Well for the first article since our return I thought I would start with something new but based on the 1st feature length animated feature from the Walt Disney Studios, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
As you may or may not know there was a dark ride based on this story, Snow White’s Scary Adventures, in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom from Opening Day in 1971.Sadly this was closed in 2012 to make way for a project know as New Fantasyland, thought there are still versions of this ride at the original Disney theme park,Disneyland in California,Tokyo Disneyland and Disneyland Paris.
These plans were officially announced in 2009 at the D23 Expo by Jay Rasulo, who at the time was Chairman of Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. The plan was to replace Scary Adventures with an attraction called Princess Fairytale Hall, but also expand on land that was previously home to 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Pooh’s Playful Spot, and build Cinderella’s Chateau and Aurora’s Cottage as well as an expanded Pixie Hollow for Tinkerbell and her fairy friends, that would have been new meet and greet areas to meet your favourite princesses and fairies
Come the next D23 Expo in 2011, Disney had a new chairman of Parks and Resorts in Tom Staggs and the plans had changed.Remaining in the plans was Princess Fairytale Hall, but now just as the one main annex from Cinderella’s Castle. Gone was the outer buildings of the Chateau, Cottage and Pixie Hollow.
The land had been set aside for something different under the new regime, something still very much in the realm of Princesses, but something very different to the original plans.
That announcement, made at the beginning of 2011,was very brief in details, other than than a name, The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and that it would use first of its kind ride system.By the time the Expo came around, a few more details became clear, this would be a mix of both roller coaster and dark ride.
The ride began it’s construction in November 2011, and would continue its progress all through 2012, when finally we would would get a sneak peek of what the ride would entail.
A planned opening for late 2013, was missed due to delays, meaning the expansion of Fantasyland would have taken 4 years from the first attraction opening to the final piece of the puzzle being complete.
By January 2014, the ride was finally edging towards being complete, testing had finally started and the ride was partly in view of the public.
Finally come this month it was here, the time had come, the press and media day. May 1st 2014 was the day anybody outside of Disney Cast members got to ride the new attraction.
Described as being somewhere between the newly renovated Barnstormer and Big Thunder Mountain, this one of kind is truly that. Starting out as a gentle family friendly coaster, you then enter the mine to be greeted by 7 beautiful animatronic Dwarfs, singing the exiting version of their famous song,Heigh Ho.
And home you go heading back out into the Florida sun for another burst roll coaster fun, enjoying the new ride system of the swinging mine carts before arriving at Snow White and the Dwarfs cottage, which includes the refurbished and upgraded animatronics of said characters, rescued from Scary Adventures, dancing away inside,only to pull away and be surprised by the figure of the Evil Witch spying on our beloved Princess,all ready to pass on the poisoned apple.
The official opening was then set, all due to be open on 28th May to the public, with Fastpass+ booking now available
I, for one, can’t wait to take my first ride on this, during my visit in November.