Rainbow Ridge, also known as Big Thunder, is a fictional mining town that serves as the setting of Disneyland's Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and the previous Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland attraction.
Rainbow Ridge was a small mining town established in the 1860s by the Big Thunder Mining Company to mine Big Thunder Mountain. With the wealth of gold in the mountain, it became "The Biggest Little Boom Town in the West", with its population peaking at 2,015 people. However, with the mine becoming plagued by supernatural incidents caused by the restless spirits of local Indian tribal folklore, the flow of gold from the mountain declined and the population went with it, going down to 38.
Rainbow Ridge debuted on July 2, 1956 as a backdrop for the loading area of the Rainbow Caverns Mine Train and the Pack Mules, Stagecoaches, and Wagons that traveled through the Rainbow Desert of Frontierland. Built in forced perspective to hide the showbuilding for the Rainbow Caverns, the miniature mining town would be retained for the attraction's retool into Mine Train Through Nature's Wonderland in 1960. The attraction closed in 1977 and much of the town was demolished for Big Thunder Mountain. A few buildings were retained for the new attraction however, with the town taking on the name of Big Thunder, though it would still be informally referred to as Rainbow Ridge enough that a 2013 refurbishment and restoration would bring back the old name.
Rainbow Ridge is the setting of Disney Kingdoms: Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Established by Barnabas T. Bullion, Rainbow Ridge is facing troubles with the deteriorating safety conditions of the mine and unequal distribution of the wealth. A posse lead by Jason Chandler has taken things into their own hands, stealing gold shipments and buying supplies and goods for the townspeople. When Abigail Bullion joins Chandler's gang and the conflict escalates, the Spirit of Big Thunder eventually shuts the door, with the townspeople lead by Chandler and the Bullions seeking to settle somewhere new.
The conflict of the summer-long game was focused around the citizens of Rainbow Ridge looking to claim-jump their neighbors in Frontierland as a result of the mine's decline. Guests could pick a side in the conflict and stake their own claims on a daily basis.