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Robert Niles

Monday morning wake-up, with the 'wildest ride in the wilderness'

Published: November 18, 2012 at 11:40 PM

Let's get this short work-week started with a trip on Walt Disney World's recently refurbished Big Thunder Mountain Railroad:

I recorded this during my visit to Orlando last week, using the Pivothead eyeglass camera that I got for my birthday. It's an 8 megapixel 1080p video camera embedded in the sunglasses' frame, which allows me to record without using any handheld or body-mounted camera. I used them to do some recording at the IAAPA show last week, as well as to get some of the construction photos from Universal Orlando that I posted then. I plan to use the glasses camera to shoot additional video for the site that I'll be posting in the weeks to come.

That said, I thought Thunder looked to be in pretty good shape. Sure, I miss the "falling" rocks on the third lift, but after the rocks actually fell at Disneyland Paris, none of the world's four Big Thunder Mountains now have that effect (and I've ridden them all in the past year). Here's hoping Disney finds a way to safely return that effect soon, though.

Update: I forgot to note that the Legend of Captain Jack Sparrow attraction is now in soft opening at Disney's Hollywood Studios. Please follow the link to rate, review and submit photos if you've been on it.

Replies (10)

Published: November 18, 2012 at 11:56 PM

Thanks for sharing-- I enjoyed watching that. Really cool technology. I like the ability to turn your head and look at things and record what you are looking at. Also, I don't want to make the trip to Florida, but like being able to vicariously experience other versions of classic Disney rides.
Tom Rigg

Published: November 19, 2012 at 5:27 AM

There are two other effects that I'm sad didn't make it back after this refurb: The bathtub doesn't rotate anymore, and they still didn't get those possums spinning.
Rob P

Published: November 19, 2012 at 6:06 AM

This made feel as if i was actually in the car and riding the Mountain. That's some piece of equipment. More info on that please Robert.
Rod Whitenack

Published: November 19, 2012 at 7:00 AM

Glasses cam? Robert, you've gone all James Bond on us!
Brian Emery

Published: November 19, 2012 at 12:30 PM

Nice picture…

I am hoping you do not use this new toy to take ‘Adult’ videos.. hahahhaha

Tony Duda

Published: November 19, 2012 at 1:55 PM

Nice video. Did the camera do all the exposure changes from inside to outside and back automatically? What kind of settings were they?

Published: November 19, 2012 at 2:55 PM

Actually the Big Thunder Mountain in Disneyland CA still has that effect. I went last month and it was still there.
M. Ryan Traylor

Published: November 20, 2012 at 11:29 AM

Robert, I must say, the quality of that camera is amazing. And the auto iris has a smooth transition.
Robert Niles

Published: November 20, 2012 at 12:26 PM

The camera was all in auto mode throughout. I think the flat lighting of the overcast day probably helped with the indoor/outdoor transitions, but I'm not an optics expert.
David Brown

Published: November 21, 2012 at 1:48 AM

@ Tom:

I rode it two weeks ago and the Possums spun for me!

What was more disappointing was that the geysers/rock pools at the ride's end weren't working so the grand finale was a shuffle past some empty basins....

Generally speaking though the ride looked great and is still a classic piece of Disney - mild enough to be family friendly, but detailed enough and thrilling enough to give seasoned enthusiasts a good time :)

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