I’m a day late and a buck short with this February’s installment of A Brief History of Disney, but we made it here in the end. This time around, we are looking at one of the newer attractions at Walt Disney World, though it is something that pays homage to Disney’s roots, bringing together modern ride technology with the original fairytale classic, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The attraction is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and its location is beautifully nestled into Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland.
While the attraction might be newer than most in Magic Kingdom, the story behind it is one of the oldest. Snow White was famously the first animated feature produced in technicolor and English in 1937. Before the 2010 – 2014 Fantasyland expansion, the story was represented in the park with the attraction Snow White’s Scary Adventures, which permanently closed in 2012. Despite the location playing host to the new Princess Fairytale Hall, The Walt Disney Company had bigger plans for Miss White and her friends.
Replacing the site that once held 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Submarine Voyage, a family-friendly rollercoaster began construction using a new ride vehicle structure that would transport guests into the world of mining.
Though the ride’s construction wasn’t as fraught with difficulty as some of the others we have covered in A Brief History of Disney, this attraction has an entirely different element of interest: the benefit of modern technology, not only in the ride itself but also in the construction. Thanks to the internet age, we can show you snippets of the whole creative process, from designing the ride vehicles to digging the first spade full of dirt.
New technology was implemented in creating the 3D Audio-Animatronics that brought their facial expressions to life. With this, Disney guests were offered a new level of connection with these characters, seeing them come to life in a whole new way.
Another aspect of The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train that set this attraction apart from the rest was the interactive queuing system which introduced waiting guests to something more than the evolving storytelling walls of the waiting area.
The interactive queue helps keep guests interested while they wait, introducing them to the storyline with immersive games, decorations, and sound effects that bring you into the tale of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
The “tilting vehicle” technology proved to be an exciting departure from the traditional rollercoaster experience, especially for one that was created with a family focus in mind. The attraction had a soft opening on May 21st of, 2014, and opened to full capacity just a week later on May 28th.
The attraction has proved to be a popular addition to Magic Kingdom, often operating with long wait times due to the high demand. It has a Lighting Lane, a Rider Swap option, as well as Photo and Video coverage for guests with Disney’s photo pass. Take a ride on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction with The Dis POV video below to experience this attraction for yourself.
Last but not least, don’t miss this timelapse below of the construction area that shows the ride and surrounding land come to life.
Zoë Wood is a travel writer from Sydney, Australia. Since her first visit to Disneyland at the age of 6, she has spent her years frequently visiting Disney Parks and traveling around the world.
Join Zoë as she lets you in on all the tips, tricks, anecdotes, and embarrassments that arise from her family adventures.