Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Update

Tomorrow marks the start of three days of media hoopla for the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (and other new attractions) at Walt Disney World. The Preview Event runs April 30th to May 2nd, with the official ride dedication coming on the last day. Here's the progress that's been made over this past week.

April 22nd...

DaMouse posts pics from the east side of the attraction showing that more construction walls have been removed.

Disney Parks Blog releases more images from the interactive queue including this 15-foot digital sluice box. Guests can drag gems into different trays and match them by color and shape.

Buckets of gems with glittering lights.

A film crew is spotted shooting a commercial for the attraction. Actors are seen riding the coaster.

Images via WDWmagic.com.

Video of the actor train posted by Attractions Magazine.

InsideTheMagic has video with Dopey bringing up the rear, sporting a pair of sunglasses.

Dopey screen capture posted on WDWmagic forum.

April 25th...

All of the construction walls have been removed (except for a small service entrance section at the rear of the mountain).

Image via DisneyDining.com.

The Disney Parks Blog shares these shots of the main entrance at night, free of any barriers.

During park hours, the front entrance is now barred only by a line of rolling bushes--an indication that a soft opening may be imminent (i.e., they can quickly and easily be moved to allow park guests in or to keep 'em out).

Image via WDWmagic.com.

Image via InsideTheMagic.

In addition to the interactive queue inside, the wait line will also wind around outside through the forest-like setting. A large stroller parking area to the right side (across from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh) awaits parents with young ones.

Panoramic via InsideTheMagic.

April 26th...

John Frost of The Disney Blog posts more pics of the queue area and one from outside the Dwarfs' cottage.

A photo uploaded to the WDWmagic forum creates a stir with a few folks. The shot shows a mine car going along the track with two metal attachments on board, looking like a couple of giant saw blades. The conclusion by some is that something must be wrong with the track, and the opening will now surely be delayed.

Over at Behind the Thrills, they explain exactly what's going on. The workers are conducting "envelope" tests. The coaster must move along every inch of the track with these metal pieces sticking out. If one or both should graze something--a branch, a wall, a bridge support--then it's at an unsafe distance from the riders. Even if guests are able to stretch their arms out as far as they will go, they shouldn't be able to touch anything. This is known as the coaster's "safety envelope"--the testing of which can be slow going. However, it's standard practice and yet another good sign that we're getting closer to the opening of the attraction.

Photo and video posted by Behind the Thrills.

April 27th...

Testing photo posted to The Disney Blog facebook page.

Gone from the front entrance are the rolling planters, replaced only by a rope and smiling cast members.

Image posted on LaughingPlace twitter.

April 28th...

The last of the constructions walls come down revealing the back service entrance.

Image via WDWmagic.

No soft openings yet for the general public, but cast members are spotted riding the coaster in the morning.

Image posted on the WDWmagic forum.

April 29th...

WDI releases more pics of the 3D audio-animatronic Dwarfs and a video on how they were created.

Posted on the April 29th Disney Parks Blog.

While the wait is near over, it will be members of the invited press who ride the coaster next during the Preview Event this week. Still no official word on when it opens to the general public, though soft openings are surely coming soon.

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