Featured Image: Matthew Cooper Photography (C)

11 thoughts on “Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Jungle Cruise to Undergo Extensive Refurbishments in 2020 at the Magic Kingdom”

  1. The Big Thunder Mountain Railroad fire effects will be awesome on the final lift! I was blown away by Disneyland’s version after riding WDWs version!

  2. Yes and no yes they are overdue for some updates. No I have a trip planed in the spring and with everything else going on down in Disney world this means one less thing to do.

  3. I really enjoyed this article as BTMRR is my ultimate “happy place” in the entire world! I hope the refurbishment wont have it shut down for too long, but it will be interesting to see the outcome.

    My other question is about an article or news piece I saw entitled: “50 by 50….” Fifty ongoing projects and infrastructure improvements slated for completion by Disney World 50th Anniversary”
    But I can’t find the article , can you point me in the right direction?


  4. I hope the refurb for Jungle Cruise will be like the one in Tokyo Disneyland! The cave has cool effects in it! Super excited about this refurb & the one on Big Thunder. Can’t wait to go again after all these changes take place!

  5. as much as i’m dreaded being at disney the week of the opening of SWGE (not by choice, we had our trip planned first) i’m really glad i don’t have a 2020 trip planned. between everything at epcot and now all the rumored closures at MK, you’re going to pay for half running parks.

  6. YES. I am disappointed when attractions are closed during visits. However, it is necessary. The park gets so much use that is needs to refurbish from time to time.

  7. I think Jungle Cruise and all of the other Disney original creations need to be left just as they are!

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