Map image copyright Disney/Google
Soft openings for the new coaster have actually been occurring for a week. I was at the park last Wednesday when they let on about a hundred lucky guests first thing in the morning. I missed this opportunity, and soon after it was closed off to allow only cast members to ride for the remainder of the day. Thursday was a similar experience. However, on Friday May 23rd, the park was open 24 hours and the Mine Train was in full swing!
My first chance was on Saturday. The queue line wrapped around the outside of the attraction, clear past Storybook Circus. At 10:30 am, the soft opening began and park guests could ride for the remainder of the day (except for a few short interruptions now and again).
While the wait sign read 60 minutes, the actual time standing in line would be somewhere between 25-45 minutes. It moved rather quickly.
On my first ride, I had the pleasure of joining Ben Miles and his parents (Ben being the last person ever to have ridden Snow White's Scary Adventures). A medley of instrumental Snow White music filled the air as we walked through the ascetically pleasing interactive queue.
The ride itself is rather interesting because it's a roller coaster, yet with dark ride elements. Disney considers it a family coaster, but it's one that packs a punch! Other than the loading area and the two show scenes, there's hardly a flat stretch of track to be found. And the individual swinging mine cars make for a smooth, yet even more intense experience.
The first third of the ride is all coaster as it takes you up a lift and around sharp curves. Then as you enter the mine, things slow down to a dark ride pace.
Much has already been said about the state-of-the-art animatronics. It's all true. A spectacular show scene features the singing dwarfs. Then as we near the end of the mine, we climb another lift.
On this last third of the ride, the coaster's g-force is really felt. Drops, turns, and speed! We end up outside of the cottage and come to a complete stop. Through the windows we see the Silly Song dance reenacted. A few of the dwarf animatronics were brought over from the Scary Adventures for this. The best time to view this scene is at night when the window glass isn't reflecting your own image back at you.
And at the very end, standing outside of the cottage is a terrific new audio-animatronic Witch.
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a great addition to the new Fantasyland. Fun and thrills! It's a coaster, though, not a dark ride. The loss of a classic attraction like Snow White's Scary Adventures is still a difficult pill to swallow. Yet, at least her memory can live on in aspects of this new gem of a ride.
Today's grand opening wait time is up to 3 hours.
Photo by allears.net.