The goat of Big Thunder Mountain's legendary goat trick has yet to reappear according to Los Angeles Times blogger Brady MacDonald. To read more about the goat and the trick you can read his blog here.
The goat isn't a vital aspect to the attraction but I remember my disappointment when we pulled toward the hill during our holiday visit and it wasn't there. So I began to consider some of the other things around Disney theme parks that aren't absolutely necessary and probably overlooked or unnoticed that I would miss if they disappeared or were replaced. I know it sounds strange but I can't imagine that peak with another animal.
I immediately thought of the little elephant sculptures that sit atop the lightposts around Dumbo the Flying Elephant attraction. I love the pyramid of performing pachyderms. I can remember strolling over to the Disneyland Hotel to view a similar image in an oversized painting above the stairs in the Sierra tower. Whenever I stroll through Fantasyland either in Florida or California I always pause to admire them.
On a larger scale, I'll never forget the day they shifted the street between Disneyland and the hotels during the construction of Downtown Disney. We drove in via West St and drove home via the new street that was about 40 feet over. It just felt strange and unfamiliar.
As creatures of habit I sometimes wonder how many guests would end up in the wrong restroom if for some reason they swapped them — come to think of it they did just that to the restrooms outside the Plaza Inn (I think it was when they updated Disneyland's Tomorrowland in the 90s) and I can remember just barely catching myself before entering the wrong one.
Thankfully the missing goat offers less opportunity for embarassment.