Hi ho. Hi ho. It’s home from work we go!
Well, in reality, it’s off to Walt Disney World we go to ride the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride. To get there, we’ll first head into the Magic Kingdom and over to Fantasyland to find the ride.
This ride is located close to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and The Mad Tea Party rides. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the newest rides to the Magic Kingdom, opening when the Fantasyland expansion happened a few years ago.
It’s quickly became a favorite of many and a ride many Disney first timers want to experience. Many people consider this ride to be one of the best rides in Disney World, or at least in the Fantasyland portion of Magic Kingdom. If you want a detailed ride experience read the next section, but for a more spoiler free Seven Dwarfs Mine Train review, skip this first part.
Riding the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
The line for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train starts outside where you’ll pass Snow White and the Dwarfs’ cottage before entering a darker mine like area. This waiting area isn’t one of the most exciting Disney has to offer, but it is quite cool in the indoor area on a hot day. Many times the line for this ride is long, so if you’re waiting in standby, the line may start way out in Fantasyland.
If you are in the standby line there are touch screen games to play and a spinning barrel game. These are part of the indoor section of the line. As I mentioned, the standby line can stretch far out into the park, so it will take a while to get to this point.
Once you get through the line to the loading area, you’ll get into a mine car and take off. The car you’ll be riding in is a bit different than the usual roller coaster car. This car actually has the ability to swing back and forth and will do this some as you ride. It doesn’t swing enough to create motion sickness, but instead just adds to the feel of the ride during turns.
The car will head outside and will begin to travel upwards. This seems like you are heading into a big drop, but you’re not. There really aren’t any large drops in the ride. As you start the climb up you may notice some mining sounds and music. I love all of the details Disney has added to really make this ride immersive.
After going through some twists and turns outside you’ll head into the mine. We immediately start to hear the Dwarfs singing and start to see the Dwarfs. All of the Dwarfs are working (or goofing off in some cases) around the mine. Gems light up the walls, and though this area is dark, it still seems bright and colorful.
As you get toward the end of the mine, a bell goes off and it’s time for the Dwarfs to go home. You’ll see the Dwarfs shadows on the wall as they head towards home and we head out of the mine.
The rest of the ride breezes by pretty quickly. There’s a few more twists and turns and a bit of a small dip before the ride is over. Before you head back to the loading area, the car makes a stop outside of the Dwarfs cottage. Everyone is home and we see Dopey and Snow White dancing. At the very last moment before heading back in, we see the Evil Queen disguised as the Old Witch waiting outside ready to give Snow White the poisoned apple. This is meant to be a surprise moment, but if you are in the front cars you’ll see her right away.
What to Expect
Let’s start with the good. In terms of all the details, this ride has just about everything. I think if you were to think of about the Seven Dwarfs mining, what it would look like, and how they would be acting, the mine scene is completely perfect. The animatronics for this ride are spot on. This is definitely a ride that you’ll want to take in all of the Imagineering that went into it.
The Dwarfs in the mine have all of their personalities perfectly represented, with Dopey putting gems in his eyes, Sleepy, well, sleeping, and Doc being the one in charge. The Seven Dwarfs are such beloved Disney World characters so it’s nice to see them at the center of a ride.
The scene outside of the Dwarfs cottage is very well done, and detailed as well. If you look inside the cottage you can see it is fully decorated like in the movie. Also don’t forget to look in the Evil Queen’s basket. You may notice a gift she has for Snow White.
I really enjoy the part of the ride that takes place outside of the mine as well. The ride itself isn’t the prettiest to look at, it’s made to look like the outside of the mountains the dwarfs are mining in, but I think you get great views of Fantasyland beyond the ride. Plus, as cheesy as this might sound, it’s nice to feel the fresh air around you as you’re zipping around the ride.
As far as roller coasters go, Seven Dwarves Mine Train is probably the most family and kid friendly. Disney’s rule is that younger kids (under 7) have someone at least 14 years old in the ride car with them. The height limit for this ride is is 38 inches or taller so this is a little bit smaller than some of Disney’s other thrill rides. In this case, fairly young children would be tall enough to ride this ride. This ride also doesn’t have as long of a health warning as the other roller coasters have.
The only people Disney cautions to not ride this ride are expectant mothers. Though there really isn’t a huge drop in this ride, like most of the other Disney roller coasters, this one is fast! If you’re not a big thrill ride person, you still might want to sit this one out even though it’s considered an “easier” coaster. This ride does make quick turns, I think the ride is fairly smooth but the speed could still leave you feeling jostled.
What I like best about this ride is that Disney has combined the idea of a dark character ride, think Under the Sea: The Journey of the Little Mermaid or Frozen Ever After, with elements of a typical roller coaster. To me this is sort of a best of both worlds situation. The character rides are fun and cute but can get a little boring, so the roller coaster elements keep the ride a bit more exciting for adults and teens.
One complaint many people have about Seven Dwarves Mine Train is that it is too short, or they wish it was longer. I do have to agree. The ride does feel very short and I would guess it is less than five minutes long. I think some of this comes from Disney not wanting to make this ride too thrilling, so there are no very steep climbs or long drops to add some time to the ride.
Another negative is the wait. I have seen standby lines reach over 2 hours for this ride. And as I mentioned the ride itself is short so it makes the long lines seem especially not worth it.
One other thing to keep in mind if you have children is their tolerance for scary things. If your child is scared of the Evil Queen’s old hag disguise, they may want to sit this one out. There is a life size animatronic of her at the end and she really is kind of scary!
Tips and Tricks
If you’re planning to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, you are going to need a Fastpass. Wait times can reach over two hours, and a lot of the line area is not covered so you’ll be right in the middle of the Orlando sun.
If you’re doing Disney with kids, or anyone with little patience, you have to go the Fastpass route for this ride. The ride is quite short, so while fun, it’s really not worth waiting longer than 30 minutes for. I think if you have to wait for over an hour for a couple of minutes long ride, you’re going to be really disappointed. Fastpasses for this ride can be secured fairly easily; I managed to get a Mine Train Fastpass for multiple days on my last trip.
Another option is to get to Magic Kingdom before the park opens and “rope drop” this attraction.
There is a photo opportunity on this ride. I actually rode this ride twice during my last Disney trip and in addition to a photo on one of the ride throughs Disney had actually added a short video. If you purchased the Memory Make Photo Pass or if you are an Annual Pass holder this should show up on My Disney Experience.
There seems to be a couple of cameras along the ride track as the video catches a few different moments of the ride. There’s also stock video of the dwarfs in the mine that looks just like the scenes of the actual ride.
You may want to avoid wearing Minnie ears or hats on this ride. There are a lot of quick twists and turns on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and you may find your head gear flying off. You can probably tell I have first hand experience with this, but luckily for me, my ears just went in the seat behind me. Just remember if you loose something on a ride you probably won’t get it back, so it’s always good to store things in the pouches on the ride car that are attached right in front of your seat.
Quick Pros and Cons
Here’s your quick run down of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
- Immersive – all throughout the ride you’ll feel connected with the mining theme, from the darkness of the loading area, to hearing mining sounds early on in the ride, and finally entering the mine with the Seven Dwarfs.
- Family friendly – as I’ve mentioned this ride is good for just about anyone. Obviously obey Disney’s rules, so no very small children or expectant mothers should be riding. But unless you’re just not a ride person I think anyone can enjoy this ride.
- Technology – I think the animatronics on this ride are some of the best and you can very much tell how much thought and work was put into this.
- Long waits – Wait times get long pretty quickly for this ride because it is so popular. Its not uncommon to see waits approaching the 2 hour mark for this ride.
- It’s short- It just is. To me this is the biggest downfall of the ride because you will get off wishing it hadn’t ended.
As you can see the cons both have to do with time. I just don’t think it’s worth waiting in an extremely long line for a short ride.The cons can basically be eradicated by getting a Fastpass for this ride.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is a popular ride for the whole family. With Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs being the original full length disney movie, anything featuring it is going to be popular. It’s a pretty easy roller coaster that most will love. I would definitely suggest giving this a try if you get a Fastpass or happen upon it with a rare short line.
Have a fantastic Disney trip and have fun riding!
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