Disney has filed a patent believed to be linked to the closure of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad in the Magic Kingdom. The popular attraction will likely close for a significant amount of time in the near future as it receives a major renovation.

With Tiana’s Bayou Adventure opening at the end of June, this increased ride capacity gives Walt Disney World the chance to work on Big Thunder Mountain with minimal disruption to park guests. 

Big Thunder Mountain Construction Permit

The permit describes "General Construction" and has been assigned to Coastal Steel Inc., which often works on Disney Coasters. It expires on 8th August 2025 and it is rumoured that the closure could last for around a year.

This particular construction permit describes substantial work on the ride system. While it’s not likely to be a re-track (this would mean the ride was closed for a serious amount of time), this kind of maintenance is crucial to the longevity of the Big Thunder Mountain attraction.

What’s Happening to Big Thunder (and Beyond)

beyond big thunder
Very early concept art for Beyond Big Thunder, likely to be updated at D23.

This attraction update comes at a time when Disney is also rumoured to be starting the Beyond Big Thunder expansion. This new land will sit behind Big Thunder Mountain in the Magic Kingdom and is believed to be a similar size to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. 

IP is yet to be confirmed for this area, though many speculate it could include Coco and a Disney villain-themed area – this would be a great way to challenge Epic Universe’s Dark Universe.

The above early concept art was shared by Walt Disney Imagineers in 2021, though the Encanto Casa Madrigal house (seen on the right) is now more likely to feature in Animal Kingdom's Tropical Americas expansion instead.

New details about Beyond Big Thunder will likely be revealed at the D23 event in August.