Do YOU know all about the famous mountain ranges of Disney Parks?
Disney World and Disneyland both have a number of mountain-themed rides, ranging from Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, Expedition Everest, Matterhorn Bobsleds, and, of course, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. During the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, a man went viral for constructing his very own version of the Matterhorn in a backyard, and now he’s taking on a new challenge.
The OC Register reported that Sean LaRochelle is currently building a tribute to Disneyland’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in his parents’ Napa backyard. He previously created a 26-foot-tall backyard version of the Matterhorn Bobsleds, called “Matterhorn: Alpine Escape,” which he has since deconstructed to make his new roller coaster.
LaRochelle is a twenty-nine-year-old working towards a Master’s in architecture, and he is currently being assisted by a team of 60 volunteers with his version of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, dubbed “Little Thunder.” Little Thunder will be twice as long as his previous Matterhorn roller coaster and with a $15,000 budget, they’ve been working on it for eight months.
LaRochelle calls backyard roller coaster building his “full-time job,” and refers to the coasters as temporary “kinetic sculptures,” according to the OC Register. The “Little Thunder” project is also a family affair, with LaRochelle’s engineer father helping out, his sister designing twelve Old West town scenes and buildings, and his brother welding wheels.
LaRochelle said that this project had a lot more planning involved, and Little Thunder will end up being 14-foot-tall, with a lift hill and an 8-foot drop. The finished ride will be 2 1/2 minutes long, even including an air-launch that takes riders from “zero to 25 mph in 1.2 seconds,” as reported by OC Register.
Construction for Little Thunder Construction is about half-way done. The mountain structure is finished and they’re working on the second half of the track now. After he finishes school, LaRochelle plans to move to Florida with his family in hopes of entering the entertainment industry.
We wish we could have our favorite Disney roller coaster in our backyard! Stick with DFB for all your Disney-related news!
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