1 The Mickey Mindset: Trip Report Update: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Monday, June 9, 2014

Trip Report Update: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Justin Tonglet- As many of you may know, there's a new ride that just opened at Walt Disney World.  My fiance, Melissa, and I were lucky enough to be at the park for opening day of this particular ride.  We were actually able to ride the ride within an hour of it being open, which is a story I will tell our grandchildren one day.  There was apparently a big ceremony with Snow White, the Queen, and all Seven Dwarfs, but despite being some of the first to the ride, we didn't see this at all.  The first people to ride it (aside from the cast members in the previews) were the Orlando Magic and several kids from Make A Wish.  Good on Disney for that.

 Let's start where everyone will, the line.  Disney loves telling stories with their lines, and this is no different.  You approach the mine while the Dwarfs are hard at work, and you get to help out in the work.  The design and decorations are gorgeous.  And as advertised, they have wonderful games to play while you wait.  The first thing you come to is a trough with a sign from Doc asking you to help sort the gems.  Gems of different colors and shapes float by and you have to drag them to the proper spaces on the edge.  You have to collect three random gems of ovals, circles, and rectangles of several colors.  It's quite addicting, and I'm waiting for it to be published as an iPhone app.  It's actually so much fun that it holds up the line behind it, because people forget to watch for the line to move.

 The second distraction to come up was a washing station.  Again, there is a sign from Doc with instructions.  There are several gems on a table and you have to wash them.  This is done by simply waving your hand under a series of spouts that musically dispense water onto the gems below.  They are shaped as the woodland creatures from the film, and they have lights inside that make the water come out in colorful ways.  I'm hopeful that someone with musical talent and a keen ear will make a viral video by playing a song on the fountains.

Right after this, you enter into the vault, and you are finally in the mine itself.  The queue's final distraction is in here.  It's a really fun one, but it requires a team effort.  There are seven barrels of gems, and they project sparkly images on the ceiling.  When you spin them, they each create a particular familiar face (count the barrels and guess).  If you can get all seven going at once, it produces a fun surprise in the center.  It took a bit of prodding of other guests, but it was well worth it.  Just trust me on this one and encourage other people to do it.  You'll look cool when they see what it does.

Very shortly after this third distraction (yes, the line moves pretty quickly once you reach those things) you get to board the mine train itself to head to the portion of the mine where the dwarfs are actually working.  The roller coaster cars are a new invention and create an incredibly smooth ride that produces a gorgeous view of the new Fantasyland.  After a brief bit of roller coaster, you approach the mine shaft where we see the titular characters hard at work in their mine.  The animatronics here are amazing.  The Doc alone manages to go from working, to looking at the time, to yelling his famous "Heigh Ho!"  Once you hear this, you head up a hill while the Dwarfs head out (their shadows projected on your left) and you leave the mine for another bit of roller coaster fun.  The ride ends at the cottage with the Dwarfs and Snow White dancing inside and an old hag with a basket of apples at the door.  You can see the other side of the cottage as you leave the ride, and it's just as beautiful from that angle, although with less animatronic cartoon characters.

Though I feel the ride is a lot shorter than it should have been, it's still worth the hype.  The ride is incredibly smooth and fun.  It's even fun to wait in line for it.  We managed to go again the next night, and it's even more beautiful to ride at night with Fantasyland all lit up.  And for those wondering, the line moved very efficiently and never got too out of hand except for opening morning, however the average wait time has been steady at 60-90 minutes since the opening.  Disney has taken note of this and I've heard that they have been passing out free cups of ice water for those waiting in the sun.  I know that the FastPasses are booked through the next 60 days already, but both times we rode it, the wait time was shorter than Peter Pan (70+ minutes!).  In my opinion, it's a fitting tribute for the first ever feature length animated film.  I think that Walt would be happy with it, and that's all I could ever ask.

The Mickey Mindset: mickeymindset@gmail.com

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