Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is definitely a step up in Walt Disney attractions with new technology and classic story. I’m a strong believer in the idea that to fully appreciate and understand the parks/attractions, you need to first learn about the history and people behind it. If you haven’t read part one of our Mine Train journey, please read about the history behind here.
A thing I love about this new area is it doesn’t reveal everything as once. There are trees, rocks, and boulders that give you the effect that you are wandering through the forest. Embedded in the path’s concrete are the prints of forest animals, sticks, stones, and acorns.
Oftentimes, people hate waiting in the queue and will complain. I love Imagineer Pam Rawlin’s description of how they use queues, “Time spent in our queue line is used to immerse our guests in the story.” That’s the thing about Disney parks, the story starts before you even step foot on the attraction.
As I mention in my last trip report, the giant fans in the queue are the best! They really cool the area down (I waited an hour and a half the first official morning open in 80 degrees and didn’t have to pull out my fan.)
Fun and interesting, the interactive queue has a jewel sorting station, jewel washing trough (it’s about 15 feet long,) and spinning barrels of jewels. When spinning, look up and try to get other people in the queue to help you spin all seven at once.
The queue music includes an instrumental version of ‘Music In Your Soup,’ a song that was originally written for the film. Creative Director Dave Minichiello spoke about the queue music saying it is, “all instrumental, we wanted to give it a feel that it was played by the Seven Dwarfs.”
Prior to riding, I stayed almost completely spoiler free to what the attraction looks like and what happens. One of the few thing I did know, is Imagineer Mark Kohl (Project Management Executive)’s favorite part of the ride is the first drop.. And boy did it surprise me on my first ride! If you haven’t already experienced the attraction, make sure you aren’t going in with the expectations of it being another Big Thunder Mountain with huge levels of thrill. It is awesome and fun, but remember it is a Fantasyland attraction. As Walt said at the Disneyland Fantasyland dedication, “Fantasyland is dedicated to the young and the young at heart, to those who believe that when you wish upon a star your dreams do come true.” Keep that in mind 🙂
In fact, speaking of Grumpy, his original scene was cut from the attraction. He used to be in a mine car near you, where he is being “attacked” (I think that’s how he would describe the situation) by squirrels and other little creatures. Thus his Grumpy attitude…. Watch out for Sneezy! Does his Audio animatronics remind you of someone in another attraction? Maybe pirate balancing all the hats in Pirates of The Caribbean?
“Probably the most complex character we built in the attraction was Doc,” Chris Beatty explained, “He has a pretty large role to play as he brings everyone out of the mine at the end of the day. You feel like you have stepped into the film and are there in that moment.”
When going up and out of the mountain, look on the left side wall for my favorite effect in the whole ride. With “Heigh Ho” playing and the dwarfs walking home, this part alone is worth the hour-long wait. The technique Rotoscoping was used to trace the shadows from the film, frame by frame.
Disney is known for recycling attraction props and animatronics. Since an attraction with the same characters closed in May 2012 (Snow White’s Scary Adventures,) there are quite a few in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The two Vultures above the first hill, and most of the dwarf animatronics inside the cottage. Grumpy, Doc, Bashful, Sleepy, and Happy are original while Snow White, Sneezy, and Dopey are all brand new.
On your way out, you’ll walk past the front of the dwarfs’ cottage (or on the way in if you have FP+.) Make sure and stop to look, listen, and use your senses. You just might hear faint music, or smell the pie Snow White baked for Grumpy.
Have you been on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train?
(I can’t get enough of this video! Too funny)