Disney Imagineer Dave Minichiello talks about Walt Disney World's new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Written by Robert Niles
Disney Imagineer Dave Minichiello, the creative director on the Magic Kingdom's upcoming Seven Dwarfs Mine Train answered questions about the new family roller coaster dark ride attraction during a live online chat today.Tweet
The questions were screened by Disney PR reps, but we've included some of Dave's most notable responses and comments about the ride, below.
View from the station, under construction, provided by Disney
"Pretty much every day is a milestone and some major ones that I’d like to mention are the Dwarfs Cottage, which is going quickly and looking amazing. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train being a part of the forest - we’re starting to see it as a part of the forest with the tree planting. We’re finally starting to see it all come together."
"The top of the mountain is being planted with trees, the final rockwork is being completed as well as thematic painting of the rockwork. Ride testing continues daily. Now what’s really nice is the propping the attraction both inside and outside."
"What’s special about Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the journey. You travel through the forest and explore the mine where the dwarfs are working, but we’re seeing the mine in a grander scale in a way we’ve never told the story before."
"We do have some interactive elements in the queue. Part of the “scene one” in the queue area helps us start to tell the story. We have an area where guests can sort and wash jewels, and for the first time, we’re taking guests into the vault as seen in the classic film ‘Snow White.'"
"The queue has a surprise song in it that was originally written for the film called ‘Music In Your Soup,’ which we’ve recorded in instrumental version and added to our queue area. All of the music in the queue area is all instrumental, and we wanted to give it a feel that it was played by the Seven Dwarfs."
"It’s a family coaster and it’s a unique experience unlike anything else in our parks. This attraction is more innovative in its ride system and vehicle. It is for the entire family. It gives the guests a new sensation they’ve never had before. And we felt that uniqueness was the best way to tell our story."
"It has proven to be pretty amazing and a very smooth attraction. It’s a completely new experience - not only having the sensation of pivoting back and forth and it varies throughout the attraction. You feel differences in the various terrain around the mountain."
During the chat, Disney posted a YouTube video that included a side-by-side view of a CGI design ride-through of the attraction, along with a GoPro camera view of the ride, taken a few weeks ago. Note that there is a dissolve edit in there, so we might not be seeing the whole length of the attraction. And the GoPro footage does not show the installation of all on-ride animation and effects, which might not be complete yet.
"What’s interesting about the video is that there’s a CGI model, which was the first concept model that we developed for this show. What’s amazing is seeing how accurate it was to our initial concept and vision. What’s amazing is how accurate the sight lines are, the staging, the scaling, the variable speeds. We’re fortunate to use innovative technologies during the development of our attraction."
"The reason the train slows is to allow the guests to enjoy the details of the scene. We wanted to let our guests discover their favorite dwarf. All seven are hard at work in the mine scene - and we do have some hidden stuff in there."
Dave reported that the ride will have a 38-inch height requirement. He did not give an opening date for the ride, beyond reiterating Disney's previously announced "spring" opening.
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