Thursday, April 10, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train - Conception to Near Completion

The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is set to open at Walt Disney World very, very soon. Let's see how it got here.

SDMT logo copyright Disney via March 18th Disney Parks blog.

Ride Overview...
  • Creative Director: Dave Minichiello; Project Manager: Chad Stahnick
  • Family-style roller coaster
  • Five cars per train; four people per car; vehicles pivot independently back and forth.
  • Features the dwarfs' mine, cottage, and other elements from the film.
  • Ride length: 3.5 minutes
  • Height restriction: 38 inches (97cm)

2010 Rumors...

Back in 2010, numerous online threads started circulating that WDW's new Fantasyland expansion might include some sort of Snow White-themed mine ride. A few users speculated it would be another dark ride, others said a roller coaster. Amongst all the brouhaha was the disturbing news that if the mine ride was indeed coming to the park, then the days might be numbered for the Scary Adventures.

2011 January...

January 18, 2011--It's official. Disney announces that Snow White's Scary Adventures will be closing permanently, though the exact date is not revealed. It will be replaced by a meet and greet called Princess Fairytale Hall. The Fantasyland expansion will also get a new kind of roller coaster called the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

The first artist renderings of the Mine Train appear along with new construction wall artwork at the park.


Artist renderings copyright Disney.

Framing blueprints.

Image via

2011 August...

August 19, 2011--More Mine Train details are revealed at the D23 Expo including a scale model of the attraction, a foam mine car mock-up, and a ride simulation video.

Image copyright Cupcake Photography.

D23 Mine Train Mock-up image via Attractions Magazine.

Video posted by DisneyParks.

2012 January...

A year after the announcement of the Fantasyland update, construction is well underway, and the Mine Train sits in the middle of it all.

Aerial images copyright Scott Keating. Courtesy of WDW News Today.

2012 February...

February 23, 2012--Disney announces date for closure of the Scary Adventures, which will be the last day in May.

2012 May...

Framework for Mine Train going up.

May 31, 2012--the final day for the Scary Adventures. Ben Miles is the last person to ever ride the attraction.

2012 June...

Immediately following the shutdown, construction walls are erected overnight in front of the Scary Adventures. The Snow White marquee is covered over later in the month.

Scary Adventures Wall image copyright Adam Roth. Courtesy of WDW News Today.

2012 August...

Mine Train tracks on site waiting to be installed.

Image via

2012 September...

September 25, 2012--The first tracks are laid.

Image via September 25th Disney Parks Blog.

2012 October...

Construction continues to progress.

Images copyright Adam Roth courtesy of WDW News Today and also Steve Liebman.

2012 November...

Steel framework is being added to form the foundation for the elevated landscape.

Image via

2012 December...

Seven Dwarfs themed-construction walls appear in early December around the perimeter of the attraction. See them all in the previous post.

Image copyright Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel.

A lift hill is in place by mid December.

The Scary Adventures' makeover into Princess Fairytale Hall continues.

Lift track and hall images copyright Adam Roth. Courtesy of WDW News Today.

2013 February...

Grumpy and Doc from the Scary Adventures are placed on display (with other vintage memorabilia) in a new Snow White exhibit at the Walt Disney Archives.

Grumpy and Doc images copyright D23.

2013 April...

Imagineers have now been installing track for seven months, and yet there's more to come. While driving by the STOLport--the old airport strip next to World Drive--Kevin Yee of MiceChat snapped some photos of these tracks still waiting to be added.

Image copyright Kevin Yee via MiceChat.

Track is taking shape.

Image via teaperson.

April 25, 2013--A video is released by WDI showing the construction progress on both the Fairytale Hall and the Mine Train.

Posted on April 25th Disney Parks Blog.

2013 June...

June, 5, 2013--The last section of track is laid.

Image via June 5th Disney Parks Blog.

June 28, 2013--The first mine car arrives on site.

Image via June 28th Disney Parks Blog.

2013 August...

The elevated landscape is progressing.

Image copyright Da Mouse.

2013 September...

September 18, 2013--Princess Fairytale Hall officially opens to the general public.

Image via September 18th Disney Parks Blog.

The same week, the first mine car is placed on the track for push/pull testing.

Image via September 21st Disney Parks Blog.

September 23, 2013--Imagineers mark the first time the train ran under its own gravity and completed its first drop out of the station.

Drop test images via September 23rd Disney Parks Blog.

2013 December...

December 5, 2013--Elements from the Scary Adventures are added...
When mine cars pull out of the load area, they’ll travel up the track to the top of the mountain, where a jib crane sits topped by two ominous vultures, the latter of which originally appeared in the park’s original Snow White’s Scary Adventures attraction. This is the last stop before the mine train’s cars plunge into a mine shaft.
Images & info via December 5th Disney Parks Blog.

2014 January...

With the start of the new year, the excitement begins to build. 

January 6, 2014--A video is released featuring Walt Disney Imagineers Ben VanBeusekon and Mary Mac Eachin. They explain the creative process behind designing the themed mine cars. We get a nice look at the vehicle details.

Video posted on the January 6th Disney Parks Blog.

January 13, 2014--An excellent over-the-wall photo AND video from

January 28, 2014--Imagineering pics from inside the interactive queue, plus details of the bridge.

Images via January 28th Disney Parks Blog.

2014 February....

February 6, 2014--Prop pics. Jewels appear throughout the mine in four different sizes and in six different colors: red, green, amber, purple, blue and clear.

Images via February 6th Disney Parks Blog.

Detail from Dwarfs' cottage.

Image via February 18th Disney Parks Blog.

The "rock" landscape.

Images via

As a few of the construction walls start coming down, there's more opportunity for park guests to snap creative photographic shots.

Image copyright Da Mouse.

Image copyright Luis Garcia.

Image copyright All Around Orlando.

Check out this cool video from Da Mouse showing the Mine Train in action. The cars are weighted to simulate actual passengers.

2014 March...

View from the top of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Image copyright Walt Disney Company.

Dwarfs' chalkboard in mine.

Image via March 11th Disney Parks Blog.

March 17, 2014--More walls come down. Looking sweet!

Image via

March 18, 2014--The attraction logo (seen at the top of this post) is officially unveiled to the general public.

March 24, 2014--WDI releases a video with side-by-side comparison footage of the actual Mine Train and the original CGI concept ride-through.

2014 April...

April 1, 2014--Cottage pics. Guests will whisk past the cottage just after the first big drop out of the mine scene.

Images via April 1st Disney Parks Blog.

Inside the interactive queue, guests can drag flowing jewels from a 15-foot wooden sluice-- moving them into different trays and matching them by color and shape.

Something to look for here is that a melody from the film can be created when guests move from spigot to spigot. There are 12 spigots, inspired by the Dwarfs’ woodland friends, that each correspond to the notes of a musical scale.

Later on in the queue, guests pass the Vault room that we see in the movie.

Images & info via the April 3rd Disney Parks Blog.

April 3, 2014--Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is officially added to the Walt Disney World website.

April 8, 2014--Yellow Shoes Creative Group (the marketing team currently working on the advertising for the ride) releases a CGI image and short promotional video.

Image and video posted on April 8th Disney Parks Blog.

On the same day, Disney imagineers/executives are spotted taking a test ride on the coaster during park hours! We're getting close!

Photo copyright Dave of WDW Guided Tours via Inside the Magic.

Word from the forums is that cast members may now be training on the ride, and that Operations will be taking it over on the 19th. Does this mean a soft opening will occur this day? Who knows? Look for the rest of the walls to come down soon. A three-day media event is scheduled from April 30th to May 2nd! However, the exact official grand opening date for the general public has yet to be announced.


April 20, 2014 UPDATE: No soft opening on the 19th.


  1. Thank you very much for providing this photographic diary!

  2. Thanks Nick. I sure enjoy documenting it. :)

  3. So, the long wait is finally… almost… over. :) Not that I'm particularly excited about this roller coaster, but I do plan to ride this myself in December.

    1. It certainly has been a long time coming. Ken it's hard to believe that it been almost 2 years since we were last there. Glad you're heading back in December but too bad it's not this May. I've got my reservations and am flying to Orlando in about a month from now. Had fun in the park with you last time. Taking my camera to finish the film.