Even though Walt Disney World has officially unveiled the new Fantasyland after its extensive expansion, one area is still filled with construction workers, walls, and machinery: the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, a “musical ride into the mine where a million diamonds shine.” I spent some time exploring the surrounding area recently and was impressed by how much progress has been made since the first piece of track was placed in early September. It really appears as if the attraction is well on its way to becoming another Disney favorite.
Image: Construction progresses on Disney’s newest attraction, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is going to be a welcome addition to the Enchanted Forest area of Fantasyland. I was sad when Disney decided to close Snow White’s Scary Adventures because I have such fond memories of it as a child. However, from what I’ve seen and read, the new coaster will be a fun replacement. The ride itself will be a roller coaster that takes guests deep into the mines we saw a glimpse of in the classic film, Snow White. Along the way, beautiful gems and rip-roaring twists and turns will bring delight. As mentioned above, Imagineers began by laying the first piece of its track last September and construction has continued ever since.
Images: Construction began on the attraction in September, 2012.
Due to the attraction’s immense size, Disney has allowed us to follow along as it is built. Immediately upon walking into Fantasyland, guests can view the construction. Large walls separate it from public areas, but it’s easy to find a spot to watch the work that is being done high in the sky. There are even little peepholes in the walls that allow visitors to take a look at what can’t be seen from the outside. It’s a lot of fun to peer in and watch the crew working.
Image: The mountainous area is taking shape and now has visible rockwork and extensive track.
I was fortunate enough to spend several weeks in Walt Disney World in the past few months. Having visited in both February and March and then again in July, I really have been able to see the ride has evolve. Originally in the winter, I was not too sure that Disney was going to meet its deadline of 2014 for opening the attraction; not enough had been built and workers were not around much of the time. However, I noticed a huge improvement in this towards the middle of March and again over a few weeks in July. In fact, workers have even been on site during weekend hours which has contributed to such a change in what has been constructed.
Images: A look behind the walls shows how great of a coaster Seven Dwarfs will be with all of its hills and curves.
Across from Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, a new area of the work zone has been opened up to visitors. In the beginning of July, Disney pushed back the construction walls to unveil the rooftops of buildings that will house a retail area known as Prince Eric’s Village; for now, the extra space is being used to accommodate more stroller parking as work continues. Very little word has been released regarding the shop to date. I also imagine a Snow White themed merchandise location will appear next to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train’s exit, but I haven’t heard as to whether or not it will be a simple kiosk or a larger space. Time will only tell! It was fun to wake up one morning and find that this area was different from the day before. It really goes to show how hard the construction crew is working each day.
Images: Newly Unveiled Area near the Attraction
Earlier in the summer, Disney Imagineering celebrated a milestone in the attraction’s construction. The very first ride vehicle for Seven Dwarfs was delivered to the Walt Disney World Resort. After a quick photograph with the project team, it was whisked backstage to receive themed painting and design. The vehicle is said to have the ability to rock back and forth while it is riding along the coaster’s track.
Image: Project Team Members & First Official Ride Vehicle
In the end, I’m really excited for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train to open up in Fantasyland. I think it will be a unique experience for the whole family and am curious to see more as construction continues. Part of me wonders whether or not a small token from Snow White’s Scary Adventures will be hidden somewhere along the queue or in the ride area itself. Disney has paid homage to deceased attractions in this way before such as in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (look for a subtle tribute to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride) and even Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid (water was saved from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and poured into the stream area in the new queue). What about you? Are you excited for this new attraction? Let us know by posting your comments below!
Images: Guests walking past the construction areas stopped to take pictures and look at the artist renderings for the new attraction. Lots of excitement is building!
Category: Disney World