Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a family-friendly roller coaster located in the Fantasyland section at Walt Disney World at 1180 Seven Seas Drive in Lake Buena Vista, just 20 south of Orlando, Florida. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened to the public on May 28, 2014, as part of a major park expansion.
Fashioned after the look and feel of the Disney’s cartoon classic, “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” (1937), the mine train attraction is 2000 feet long, with drops of 41 and 31 feet, no inversions and speeds up to 34 mph. Vekoma Rides Manufacturing supplied the ride, which lasts about three minutes.
“Heigh-ho, Heigh ho! They dig in a mine from sunrise to sunset but they march off to work each morning singing. Silly? No, just Happy, Sleepy, Sneezy, Bashful, Grumpy, Doc and Dopey – The Seven Dwarfs.” – Sign on the wall
Utilizing a swinging bucket car, (as if handmade of wood by the Dwarfs and used to haul rocks and jewels) the rollicking ride tilts back and forth, twisting and turning side-to-side as the five-car train (with four passengers in each car) moves through the mines, hills and by Snow White’s cozy cottage with wisteria vine and bird house at the front door.
As visitors wait in the queue to board the mine train, they are entertained with a number of interactive games that help them pass the time, like a tabletop video game with touch screens that allow those waiting to “wash and sort” the gems, or make music with water on a wooden pipe organ, or twirl buckets of gemstones that create colorful projections on the ceiling. Picks, shovels, barrels and hoists are scattered throughout the queue tunnel and at the load-in area.
The route of the ride takes passengers both indoors and outdoors. At first, it careens over a crest, down and around the mountain. At the midpoint of the attraction, the 20-passenger trains slows down inside a dark cavern (“where a million diamonds shine”) as the seven dwarfs are digging for gems and singing the tune “Heigh Ho, Heigh Ho, it’s off to work I go…” then the train exits the mine via a second lift hill as silhouettes of the Dwarfs marching to work from the original film are projected on the rock walls. Throughout the mine jewels appear in four different sizes and in six different colors: red, green, amber, purple, blue and clear.
The mine carts then head outside once again and hit another lift hill. At the top of the hill, passengers catch nice views of New Fantasyland and its surrounding landscape decorated with poppies and oak, cedar and birch trees. After the drop, guests will then pass behind a waterfall.
As the ride comes to an end, it slows down in front of a cottage where through the window they see Snow White dancing inside with some of the dwarfs. But, lurking outside the cottage, the Evil Queen, disguised as an old hag waits with poisoned apples at hand. She turns toward the train as it passes, and cackles wickedly. End of ride.
NOTE: Based on the dwarf characters (who were never named) in the Brothers Grimm stories, Walt Disney initially considered calling the dwarfs Wheezy, Jumpy, Baldy, Stuffy, Tubby, Dizzy and Burpy.
Next to Doc’s workstation in the mine, the carved wooden clock is a replica of the one seen in the film with the figures of two miners striking an anvil.
In April 2010, Pooh’s Playful spot moved its large tree across the way to the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride along with an updated interactive queue. Pooh’s playful place was then closed to make way for the Seven Dwarfs Mine train.
In May 2012, Snow White’s Scary Adventures closed permanently and the building reopened in September 2013 as Princess Fairytale Hall, where Anna and Elsa from “Frozen” and other Disney princesses meet/greet park guests.
Segments from the now-defunct Snow White’s Scary Adventures attraction (1971-2012) were recycled for the mine train roller-coaster, such as the two ominous vultures perched on the jib crane near the mine entrance and Audio-Animatronic figures of Grumpy, Doc, Bashful, Sleepy, and Happy.
The Snow White’s Scary Adventures told the story of Snow White from her time with the Queen, to her flight from the castle, life with the dwarfs and fateful encounter with the witch. The ride included dark forests with terrifying enchanted trees, spooky skeletons, strobe lights, menacing vultures, and riders had at least 7 terrifying encounters with the witch! It ended with the Prince’s planting true love’s kiss to wake the sleeping princess.
Walt Disney World/Magic Kingdom
1180 Seven Seas Drive
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830