I was fortunate to attend a great media event at Walt Disney World® last week. The highlight of the three day event was a special dinner held in the New Fantasyland, along with a chance to ride the new attraction. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train sits grandly in the center of the New Fantasyland. The detail of the outside structure itself is phenomenal. I found myself walking around looking at the mountain that houses the mine from many different angles and being amazed at the detail throughout the structure.
The interactive queue that guests will be waiting in is one of the best Disney has ever created. The portion of the queue that has guests waiting outside is full of greenery and decorations, as well as large fans to keep guests a little cooler during warm weather. Once you enter the inner sections of the queue there are several interactive activities that guests can enjoy while waiting to board the train. There are wonderful shots of the interactive activities in the video below.
I was able to ride the attraction several times during the evening and each ride was more exciting than the one before. My first ride through I was in the very front car which gave me a grand view of everything! Each ride through I sat in a different car location of the train and found that it was a different experience on each ride. The attraction offers a smooth ride even when it appears as if you are almost sideways around a loop. I have never been a fan of roller coasters but I know this ride will be on my “must do” list forever.
There is a perfect mix of fast (but not too fast) with slower speeds as you go through the actual mine itself full of dwarfs working and singing. Just before returning to the station you pass by the cottage with Snow White and the Dwarfs dancing happily together and then get a glimpse of the evil witch peeking in the window. The animatronics are fabulous and life-like and I found myself caught up in singing along! I think the ride is very family friendly. The queue will keep children (and adults) entertained while they wait in line. As long as a child meets the height requirement I think that most children will find it a great experience. Although from the outside it looks like some of the loops and drops may be too much, the ride is extremely smooth and the lap bars so secure that I really think most children will love it.
Although I absolutely love the attraction and was mesmerized by the detail, I did have one concern. The cars seem small. I rode with a friend that is smaller than I am (neither of us are big) and we sat shoulder to shoulder. John from Big Fat Panda was able to ride alone utilizing both lap bars (one on each leg). I asked what would happen if there were a larger parent and a child if it is necessary for a larger person to ride utilizing both lap bars. The answer I received from a Cast Member was that the parent would have to find someone else to ride with their child. That wasn’t really the answer I wanted to hear and frankly found it an unacceptable response. I will continue to question that situation to see if they come up with a better solution.
The ride will open to the public on May 28. Many are hoping for some soft opening test rides between now and then but Disney is being very quiet about whether or not that will happen. I personally think the best time for some soft openings that allow random guests to ride would be a great addition to the 24 hour Magic Kingdom #RockYourDisneySide event.
My friend John of Big Fat Panda was able to video tape his ride through as well as the queue and I hope you all enjoy seeing it:
Many thanks to John from Big Fat Panda for the video! He always does a great job. You can see lots of his work on his YouTube Channel – BigFatPanda