Big Thunder Mountain Railroad has been operating since 1979 and portrays… (Jay L. Clendenin, Los Angeles…)
Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is closing Jan. 7 to get new tracks, vehicles and paint.
It will be the third major overhaul of a major Disneyland ride in as many years.
The railroad in the Frontierland section of the Anaheim park has been operating since 1979 and portrays a runaway train that speeds through a barren Old West landscape.
The ride is expected to reopen in fall 2013.
Disneyland completed a similar overhaul of its Matterhorn Bobsleds ride this year that also included new paint, tracks and vehicles.
Matterhorn's new vehicles have received mixed reviews.
The old vehicles crammed two riders per car, with one sitting in the lap of the other.
The new cars offer each rider an individual seat, but the seats are cramped and provide little cushioning.
Splash Mountain, the flume ride in Disneyland's Critter Country, underwent a similar makeover in 2011.
A spokeswoman for the park said Big Thunder Mountain will get new trains, but they will probably resemble the existing trains, with no major changes to the seats.