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My Review of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

clarabellej

Active Member
I think that the problem with the swinging cars is that the turns are all banked like a normal roller coaster. If they made the track flat then you'd get the swing but, at that point, it'd just be really weird. I think that if they just rebuild the cars and dump the swinging bit then there'd be more room for people to sit in the cars and I don't think that the effect would be missed. The swinging, while sounding good on paper, really doesn't pan out in practice.

I think that another problem they had was that this is a roller coaster island. If you look at other rides, they're usually on the edge of the park and thus most of the ride is outside the train tracks and off in a warehouse. Pirates and Splash Mountain show this. Splash mountain is multi-teired which ends up giving you a lot more ride for the space.

Where 7DMT is, there just wasn't a lot that they could do. Even if the track snuck underground to another building to give you more of a show, that'd be a weird, flat, straight portion of track to deal with (yellow being the track and the blue box being some building to house more of the show):
View attachment 76933

7DMT is a great little centerpiece to Fantasyland, it's just too short of a ride.

Splash Mountain, conversely, keeps giving you more Song of the South scenes and details. It's quite thorough. Same with BTMRR.

One odd one: The Goofy's Glider, or whatever it's called now, in the back of Fantasyland. No one ever talks about it. It's been there for years (just looked it up - opened in 1996). I can't imagine anyone seeking it out. It's in a really odd location. I'm sure someone will chime in with, "My kid loves that coaster!" but, really, it's an odd duck.
So glad to see that someone else is thinking what I was thinking after riding Mine Train.

What a huge let down. I know it is silly, but I was actually angry when I rode this. Thank goodness I did not stand in the extremely long standby line for this.

I could not help but wish it was more like Splash Mountain. You have summed up my thoughts and given such a great explanation as to why it does not work as well as Splash Mountain.

It is not just how short the ride is. I go on PP every year and although the ride is over in a blink, I will continue to do so. Such a lovely ride.

Did not care for Mine Train. Maybe I should give it a second chance. Rode it once. Last year I skipped it.
 

Chef Mickey

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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I didn't care for it.

I felt like we waited years for this ride to be completed and then it was a let down.

I understand all the work and thought that went into its creation, but still not a fan.

I cannot help comparing it to Splash Mountain, which is a wonderful combo of thrill and yet being able to really take in what leads up to the big drop.

In all fairness, we did not experience any of the standby line activities. We used fastpass.

Thank goodness. If we had stood in a standby line for over an hour, I would have really gone nuts!!

It is not just that the ride is so brief, but even the movements or track design of the coaster seem so abbreviated (quick turn, turn, turn) that they just aren't enjoyable.

Extremely smooth yes, but not at all fluid or swooping IMHO. Not at all pleasant.

It just lacks something.
It lacks length.
 

TheDuke

Well-Known Member
It's been like 3 years but I actually finally rode this when I lucked into a last minute FP when I went out one night and figured I might as well give it a try. My expectations were fairly low, I was thinking "this is just a kiddie coaster" but I actually liked it! The rocking was fun and the dark ride scenes were very well done, particularly Snow White at the end. Doing it at night also helped and made it more atmospheric. For one of the little dips I couldn't see anything at all except for a couple lights and it made it more exciting. I liked it enough where I hopped into line right before park close and stayed late just to ride it again. Now as good as Splash Mountain (but I wasn't expecting it to be) but I prefer it to Thunder and would probably put it at like 9 or 10 on my top current WDW attractions.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
I think that the problem with the swinging cars is that the turns are all banked like a normal roller coaster. If they made the track flat then you'd get the swing but, at that point, it'd just be really weird. I think that if they just rebuild the cars and dump the swinging bit then there'd be more room for people to sit in the cars and I don't think that the effect would be missed. The swinging, while sounding good on paper, really doesn't pan out in practice.

I think that another problem they had was that this is a roller coaster island. If you look at other rides, they're usually on the edge of the park and thus most of the ride is outside the train tracks and off in a warehouse. Pirates and Splash Mountain show this. Splash mountain is multi-teired which ends up giving you a lot more ride for the space.

Where 7DMT is, there just wasn't a lot that they could do. Even if the track snuck underground to another building to give you more of a show, that'd be a weird, flat, straight portion of track to deal with (yellow being the track and the blue box being some building to house more of the show):
View attachment 76933

7DMT is a great little centerpiece to Fantasyland, it's just too short of a ride.

Splash Mountain, conversely, keeps giving you more Song of the South scenes and details. It's quite thorough. Same with BTMRR.

One odd one: The Goofy's Glider, or whatever it's called now, in the back of Fantasyland. No one ever talks about it. It's been there for years (just looked it up - opened in 1996). I can't imagine anyone seeking it out. It's in a really odd location. I'm sure someone will chime in with, "My kid loves that coaster!" but, really, it's an odd duck.

Its pretty hilarious that you wrote this. There's a reason for the banking.

When the first swinging roller coaster (and the first suspended roller coaster) came out, Arrow Dynamics had the same idea as you. "The Bat" was a short lived coaster at King's Island. Arrow thought that banking would be unnecessary because the coaster "naturally banks." When the ride was actually up and running, they found that the swinging was a nightmare for the track and tore it to pieces. The Original Bat was shut down after only a few years. Kings Island replaced it several years later with Top Gun, and this was renamed to the Bat recently, and still operates.

I'm pretty sure that Vekoma insisted on the banking, as the ride would tear itself to pieces if the trains hit the turns unbanked. The track would be more wear, but the trains would be crushed. Trains are actually pretty expensive themselves.

Personally, I think that the swinging trains if nothing else give the ride extra smoothness. I know that there isn't much swinging, but by allowing the swing, you hit the turns a little more naturally and the transitions seem a little smoother.
 

clarabellej

Active Member
The comparison to Splash Mountain is interesting.

If only this was more like Splash Mountain. Love SM more in so many ways!!

I love the meandering relaxing part of it and then the suspenseful build up.

I wish 7DMT gave us more time to enjoy some detail and scenery.

I don’t mind a smaller coaster, but it felt tight to me, from the cramped seating, to the tight little curves.

I wish it could open up and swoop more. More tickle your tummy drops.

It certainly looks better than the ride feels.

Then we get just a peep of the little cottage and if you blink, you miss the witch.

Roller coaster wise, there is just something off about the ride.

I haven’t ridden Slinky Dog yet, but hoping that will satisfy my need for a more full on swooping ride.

I’ll take Splash Mountain a thousand times over Mine Train.

And I had such Hi Ho pes!!!!! 🤥
 

erasure fan1

Well-Known Member
Man, with all the shade that 7DMT gets, just imagine how long the line would be if people actually liked the coaster!
I'd say the vast majority of people really like the ride. At least for the 36 seconds it feels like you are on it. The only real shade it gets is the length of the coaster. If the ride was longer, with one more show section, it could be one of the best attractions.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
I'd say the vast majority of people really like the ride. At least for the 36 seconds it feels like you are on it. The only real shade it gets is the length of the coaster. If the ride was longer, with one more show section, it could be one of the best attractions.
But again, if it was actually universally loved, how long would people be waiting for it? It already gets the longest lines at MK and its so divisive.
 

yensidtlaw1969

Well-Known Member
But again, if it was actually universally loved, how long would people be waiting for it? It already gets the longest lines at MK and its so divisive.
Keep in mind that many of the people willing to wait an hour or more for this ride have never been on it before. Lots of guests simply make a beeline for the new ride they've never been on. Perhaps a better gauge of its popularity would be to see how many people are willing to wait in that long line a second time.

Desire to ride + low capacity = long lines. Seven Dwarfs is not an especially high capacity attraction. Whereas at something like Pirates, which is about as close as you'll come to universally loved, desire to ride + high capacity (+ disruptive fastpass) = lines that never reach past an hour for a ride that is even more popular.

I look forward to the day when the lines temper out for Seven Dwarfs. I enjoy it for what it is, and as a newer attraction I haven't been on it nearly as many times as everything else in the park, but when I see a wait over 35 minutes I pass. I'd rather hit it at rope drop where I can get on with a more reasonable wait. It's not worth anywhere near the typical hour-long wait to me, and certainly not more.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
Keep in mind that many of the people willing to wait an hour or more for this ride have never been on it before. Lots of guests simply make a beeline for the new ride they've never been on. Perhaps a better gauge of its popularity would be to see how many people are willing to wait in that long line a second time.

Desire to ride + low capacity = long lines. Seven Dwarfs is not an especially high capacity attraction. Whereas at something like Pirates, which is about as close as you'll come to universally loved, desire to ride + high capacity (+ disruptive fastpass) = lines that never reach past an hour for a ride that is even more popular.

I look forward to the day when the lines temper out for Seven Dwarfs. I enjoy it for what it is, and as a newer attraction I haven't been on it nearly as many times as everything else in the park, but when I see a wait over 35 minutes I pass. I'd rather hit it at rope drop where I can get on with a more reasonable wait. It's not worth anywhere near the typical hour-long wait to me, and certainly not more.
I've thought about what you have said too, if you could boil them down into two points:


  • Low Capacity
    • Counterpoint: I don't entirely agree with this being a superlow capacity ride. While it only fits 20 people on -- they make sure to never leave empties, have a separate load/unload have a ton of trains, and push people out incredibly fast. First time I've ever been on a coaster where a lifthill was stopped because the next coaster didn't clear its blocks yet.
    • Sure, its not a continuously loading ride, but those are not as common now, as they create problems for the disabled and slow loaders. And the ride has to be so slow that the slowness in itself hurts capacity and leads to a boring ride.
  • Newness of Ride
    • Counterpoint: I don't actually think its that new at this point. It was put in service in May of 2014. That's almost five years. Yes, a coaster that's five years will be considered fresh enough to still have a "new car smell" but its out of the "brand new" window that makes an attraction a must ride just because its new. Five years is the point that it still has to be a great ride to benefit from its newness.
I think that its just a great ride for its target audience. Personally, I'd want something that was more thrilling and/or more immersively themed, but I think that it has a lot of things going for it:

  • Any ride at Disney will be popular, but a roller coaster will be in another league of high demand. Every coaster at Disney (other than a true kiddie coaster like Barnstormer) is going to be in the highest echelon of demand alongside rides like Flight of Passage. People just want coasters.
  • Snow White is a very popular and beloved property - and the story focuses on characters that are important to the story, but have taken a backseat historically. So people are interested in seeing those characters developed.
  • The song in the middle is very catchy and is a historically well loved song.
  • Its interesting how the immersive theming is in the middle -- not the beginning or end.
  • Its pretty much in the middle of the park, and you can't help but practically bump into it when you visit MK. Big Thunder is a far superior coaster, but its tucked way in the back of the park where you practically need a GPS to find it.
  • Kind of a summary of the previous points... but its a ROLLER COASTER... at MAGIC KINGDOM. Of course its going to be popular.
 

yensidtlaw1969

Well-Known Member
I've thought about what you have said too, if you could boil them down into two points:


  • Low Capacity
    • Counterpoint: I don't entirely agree with this being a superlow capacity ride. While it only fits 20 people on -- they make sure to never leave empties, have a separate load/unload have a ton of trains, and push people out incredibly fast. First time I've ever been on a coaster where a lifthill was stopped because the next coaster didn't clear its blocks yet.
    • Sure, its not a continuously loading ride, but those are not as common now, as they create problems for the disabled and slow loaders. And the ride has to be so slow that the slowness in itself hurts capacity and leads to a boring ride.
  • Newness of Ride
    • Counterpoint: I don't actually think its that new at this point. It was put in service in May of 2014. That's almost five years. Yes, a coaster that's five years will be considered fresh enough to still have a "new car smell" but its out of the "brand new" window that makes an attraction a must ride just because its new. Five years is the point that it still has to be a great ride to benefit from its newness.
In reference to these specific points, in talking about the capacity I'm not referring to how many people fit in each train, but rather the number of people the ride puts through per hour, which is around 1,500 people p/h. That's not especially high, especially for the demand the ride generates.

With regard to newness, keep in mind, if you went to Magic Kingdom today for the first time since 2013, yes, Mine Train would be new to you. It is still the newest ride in the park. It's not about it being 5 years old, it's about the amount of guests who are visiting A) for the first time since the attraction opened, or B) Visiting for the first time and heard this was the newest ride at the Magic Kingdom. I'm not claiming that everyone in line falls into either of those categories, but a lot of them do. I'm sure there are also people who have been on it before who love it so much that they aren't deterred by a 70 minute wait, but I don't think those people make up the majority of the line. Much of WDW's visitorship is made up of people who come once a year or less - in many cases considerably less.

I don't discount any of your other points, as I do think they help fuel the fire of this ride. It's a Roller Coaster, people love Snow White, it's an attractive looking attraction, it's in a popular and high-traffic area . . . I just don't think these tell the entire story. They definitely help keeps those lines long, though.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
In reference to these specific points, in talking about the capacity I'm not referring to how many people fit in each train, but rather the number of people the ride puts through per hour, which is around 1,500 people p/h. That's not especially high, especially for the demand the ride generates.

With regard to newness, keep in mind, if you went to Magic Kingdom today for the first time since 2013, yes, Mine Train would be new to you. It is still the newest ride in the park. It's not about it being 5 years old, it's about the amount of guests who are visiting A) for the first time since the attraction opened, or B) Visiting for the first time and heard this was the newest ride at the Magic Kingdom. I'm not claiming that everyone in line falls into either of those categories, but a lot of them do. I'm sure there are also people who have been on it before who love it so much that they aren't deterred by a 70 minute wait, but I don't think those people make up the majority of the line. Much of WDW's visitorship is made up of people who come once a year or less - in many cases considerably less.

I don't discount any of your other points, as I do think they help fuel the fire of this ride. It's a Roller Coaster, people love Snow White, it's an attractive looking attraction, it's in a popular and high-traffic area . . . I just don't think these tell the entire story. They definitely help keeps those lines long, though.
1,500 is actually crazy high for a ride that's not duel tracked. Some coasters might advertise 1,800, or something absurdly high like that, but they never get there unless its Disney, Universal, or Cedar Point (or maybe some of the European parks). A lot of the B&M coasters have three trains and claim 1,800 or 2,000 guests per hour, but if you actually go, the 3rd train is sitting in the shed, and they still stack with two. I went to 21 different theme parks in 2018, and I can tell you that outside of Disney, stacking is rampant. If you're still stacking, you're not coming anywhere close to hitting your max capacity.

Considering how the SeaWorld parks are trying to compete as a vacation destination, its amazing how slow their operations are. I love SWO and BGT to death, but their actual throughput compared to their capacity is embarrassing. I also think its bad to have your station mobbed full of people waiting for each row. It leaves too many empties, is uncomfortable, is ugly, and deprives the guests to see the part of the queue line that's supposed to be nice to look at, instead of inching ahead ahead 2-3 minutes.
 

yensidtlaw1969

Well-Known Member
1,500 is actually crazy high for a ride that's not duel tracked. Some coasters might advertise 1,800, or something absurdly high like that, but they never get there unless its Disney, Universal, or Cedar Point (or maybe some of the European parks). A lot of the B&M coasters have three trains and claim 1,800 or 2,000 guests per hour, but if you actually go, the 3rd train is sitting in the shed, and they still stack with two. I went to 21 different theme parks in 2018, and I can tell you that outside of Disney, stacking is rampant. If you're still stacking, you're not coming anywhere close to hitting your max capacity.

Considering how the SeaWorld parks are trying to compete as a vacation destination, its amazing how slow their operations are. I love SWO and BGT to death, but their actual throughput compared to their capacity is embarrassing. I also think its bad to have your station mobbed full of people waiting for each row. It leaves too many empties, is uncomfortable, is ugly, and deprives the guests to see the part of the queue line that's supposed to be nice to look at, instead of inching ahead ahead 2-3 minutes.
It's crazy high for that type of ride . . . but not compared to demand and the HC of some of the rides in the park around it.

If I recall correctly, the exact THC of the Mine Train is something like 1,650 an hour, but of course they aren't always working at full THC. It sounds like it usually falls below 1,500. Which, again, is good for a single tracked coaster, but doesn't come close to keeping up with the amount of people who want to ride it.
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
It's crazy high for that type of ride . . . but not compared to demand and the HC of some of the rides in the park around it.

If I recall correctly, the exact THC of the Mine Train is something like 1,650 an hour, but of course they aren't always working at full THC. It sounds like it usually falls below 1,500. Which, again, is good for a single tracked coaster, but doesn't come close to keeping up with the amount of people who want to ride it.
Yeah, but there's always a trade-off. Short of physically just having 2-4 tracks or more, there's only so much you can do with a coaster before you seriously start making compromises with the ride experience. I mean, I think that Disney should have multiple tracks on all of their coasters -- and they should be salivating at the chance to have a racing theme -- but they might be worried about possible safety issues...?

But think about it this way (assuming one track): The golden commandment for coasters is thou shalt not have more than one train in a block section. You get separate blocks through chain lifts, stations, and block brakes basically. You increase capacity with more trains, more people per train, shorter blocks on the course, and faster dispatches.

  • Disney's dispatch speed is pretty immaculate... no problems there.
  • Disney has tons of trains no problem there.
  • Tons of trains are limited by the blocks. You can't keep dispatching if it would bunch the blocks up. Good coasters have few if any MCBR (mid course block brakes) that disrupt the pacing. So there's a yin-yang there.
  • Ideally, the smaller the train, the better the ride experience. Its pretty awkward and clunky to have a coaster with never ending rows. Screws up the design, and you can't rely on everyone getting the intended experience. Four abreast help with this too, but then the people in the middle can't see anything. Again, yin-yang.
Now, what I'd like to avoid is going back to the days of the snail rides where every piece of track has a car, and you go about 2 MPH the whole time.... incredibly boring. Awesome capacity is one of the things that interests me about rides, but its always a yin-yang. You trade off fewer block sections for a more free, continuous ride, and you trade-off smaller trains for a better unobstructed experience. The things that the park does control on a coaster include number of tracks, number of stations, quality of staffing, and quality of logistics.

To me, I don't get as angry about 7 Dwarfs because I know that Disney is pretty much doing whatever they can to push people through -- its just a popular ride. What I don't like is waiting a long time at other parks on days that aren't crowded but the employees are just being slow and/or leaving a lot of empty seats and/or the park is only running one train.
 

The Real Buzz Lightyear

Well-Known Member
I absolutely love seven dwarfs mine train and new fantasyland ! Yes the could have more and I agree they should do a future expansion with the beauty and the beast dark ride. But it is still a very welcome addition to the magic kingdom(My favorite disney park) :)
 

Trackmaster

Well-Known Member
I absolutely love seven dwarfs mine train and new fantasyland ! Yes the could have more and I agree they should do a future expansion with the beauty and the beast dark ride. But it is still a very welcome addition to the magic kingdom(My favorite disney park) :)
Actually a good ride concept for the Beauty and the Beast. Finally after all of these years create the sequel that we've all been yearning for -- the French Revolution where the the peasants storm the castles and behead the monachs and lords. Buy up the rights for Les Mis for it too. Bella and her Stockholm Syndrome capture enjoy a few days of happiness before... you know, the Reign of Terror.
 
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