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Tumbleweed.jpg

Tumbleweed is a location in the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad mythos.

History

Background

Tumbleweed is an Arizona mining-town which was built in the Big Thunder Mountain Range around 1880 and held an establishment of the Big Thunder Mining Company. This would hold the headquarters of the Big Thunder Mining Company and its owner Barnabas T. Bullion. Due to angering the Spirit of Big Thunder, Tumbleweed would suffer from disasters such as an extreme drought which caused the population to decrease. A snake-oil salesman called Prof. Cumulus Isobar would come to Tumbleweed offering his services to summon a rain, intending on exploiting the drought and leaving after being given their money. Ironically, the spirit of Big Thunder would summon a flash-flood which stranded Cumulus in the town while the remaining townsfolk enjoyed the water.

Locations

  • Big Thunder Boarding House: All miners were forced by the Big Thunder Mining Company to stay in the boarding house, run by one Mrs. Liddy Stockley.
  • Big Thunder Mining Company Offices:
  • B.T. Bullion Company Store: This was a store owned by Barnabas T. Bullion where he sold Big Thunder Mining Company employees the equipment that they needed to work for him.
  • The Gold Dust Saloon: A saloon run by one Mother Lode. At night time, those within can be seen partying. It also holds a Miner's Hall on its second level.
  • Dry Goods: The town's general store.
  • Dave V. Jones' Mine: A mine which is found nearby Tumbleweed in the mountain range which the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad passes through.
  • Pecos Bill Tall Tall Inn & Cafe: This was a cafe located outside the main, flooded section of the town, run by folk-hero Pecos Bill.

Development History

Tumbleweed was inspired by Dry Gulch from the planned Western River Expedition attraction, a ride which also inspired Phantom Manor. It is the setting for the Magic Kingdom's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.

Appearances

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Tumbleweed appears in this attraction with guests seeing the stranded professor and a citizen named Cousin Elrond gleefully floating in the water within a tub. At night, residents of the Gold Nugget Saloon can be seen partying.

Connections

Tumbleweed has been advertised in the Thunder Mesa Daily Messenger newspaper of Thunder Mesa. According to this newspaper, the Mark Twain Riverboat arranges for transportation to Tumbleweed through the Rivers of the Far West. Posters outside of WDW's Big Thunder during refurbishments also advertised it as being along the Butterfly Stage Line coaches along with Rainbow Ridge and Thunder Mesa. A sign in Disneyland would point to Tumbleweed along with Rainbow Ridge, Tumbleweed and Thunder Mesa.

The mining office building also features allusions to the Museum of the Weird being headed by one Madame Zarkov and the Society of Explorers and Adventurers which is connected to the Haunted Mansion as-well as attractions such as Mystic Manor.

Trivia

  • Based off of posters and advertisements found in the offices for the BTM Company, it is possible that the Pecos Bill Tall Tale Inn & Cafe is located in Tumbleweed.
  • In Disney Kingdoms, Tumbleweed was opted out for Rainbow Ridge.
  • The Dave V. Jones mine is an allusion to the nautical folklore figure of Davy Jones who notably appeared in Pirates of the Caribbean as the captain of the Flying Dutchman.
  • The queue for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad identifies the characters of Pecos Bill and Slue-Foot Sue from Melody Time (1948) live in Tumbleweed along with Mrs. Stockley from Apple Dumpling Gang (1975), with Apple Dumpling Gang characters Theodore Ogelvie and Amos Tucker also being identified as having visited. Pecos Bill's inn was also used to host various various figures from history and folklore including Annie Oakley, Johnny Appleseed, John Henry, Casey Jones, George Russel, Jim Bowie, Kit Carson, Buffalo Bill, the Lone Ranger, and Davy Crockett.

References

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