RUMOR: Big Thunder Mountain Closing for Major Refurbishment As Part Of Magic Kingdom Expansion Project

Phil Wood

Updated on:

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad across Rivers of America at Magic Kingdom

RUMOR: Big Thunder Mountain Closing for Major Refurbishment As Part Of Magic Kingdom Expansion Project

Disney has filed a permit for a Big Thunder Mountain Railroad refurbishment, possibly indicating the beginning of the Beyond Big Thunder expansion project at Magic Kingdom.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad Permit Filed at Magic Kingdom

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad across Rivers of America at Magic Kingdom

As first reported by danlb_2000, DCBaker, and many others in the forums of WDWMagic, Disney has filed a “General Construction” permit for a major refurbishment of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. The permit assigned to Coastal Steel Inc. is set to expire on August 8, 2025. This provides a slightly longer timeframe than the typical one-year these permits are generally assigned for.

While this refurbishment for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is expected to make necessary updates to the beloved attraction, we have also heard rumors that this closure will likely coincide with the Beyond Big Thunder expansion.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad jan 2023 7480

Beyond Big Thunder was first announced at D23 Expo 2022. Initial rumors surrounding the project included themed lands dedicated to Pixar’s “Coco,” “Encanto,” and Disney Villains.

Since then, Disney has continued to provide more information. At D23 in September of 2023, the project was described as the largest in Magic Kingdom history and similar in scope to Pandora — The World of Avatar and Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.

Magic Kingdom expansion concept art 1200x678 1

In January of 2024, Disney teased more announcements regarding Frontierland. In April, Disney began the process of filing permits for the expansion. Today’s permit is the first filed concerning Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Initial rumors indicate that the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad closure could last for more than a year and begin as early as later this summer.

What themed lands are you hoping to see when the Beyond Big Thunder expansion officially gets underway?

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