Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a family friendly roller-coaster combined with elements of a traditional Disney dark ride at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom Park. It was the last, and some would argue best, attraction constructed as part of Disney’s New Fantasyland expansion. The ride officially opened on May 28th, 2014.
On September 12, 2009 Jay Rasulo, who was at the time Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, announced that Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom was getting a major expansion. At the time of the initial announcement the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was not included. On January 18, 2011 the revised plans for New Fantasyland were announced. The new plans included the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train as a replacement for the princess section of New Fantasyland that had been part of the original plans. The addition of Mine Train was seen as direct response to criticism that the New Fantasyland expansion was completely focused on young girls and had nothing to offer young boys.
Disney continues to try to distract guests from the fact they are in line by adding interactive features to the queue line. This particular interactive queue features diamond sorting, creating music by catching water in your hand and making the dwarfs and Snow White dance on the ceiling by spinning barrels. Check out the video to see how these features work. Guests who use the Fastpass system will bypass most of not all of the interactive queue features.
Once you are through the queue guests board the mine train and head off to see the dwarfs at work. The ride will finish when the dwarfs come back home to have a little party with Snow White at the cottage. The ride can be broken down into four sections.
The first section is pure roller coaster fun. It is, however, a mild coaster. The thrill, speed and drops are somewhat more exciting than Goofy’s Barnstormer but less than Big Thunder Mountain. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is billed as a family attraction, as are all of the rides in Fantasyland, and should not be too extreme for even the smallest of children as long as they meet the 38 inch height requirement. It is a roller coaster though and parents should decide if it is right for their children. Older children and adults who do not like sudden drops and turns might want to sit this one out too.
This roller coaster has one feature that is not common to roller coasters. The carts are suspended just like real mine carts would be and they are free to move from side to side. This means when you go into corners they will rock and effectively bank you against the turn. This not only adds to the thrill it also tends to make the ride a little smoother by most accounts.
This part of the ride, as all of the other parts are, is through beautifully created scenery. The ability to look down on the rest of Fantasyland would make the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train worth riding even if the rest of the ride was not as good as it is.
Section two of the ride is a typical Disney dark ride. Guests will see the dwarfs at work (or in the case of Sleepy, asleep.) The animatronics are top rate. The standard animatronic faces have been replaced, however, with 3D projections. While purists object to this change from pure animatronics the effect is quite convincing. The dwarfs are able to emote in ways traditional animatronics never could. This section of the ride comes to a close when the clock strikes time to go home and dwarfs break out into song and head home. Bet you can’t guess what song they sing!
As the mine train heads up a hill you can see the shadows created by the dwarfs as they exit the mine.
Section three moves once more into roller coaster mode. The scenery is again top notch.
The fourth and last section is when the train slows and comes to a stop just before returning to the station. Here guests can take a peak into the dwarfs’ cottage and see them dancing with Snow White. The last thing visible is the wicked queen disguised as the old hag. She cackles as she holds a basket of apples just outside the cottage window.
The video below, produced by Disney, is billed as a full ride-through but it leaves out a few parts of the ride.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the most exciting new rides of the New Fantasyland expansion. It is well worth the time for everyone except those small children who do not meet the height requirements and the most timid of guests. It is also a popular ride. Using a Fastpass is recommended for all but the slowest of seasons.
Many of the props and animatronics from Snow White’s Scary Adventure have been re-purposed for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
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