Dateline Disney World – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Gets Ready To Roll

Written by Cory Disbrow. Posted in Dateline Disney World, Magic Kingdom, Walt Disney World

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Published on April 30, 2014 at 2:00 am with 33 Comments

About Cory Disbrow

Cory likes Walt Disney World so much, he recently packed his bags and moved to Orlando. Cory is a photographer and writes MiceChat's Dateline Disney World columns every Friday.

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33 Comments

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  1. Thanks, Cory!

    And thank you, Dusty, for your role in helping such excellent people like Cory, Eric (Erik?), Kevin, Norm and many others share with us so many times each week. (Which weekly updaters am I leaving out? SORRY!) Millions of people LOVE theme parks–especially Disney’s parks–and your coverage is the best. Are we in a golden age of Micechat? What an excellent website!

  2. ^^^Completely agree! Best line: “The Frozen sister madness is still going on at the Hugzone”. I like how you compare the smaller, quaint entrance of the Mine Train to Disneyland. Good observation.

  3. I was at the park yesterday. 10 minutes after the gates opened, the Frozen line was 3 1/2 hours. 5 minutes later (9:15am) it was 4 hours. Tell me how this is fair to most guests who weren’t able to reserve MONTHS in advance? If any other major park opened and their marquee attraction (roller coaster, ride) had an instant 4 hour wait, people would not stand for it.

    Why didn’t WDW see this coming after the months at Epcot and the huge crowds there? Solution: put a Frozen meet and greet in every park and have multiple rooms. You have a better chance (and a much shorter wait) of seeing Mickey Mouse than Anna and Else.

    Otherwise, prepare for many more disappointed guests. I saw three different families with little girls crying. Not very magical.

    • Uh, 4 hour waits are kind of typical for new attractions. Toy Story Mania (on both coasts), Nemo Subs, Indy (DL). Attractions with both FP and non-FP. This is not a new development and not a result of FP+ AT ALL.

      Non-Disney parks get this too. I waited 3 1/2 hours for Superman when it first opened at Magic Mountain (no I’m not proud of it). =)

      • Yes, but was your wait for Superman at Magic Mountain a 3-1/2 hour wait only minutes after the park opened? Probably not.

      • Not totally typical. More of an anomaly. RSR at DCA was a surprise, but I think the real one was the revamp of Star Tours. SEVEN HOUR lines at first. Now it’s mostly back to normal, but at first it was crazy. I waited before park entry, had my mom run to the Star Tours line while I grabbed a Fastpass (I was among the first crop of people to even get to the machine and my FP was for noon), and we managed three times on the ride in one day all by luck.

        Anyway, 4 hours for a meet and greet is just stupid. I long for the days when Disney could just have characters meander around the park. That’s equity, and it adds to the energy and movement of the park itself.

    • I concur. My experience with WDW and their fastpast system always leaves me out of luck moments after the park opens. This seems to also happen at the airport. If I print my boarding pass 23 hrs and 50 minutes before flight time, I still manage to be in the final boarding group! I don’t get how any of these reservation systems really help the average Joe. I would rather wait in line the old fashioned way WITH EVERYONE! I have to say I LOVE theme parks and always have, but now as I age and my family members age, 4 hour waits are not even an option. My fear of the 4 hour queue is what kept me away from finally seeing Carsland in Anaheim last summer (and I really, really want to see it) in favor of a wonderfully manageable day at Knott’s instead. Wait time for the Timber Mountain Log Ride…5 minutes. The four hours saved to do a lot more things….priceless.

      • Stop flying Southwest. Duh.

  4. 240 minutes for a meet and greet?! Wow. I suppose it’s worth it for the little ones.

    Also, what’s with the horticultural department neglecting patches of grass like that? Looks pretty bad…

    • I don’t think it is neglect by the groundskeepers. With the Hub reconstruction in progress, this area may be slated for work in the near future. It is my understanding that the grass areas remaining after the new/expanded pathways are in place will be replaced with a type of synthetic field turf, much like that in a number of NFL stadiums. These new field turf areas will serve as the special FastPass+ viewing areas for the afternoon and nighttime parades as well as the Wishes fireworks show. The field turf will hold up better to park-goers than all real grass (less maintenance too).

  5. Does anyone else think the chain link fencing in the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is bad form? I’m sure they are meeting some kind of safety regulations, but I’m sure they could have come up with a FAR more elegant solution that fit the theme. Where are Dwarfs going to find chain link?

    • I’m only basing this off of the images, but I think the “chain link fencing” you are referring to is actually netting. I could be wrong, as I haven’t seen it in person.

    • Looks to be chicken wire. Not sure how accurate that is but it will catch objects lost or thrown out of the cars.

  6. It looks like Big Thunder, with a Snow White theme. Too bad they didn’t keep the old Snow White’s Scary Adventures, too. Things seem to be going back to what Walt Disney first built Disneyland to get away from: “Let’s go fast and yell, ‘Weeeeeeeeee!!!!!’” while Grandma and the baby wait on a bench, maybe with mom and dad, as well, just like Walt Disney did while his daughters went on kiddie rides, way back when.

    • I agree, all the pictures I’ve seen just scream Big Thunder Lite.

  7. I cant understand the negativity surrounding this ride. The wait is over and now it’s time to enjoy it. the look of it is incredible. the dwarves look top notch. I can’t wait to ride this with the whole family. These are the types of rides the magic kingdom should be getting. It has a classic look and feel to it. It isn’t going to be a blockbuster knock your socks off E Ticket like Transformers or Rock and Roller Coaster, but to me this looks fantastic and something I will enjoy.

    on a side note, 4 hours to meet princesses? Never going to happen. This is why I pay for character meals to avoid huge lines to meet the characters. Word of advice, don’t tell your daughters they are there.

    • “I cant understand the negativity surrounding this ride.”

      Disneyland originally took up 160 acres (when you include the parking lot). From groundbreaking (July 21, 1954) to Grand Opening (July 17, 1955) was almost exactly a year. The park opened with 18 attractions and cost $17 million.

      By comparison, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was officially announced January 18, 2011. No official Grand Opening (or soft opening) has been made public but a Press Event is scheduled for April 30 through May 2, 2014. For those keeping count that’s 3 years, 4 months, and counting for a single attraction. A single attraction that is measured in square feet (not acreage) and has a as of yet unknown price tag; but is likely well within the six-digit range.

      That’s where the general negativity mostly stems from.

      Also, keep in mind, for many it really took Disney twenty years to replace the previous E-Ticket attraction (20K Leagues, which was permanently closed in 1994) with what most are referring to as a D+ attraction (not quite good enough to be considered an E-Ticket).

      • And who cares. Really.

        My nephew isn’t going to ride it and say he hated it because it took so long to build. He’s gonna love it, as will I, because it is themed to the hilt, and fun.

      • Disneyland was a greenfield site. On the other hand, Mine Train was built in the middle of the most popular land at the world’s most popular theme park, while the park remained fully operational on all four sides.

        Also, 1955 Disneyland didn’t have a single ride that was half as complex as Mine Train.

      • I understand the timelines being way too long. But why would that hinder anyone’s perception of the ride. It’s the same with Avatarland. I didn’t really like the movie, but the rides could be fantastic. I could care less what a ride is based on because if it has a great story and great ride elements than we all win. Too much negativity around new rides. If Universal builds a crap ride in 11 months compared to WDW building a great one in 5 then the great ride should win. Fortunately Uni hasn’t done that so we get great rides in a year, great lands in a year or two, and a new mine train ride with some incredible looking AA’s.

        Try to remember what it is like to be a kid going to WDW. It shouldn’t be about money and what ifs when you are there.

      • If everyone who makes excuses for WDW’s lazy execs keeps the enabling up, then you can wait 10 years for the next C Ticket attraction.
        You’ve already made it possible for the WDW execs to conclude you don’t need a new E Ticket attraction ever again at Magic Kingdom.
        I believe the last E Ticket attraction at MK was 1992′s Splash Mountain.
        Is that correct?
        22 years and counting with no new E Ticket attraction?
        This kind of treatment is begining to take it’s toll. WDW was between negative to 2% growth the last 4 years while Universal grew 39%.
        Universal has only completed 15% of it’s new E Ticket attractions, with a third gate coming and waterpark.
        Going to be a theme park earthquake when Universal passes AK, DS, and/or Epcot!
        Then you guys can keep paying more every year for the theme park museum.

      • “And who cares. Really.”

        All the people bringing the negativity, apparently.

        “Disneyland didn’t have a single ride that was half as complex as Mine Train.”

        Correct. They also had to build everything without the aide of computers, the internet, quick-set concrete, and a whole slew of other modern technologies. And for as impressive as building a brand new ride in the middle of an operating theme park is… it’s not like this was the first time. Disneyland 1959 comes to mind. Three major attractions built in the middle of an operating theme park. Construction began in the summer of 1958 and was finished by June 14, 1959.

      • There is a HUGE difference between building a park from the ground up in 1955 and trying to shoehorn a major attraction into an existing park in 2012-2014. Far more regulations, union issues, and such to deal with today; this ride’s systems are FAR more intricate than anything they had in ’55; the landscaping and theming are incredible and complicated. Not to mention thousands of people milling about all the time.

        *I* think the negativity is also stemming from the fact that this is NOT a big E-ticket ride. That’s misplaced negativity, in my opinion….if they’d built an Expedition Everest sized coaster ride, it would have been totally out of place in Fantasyland. What they’ve built is perfect for the area. I’d rather see it take a long time and be perfect.

  8. I was at WDW last week…. Seven Dwarf Mine Train looks FANTASTIC…. The park overall, is really, REALLY needing some things to get completed before starting any more projects…. WOW… If you want to discuss a REAL MESS, go over to Downtown Disney… OH MY GOD… it’s a complete, VERY unfortunate mess…. Probaby 65% of everything there is closed for rebuild…. LOTS of angry, frustrated people….

    • So, they should never rebuild anything?

  9. So much negativity and the ride hasn’t even opened yet. Give it a ride first before bashing. Might actually be enjoyable and beautiful to look at. Go with an open mind.

    • ^Exactly. (I bet they all ride it and love it. And still wont admit it.)

      • No, not spending $500 to go ride a 60 second cute coaster, thanks.
        If more folks copied the attitude of your nephew then WDW couldn’t spend 3 years building a cute kiddie coaster.

  10. With the wait times for Anna and Elsa so long, why don’t they follow the double Mickey rule from Toontown at Disneyland? Have two sets of sisters in separate rooms. (Unless they are already doing it) you could make the lines move twice as fast. The parents that wait in a 4 hour line should be granted sainthood.

    • Yes, that would be thinking of the guests.
      Universal is building the new Olivander’s with 4 rooms which branch off so more folks can have the experience.
      WDW would probably have to tear out Winnie the Pooh to make space for a greater meet n greet.

  11. I wonder why they don’t just replicate Anna and Elsa, like others have said. Maybe they just have limited qualified girls or something. I recall people complaining about some early Elsas being overly-stiff because of the film’s more proper character, for instance. Also, the popularity took Disney by surprise – they don’t even have enough merch for their stores- and this is the company that printed 9,250,000 Belle dolls for every single one! They probably don’t even have the dresses easy for more than a couple.

    Plus, the long waits actually look good to investors and the like – it’s proof of popularity.

  12. When I was a kid growing up in Orange County, CA, characters freely walked the park. That is all.

    • They used to walk freely around Walt Disney World, as well. We have a great picture of my sister running up to Alice to give her a kiss.

      Times change – but, more strikingly, so do people. Disney decided to begin protecting their Princesses after one too many perverts tried grabbing at them and unruley children kept kicking them. No one can tell me this doesn’t happen because I’ve seen both (many times) with my own eyes.