The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction is gearing up for its opening this spring, with Imagineers marking major milestones as we approach the completion of its construction. The ride is the centerpiece of New Fantasyland, an area that also includes attractions and experiences centered around classic films The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. It is all part of the largest expansion in the history of the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, so there is a significant amount of buzz in the air, which only grew today as an Imagineer working on the attraction shared a few new details!
The Disney Parks Blog hosted a live-chat with Imagineer Dave Minichiello, who spoke in-depth about the construction of both the ride’s exterior and interior. Those who have passed the construction site recently may have seen the addition of the first trees to the rocky mountain terrain, which instantly imbued the exterior with some life. Even with work remaining, as the walls have started to come down, it is clear that we have something special.
As for the story of the ride, it looks like we will not simply see a retelling of the classic Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, or even just a tale from the perspective of the dwarves, as Minichiello stated:
You’ll be able to experience many of your favorite characters from the film.
The Dwarfs are really fun and lovable characters and I think that after seeing the classic film of Snow White, how many of our guests wouldn’t want to go into the film? This attraction gave us an opportunity to go in depth with other story lines in the movie.
Minichiello also discussed the unique attraction vehicle, which not only propels riders along the track, but also swings them from side to side, providing a different experience than we have become accustomed to in other coasters. That system also allows for variation based upon where the vehicle is at that moment, which should help extend the immersive element of the ride:
It has proven to be pretty amazing and a very smooth attraction. It’s a completely new experience – not only having the sensation of pivoting back and forth and it varies throughout the attraction. You feel differences in the various terrain around the mountain.
The conversation then turned to the queue, which Disney has been obsessive about lately, and you can tell from the additions to the Haunted Mansion, Dumbo, and Big Thunder Mountain queues. Gone are the days where you stand in line, twiddling your thumbs (or are stuck on your mobile devices) with nothing better to do than wait your turn to ride. Disney has done an incredible job at starting the storytelling of the ride from the moment you step into the queue. Termed “interactive queues,” there are a number of activities for both kids and adults to partake in that serve almost as a pre-show. Steps are being taken to provide the Mine Train with its own interactive queue:
The queue has a surprise song in it that was originally written for the film called ‘Music In Your Soup,’ which we’ve recorded in instrumental version and added to our queue area. All of the music in the queue area is all instrumental, and we wanted to give it a feel that it was played by the Seven Dwarfs.
Yes, we do have some interactive elements in the queue. Part of the “scene one” in the queue area helps us start to tell the story. We have an area where guests can sort and wash jewels, and for the first time, we’re taking guests into the vault as seen in the classic film ‘Snow White.’
Minichiello also added that the height limit for the ride would be 38″, which should allow most families to ride together.
A new video was revealed, which gives us a preview of how it will feel to be on the ride itself. We see how closely the near-final product is to the rendering that was generated some time ago. Also, don’t worry – the video is only meant to be a comparison to the initial rendering, not even close to being a full ride-through, so there is quite a bit that remains a secret, for now:
When asked about an opening date, we were simply told that the big day would be sometime this spring. That is just around the corner, so go ahead and allow yourself to get more excited. It looks like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train will indeed be special – a combination of a mine train ride such as Big Thunder Mountain and a dark ride like Winnie The Pooh – and will appeal to a wide range of guests. Stay tuned for more as we approach the grand opening!