On May 2, Walt Disney World Resort dedicated the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train during a special ceremony held at Magic Kingdom. The family-friendly roller coaster, inspired by “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” takes guests on a ride into a mine featuring Disney’s favorite Dwarfs hard at work.
Walt Disney Parks & Resorts Chairman Tom Staggs attended the dedication ceremony for the family coaster, which was broadcast live on the Disney Parks Blog. The dedication also featured appearances by the Seven Dwarfs and their friend, Snow White. The Disney Princess, along with Dopy, used a special golden pickaxe against a faux boulder, mimicking the dedication of a ship using a champagne bottle.
Friday’s dedication Walt Disney World (WDW) also announced the attraction’s official opening date. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opens to all guests May 28.
The dedication of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train marks the completion of New Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom. At the ceremony, Staggs said about the family coaster:
“Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is both literally and figuratively the centerpiece of New Fantasyland, so we knew it had to be something special. The attraction appeals to everyone in the family and provides just the right blend of heart, humor, and thrill while keeping with the charm of this special land.
“It’s my honor to dedicate the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which we think will become an instant classic in New Fantasyland.”
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train offers family fun in New Fantasyland
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train carefully draws upon Disney’s 1937 animated movie “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” by using scenes and music from the film. The family coaster not only offers dark-ride elements, evoking some of Walt Disney World’s (WDW’s) classic attraction, but features its own innovations. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train offers ride vehicles that swing back and forth during the ride, helping to immerse guests into the feeling they are taking a “wild” ride on a mine train.
In announcing the opening date for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Walt Disney World launched a brief interactive game on its site. When completed, the game revealed a Miner’s Kit that offers some brief information on the ride. The kit also provides instructions useful for playing the games found in the attraction’s queue.
Rolling and rocking with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Coaster enthusiasts awaiting WDW’s first roller coaster since 2006 will appreciate Disney’s mine cars. The family-friendly coaster itself is mild, with 31-foot and 41-foot drops and no inversions, and may be ridden by guests 38” and taller. As with so many things Disney, the biggest thrills can be found in the attractions innovations and details.
After passing through an interactive pre-show area with fun activities themed to mining – such as washing and sorting gems – guests board the mine cars that take them on a journey in and outside the mine. Each one of the trains for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train has five mine cars that will hold four guests. The cars are designed independently from side to side, a newly patented design from Walt Disney Imagineering developed for this attraction.
The track for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train enhances this “rock-n-roll” effect. It winds, climbs and dips to take guests in and outside the mine for a glimpse at the Dwarfs’ work and home. The interior scenes for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train use Audio-Animatronics of the dwarfs, and the mine trains slow down to let guests look at the scenes.
Because the coaster is almost completely “on stage,” WDW notes that guests can see New Fantasyland from a variety of angles when traveling outside the mine. Maurice’s cottage and Beast’s Castle above Be Our Guest Restaurant, for instance, can be seen during the ride. It’s a quick look, of course, as the ride only lasts a few minutes.
Digging for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train details
For many Disney guests, some of the appeal of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will be in its theming – for how WDW draws upon the movie to create a detailed environment. For the family coaster and its queue, Walt Disney Imagineers incorporated elements and details that will be familiar to guests who know the animated movie.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train begins as Disney guests cross a stone bridge and walk through a forest. The setting is a nod to the movie’s striking multiplane scene when Snow White finds the Dwarfs’ cottage (sometimes referred to as Snow White’s cottage).
The look of the Dwarfs’ cottage references “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” in details as varied as the roof’s color combinations and the slope of its eaves, the lanterns and the decorative forest creatures etched into the house. The attraction even includes the wisteria vine and birdhouse found at the movie’s cottage. The coaster’s props – ropes, pulleys, lanterns and the use, size and color of jewels – were similarly inspired by the movie.
On the attraction, the mine cars look like those in the film, resembling the roughly-hewn cars the dwarfs use to excavate rocks and transport jewels. The interior scenes offer guests a look at the Dwarfs’ lives, evoking the film through recreating such elements as Doc’s mine workstation and the familiar “…home from work we go” scene where the dwarfs’ cast dramatically large shadows.
As with many recent Disney attractions, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train offers an interactive queue. Activities have a mining theme as, for example, the gem sorting and washing game. A note from Doc tells guests how to sort the gems that flow by in a wooden trough, another example of WDW’s use of screens. Guests can sort the jewels into a tray, matching them by color and shape. And at the jewel-washing station, 12 spigots – which correspond to the notes of the musical scale – will encourage guests to play music and maybe even whistle while they wait (and get wet).
In addition to the mining activities, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’s interactive queue is filled with references to the Disney movie. Mining tools, barrels and hoists are scattered throughout the queue tunnel and at the boarding area. Disney guests with a soft spot for Dopey will appreciate the third station in the interactive queue, which references the vault.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train offers more than just a look at the Dwarfs, including a few surprises. The family coaster includes a glimpse at Snow White and of the Evil Queen, in her disguise as an old hag. And there are even a couple of hidden Mickeys.
There’s even a nod or two to Snow White’s Scary Adventures, the dark ride that was closed as part of Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland expansion. At the cottage, near the attraction’s end, guests will see the figures of Grumpy, Doc, Bashful, Sleepy, and Happy. There are also two vultures from the attraction, found on the jib crane near the mine’s entrance.
With the official opening of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Walt Disney World Resort completes New Fantasyland, the multi-year expansion of Magic Kingdom first announced in 2009. New Fantasyland includes the Enchanted Forest area, with attractions such as Enchanted Tales with Belle and Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, and the popular Be Our Guest Restaurant. New Fantasyland also include Storybook Circus, which is the relocated home to Dumbo The Flying Elephant and The Barnstormer kiddie coaster, and the new Casey Junior Splash ‘N’ Soak Station and Pete’s Silly Sideshow tent for Disney character meet-and-greets.