When DISNEYLAND first opened, the wild frontier of Frontierland was truly wild. The park featured a pack mule ride and real horse drawn stage coaches. Finicky mules and overturned stagecoaches filled with tourists soon made Walt Disney rethink that entire side of the park. How could he make a safer, more reliable Adventure through the Wild West? With a train, of course!
Guests piled into train cars and explored the wild frontier over bridges and through tunnels. Animatronic bears and other animals entertained guests alongside the tracks.
The slow moving train soon fell out of favor with park management. After the wild successes of both the Matterhorn and Space Mountain, another mountain-based roller coaster was seen as a no-brainer. Out went the tranquil railroad ride and in came the wildest ride in the wilderness- Big Thunder Mountain.