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Ride Review: The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom

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Published: June 29, 2014 at 2:49 PM

Can a roller coaster be too pretty?

Walt Disney World's new Seven Dwarfs Mine Train might be the most beautiful attraction in the history of the Magic Kingdom. Set on and in a mountain that forms the heart of the Magic Kingdom's New Fantasyland, this mine train rolls through lush forest, past detailed rockwork, and into a whimsical gem mine worked by the eponymous dwarfs, the supporting cast for Walt Disney's first feature film, 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. You ride what look like hand-carved wooden carts, which will respond to your movement by rocking gently from side to side.

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

But might this ride's beauty betray it? With such abundant visual rewards, the attraction draws your eyes toward countless details that command your attention. It's the overwhelming visual experience that generations of theme park visitors have come to expect from Disney's dark rides, including Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion. Yet the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train doesn't allow you the time you enjoy to take in its detail that those other attractions offer. As a roller coaster, the Mine Train sweeps you through each scene so quickly that you can form only an impression of the rich detail before you. Let's take a ride:

With just over two minutes from dispatch to the final brake before the unload station, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train offers an average-to-better-than-average ride time for a roller coaster. But since the visual experience, coupled with the relatively mild ride itself, so strongly suggests "dark ride" than roller coaster that those two-plus minutes instead feel scandalously brief. Throw in a wait time that routinely tops an hour (we waited 60 minutes on a weekday morning when the wait was posted at 105 minutes), and perhaps that's why so many riders have been leaving with more of a sense of frustration than elation. (Check out some of the comments on our Seven Dwarfs Mine Train reviews page.)

An hour's wait provides an attentive visitor plenty of time to eavesdrop on those around one's self. And I heard at least two sets of parents trying to tell their children who these "seven dwarfs" were. It makes sense that kids wouldn't know. After all, the first generation to grow up with Disney's Snow White is now into their 80s. Their children, grandchildren, and maybe even great-grandchildren discovered Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs through frequent re-releases in theaters. But Snow White hasn't played widely in U.S. theaters since 1993, and Disney makes no attempt to introduce (or re-tell) the Snow White story in the Mine Train's queue. Sure, we've got props and interactive games with which to play and pass the time, but there are no storyboards nor screens telling us who these dwarfs are and why Snow White fled into the woods where she met them.

For those who don't know the story, the ride provides an opportunity just to enjoy the beautiful scenery, then giggle at these silly characters who whistle and sing while they work in a mine where already-cut-and-polished gems abound. But what of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train's ending?

As we approach the station, we pull up next to the Dwarfs' cottage, where we can see the previously-unseen-and-unreferenced Snow White dancing with some of the Dwarfs, recreating a delightful scene from the film. But as we pull into the station, we see the Wicked Witch revealed at the cottage door, cackling, the poisoned apple in her in basket.

For those who don't know the story, the moment is bound to confuse. It's a dark note that evokes Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the original Disneyland Pirates of the Caribbean, and Singapore's version of Universal's Revenge of the Mummy — attractions that conclude without the requisite happy ending. But anyone who has seen the film or knows the story knows that this is not the ending. In fact, it's the moment where "stuff" is just about to get real.

If you were frustrated with not having enough time to see the abundant detail on the ride, multiple additional rides can provide new chances to see more. But no amount of re-rides will give the opportunity to see the rest of the story — after the witch knocks on that door — a story we did get to experience in the Magic Kingdom's old Snow White's Scary Adventures.

Sure, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is pretty — beautiful, really. But the appeal of the roller coaster always has been that delightful yin and yang of anticipation before the drop, satisfied by the power and rush of the drop itself. Physically, the Mine Train delivers that with a few pleasing little drops of its own. Yet, narratively, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train commits the grandest sin of all for a roller coaster attraction — it just leaves you hanging.

Readers' Opinions

From TH Creative on June 29, 2014 at 3:54 PM
What about "those who don't know the story?" Has that consideration been amply covered?
From Robert Niles on June 29, 2014 at 4:12 PM
Yes. It has. :^)

Hey, since they're the target market for this attraction, I think it's fair to put the focus on that slice of the market.

From Anon Mouse on June 29, 2014 at 4:34 PM
Disney rides are not narrative. You don't need to know the story.
From James Rao on June 29, 2014 at 6:04 PM
Yeah, but, Robert, was it fun?

Also, regarding your point about parent's having to belatedly tell their kids the classic story of 1937's Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, to that point I say, shame on the parents. If, as a parent, you are spending the time and money to go to the Magic Kingdom, a park brimming with rich stories and nostalgia, and you have not taken the time to introduce your children to the classics upon which the park is founded, then, again, I say, shame on you!!! WDI cannot be blamed for parental negligence.

Lastly, you waited 60 minutes to ride a roller coaster??? Robert, I hope you did not have your Follow Me I Know What I'm Doing t-shirt on! Yikes! ;)

From Tracy Bates on June 29, 2014 at 6:48 PM
My problem with it is that the ride vehicles are too small. Since the average American is getting bigger why do they make rides that many people can't ride with their kids? You know like the ride they removed to build this one.

Still, the theming was well done and it was fun, but too short.

From Anon Mouse on June 29, 2014 at 7:20 PM
@James: so a parent must educate their kid on every single ride for background info even though Disney does not design their rides with narratives.

Some people just want to have a good time, not get the full blown propaganda.

From Apple Butter on June 29, 2014 at 8:37 PM
Before James goes shaming parents you have to take a couple things in consideration.... it's an 80 year old sub par animation movie that is no where near in the top ten or maybe twenty Disney films by many peoples standards. It is a family coaster that looks good but lacking in story, that's odd for something so long ago that they wouldn't have a refresher in the que. No completion at the end puzzles me too, is Disney taking the dark side in teaching young minds that you should accept an apple from just an ordinary old lady? ;) what Disney is teaching nowadays boggles the mind..... Anyway visually it looks good but lacks content, is only two minutes, and is just below the mine ride at cedar point for thrills. I'll pass on waiting 60+ minutes. Big thanks to Robert for the review and POV video.
From Ed Newman on June 29, 2014 at 8:45 PM
Great review Robert. I have been anxious to get yours and other readers opinions on 7DMT since it opened. Oddly enough, we were there on May 28th, first day it was open to the public. Not really planned it that way. Just the way our vacation was scheduled in terms of which parks we visited that week. We made no plans to ride because there was so many other things we wanted to do at MK that day (and Fastpasses were not to be found in advance).

My daughter's 5 year old son was tall enough for Space Mtn, Big Thunder and Splash Mtn. He loved all three of those, so I think the Dwarves mine train may have been a little slow (and brief) for his liking (especially when factoring in the long waits).

But I digress... We went over and looked at the 7 D ride from several different vantage points. It did strike me as very beautiful, but its perceived brevity took away some of the appeal. I certainly credit Disney for a creating a unique coaster attraction that appeals to families and very young children. But based on what I saw plus the POV videos, it did not strike me as a must ride kind of attraction.

From James Rao on June 29, 2014 at 9:09 PM
@Anon Yes. If you don't want immersive attractions that tell a great story go to Six Flags, they have better thrills.

@Apple "Sub par animation movie"?!? Blasphemy. Without Snow White we would not have the animated movies you like today. Heck, we wouldn't even have Disneyland and DisneyWorld without the bank Walt made off Snow White. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

Interesting tidbit about the 1937 classic. Adjusted for inflation it is #10 on the list of top domestic box office grosses with $867M and change. By comparison, Frozen, the top grossing film of 2013, made $390M domestic. Snow White was huge in its day. HUGE.

From 108.132.197.130 on June 29, 2014 at 9:10 PM
Apparently, attraction like Mine Train and Antartica are being criticized for not meeting expectations.
From Robert Niles on June 29, 2014 at 9:40 PM
Yeah, it's fun. I liked it, and could ride it time and again. And yet... people are giving it mediocre ratings. Why is that? Why are people almost unanimously noting that it "feels short" when, in fact, its active ride time clocks over two minutes -- hardly short for a coaster.

That's what led me down the thought process that lead to this review. I think that the beauty of the ride is leading people to judge its length by dark ride standards, rather than a coaster standard. And that the suggestion of the coming conflict with the witch, left unshown, is adding to the feeling that this ride is abridged.

I think people eventually will get over the first issue, as more and more people get used to the ride. And that Disney can solve the second simply by taking out the witch animatronic. Just wrap this thing up as a single chapter in the Snow White tale, with no suggestion of the chapter yet to come. It would help this attraction to feel more complete unto itself. Consider it addition by subtraction.

Finally, if the opening of this ride encourages Disney to see the need for another SW7D theatrical rerelease, then, by that fact alone, I'd call it a delightful success.

From Anon Mouse on June 29, 2014 at 9:39 PM
@James "Yes. If you don't want immersive attractions that tell a great story go to Six Flags, they have better thrills"

But you said parents must educate their kids before going on the rides as if the rides are NOT immersive. They don't always tell a story and that's a fact.

And the truth is Disney rides are immersive while NOT having a narrative.

From Robert Niles on June 29, 2014 at 9:44 PM
Disney's best rides might not tell a narrative, but many of them do invite *you* to impose one. That's part of their appeal -- they stimulate your imagination.

But Mine Train is going to inspire a lot of kids to ask, "what's that old lady doing there?" The focus goes to the witch at the end, diminishing your memory of the rest of the ride.

From Anon Mouse on June 29, 2014 at 9:49 PM
"And that Disney can solve the second simply by taking out the witch animatronic."

Why is it necessary to solve a problem that doesn't need to be solved? In the original Snow White dark ride, there was no true ending. After the dwarves confront the witch, the ride ends with "they lived happily ever after". Who exactly? You saw Snow White once and you didn't see the prince.

I know people want a more complete story, but this just doesn't happen.

From David Matecki on June 29, 2014 at 9:51 PM
I agree this ride does not look up to snuff. The theme isn't bad but it should not be a coaster. The ride is almost confused on what it is supposed to be, coaster or slow dark ride.
One thing I don't understand in the critique is the "for those who don't know the story". Kids aren't going to know a lot of stories behind themed rides. And as a parent it can sometimes be fun to share that with your kids.
Pretty soon even Harry Potter will be in that boat. I mean the series started 13 years ago. But Universal has done a better job telling the story.
From 68.7.200.203 on June 30, 2014 at 12:24 AM
Wow subpar animation? You must know nothing about animation at all. Snow white was revolutionary and built upon the great advances made by Disney studios in their Silly symphonies shorts. It was the first cartoon EVER to realistically portray human movement (reference the "silly song" sequence) using live action reference, was the epitome of character animation of the time, the mother of all feature length animated films and launched Disney into one of the most successful businesses in human history.
From O T on June 30, 2014 at 12:47 AM
Disney made 2 kind of rides (when he was around), original ones that took quite some ride time because they had to explain the setting and what was going on, and movie rides that rehashed key scene's from the movies. Those later ones are the once who mostly survived after Walt's death because they are recognisable and are easily sold to the public (according to management). These rides don't do anything different from the movies (unlike Universals) and are in my opinion redundant but they evoke comfort (look at children television, they do the same thing over and over again).

The original rides like the one in the Imagination building is neutered. The original ride introduced Dreamfinder and Figment but the current ride doesn't and is a mess. The Pirates got Depped taking away from the openness of the scenes you see killing an original ride in the process to cash in on the success of the movies.

The new original ride are neutered in the development process as we can see in AK. There is a ride trough the Himalayas, there could be a Yeti, O dear there is a Yeti, we got away from the Yeti. Or we are on a boat ride in the Jungle, bad company cuts the jungle and create a mud slide, woei that mudslide was fun, thank you bad company. If you think that are great stories then you must find professional help. Sure Disney Immaginering can still make and amazing original ride but that only happens overseas these days because the American public is happy with everything you trow at them.

The same happened to the 7D ride. The original design had more dark ride scene's but they where cut (I'm sure it's because all those guests coming to WDW don't generate enough cash) and we get a half ass ride that could have been a classic like Splash Mountain but is a nice looking but story wise a messy ride only because it was cut. That shows Disney isn't about telling story's anymore (the once you make up or the recreation of the movies) but about cold hard cash only when it comes to Florida.

From James Rao on June 30, 2014 at 4:29 AM
@Anon To be fully enveloped in the Magic of Disney, one must have some knowledge of what Disney is all about, right? And watching the film that "started it all" is pretty much requisite. I am sure you have seen Snow White many times and you have practiced exactly what I am preaching with your family, so I have no idea what point you are trying to make.

Overall, we're getting some pretty harsh judgement from several folks who have not even experienced the new attraction yet. It seems to me that if people are going into this family coaster with such negative preconceived notions they are headed for a self fulfilled prophecy. Personally, I say, give it a chance. As Robert already stated, the new coaster is quite fun and imminently repeatable. Who knows, those of you who are being negative before the fact might like the 7D ride, if you give it a chance.

From Nick McKaig on June 30, 2014 at 4:33 AM
It seems clear to me that this is an almost-story being told. Regardless of the source material, perhaps there was a plan at an earlier time for a longer ride but there simply was not space to build it. The end result is much like a movie that was hastily edited down 30 minutes, and we only get a glimpse of a much more fulfilling story. The source material is fine I think, but anyone would be confused at the short duration of the ride given it is treated like a dark ride. It makes me wonder why they chose to make a roller coaster instead of some type of omnimover or other slower-moving vehicle that could have fit in a lot more in the footprint provided.
From Anon Mouse on June 30, 2014 at 5:12 AM
@James. It is possible to enjoy Disney from the opposite approach. Visit the parks first without prior knowledge.

Just because you think I might do it the "right way" does not make any sense of your argument. It is absurd that you now argue there is no point.

Wow, to keep on piling the straw man. People aren't giving it a chance??? You have nothing to worry about with 60 minute waits.

From James Rao on June 30, 2014 at 5:32 AM
@Anon I understand all the individual words you wrote, but not the order in which you presented them. I apologize for being so dense but I just don't understand the point you are trying to make.

My point is simply that visitors will get much more out of a story rich park like Magic Kngdom if they already have some familiarity with the stories. And to Robert's point specifically, I merely suggested that very few people who visit the Disney parks have not seen the classic film that basically got the ball rolling. So those folks he overheard in line, in my humble opinion, are the exception, not the rule.

And my comment about people not giving the new coaster a chance was directed at the negative comments of several folks who have not yet ridden. To the many stalwart Disney fans who are braving the 60+ minute waits I have directed no feedback except to Robert who, as a theme park insider, should have found a way to ride without the excessive wait.

From Anon Mouse on June 30, 2014 at 5:37 AM
Nice for you to ignore your own shaming language.

"I say, shame on you!!! WDI cannot be blamed for parental negligence"

What's this all about?

Robert is the source of some of the negative comments. So what? He gave his review and some agreed. It is not necessary to dispute it without riding it yourself (you haven't).

From James Rao on June 30, 2014 at 5:43 AM
I have absolutely no idea what you are upset about, Anon, but I certainly do apologize if by word or deed I have offended you in some way.

My comment was a light hearted response directed at Robert's article, not at you personally.

Lastly, I did not dispute Robert's review at all. I merely commented on the relevancy of the film Snow White to which I feel I have every right to comment.

From Anon Mouse on June 30, 2014 at 5:50 AM
James. You have a reading comprehension problem. You didn't like other negative comments. I said Robert was the source of the negative comments. You don't have to dispute the negative comments that are not Robert's original comment.

Thus far, you say you don't know why I wrote my posts. Despite that, you certainly respond and prove you know nothing.

From James Rao on June 30, 2014 at 6:05 AM
Anon, let's just agree that you are clearly the most intelligent and correct person on the planet. I am certainly willing to make that concession if it means I don't have to read another one of your incomprehensible attacks on my motives or reading abilities.

Have a nice day!

From Anon Mouse on June 30, 2014 at 6:05 AM
James. "incomprehensible attacks on my motives or character."

I have no idea I am doing that since I was disputing your words. This has nothing to do with your motives or character, which I don't have a clue.

Just incomprehensible.

I keep trying to clarify the discussion, but it keeps getting worse.

From James Rao on June 30, 2014 at 6:20 AM
Only because I am an idiot. Just ignore me and move on... It was clearly wrong of me to voice a different opinion. It won't happen again. I see the light. The 7D coaster is a piece of crap, and Snow White is an irrelevant waste of celluloid. And parents who educate their kids on the stories that built the Magic Kingdom should be reported to Social Services. They are monsters!
From Rob Pastor on June 30, 2014 at 7:36 AM
I'm still looking forward to riding the attraction when I go to WDW next year. I never had any over expectations for the ride. It was always clear to me, way before it's debut, that it had a serious shortcoming on length of time and lack of major dark scenes, and that it was not in the class of Splash or Thunder Mountain. And I was always on the side that thought it would work better as an omnimover. I would never wait in a real long line for this ride but I'm sure I'll do it for fastpass and multiple days since it seems to be one of the better fun attractions in Fantasyland. I accept it for what it is, a beautifully themed, entertaining attraction but certainly not one of the top ranking Disney rides.
From Nick McKaig on June 30, 2014 at 8:11 AM
I agree that the ride is a good, solid effort that just not measure up to the overall success of Disney's other rides. The question is, is that good enough? Can Disney get by with anything less than spectacular when there are incredible efforts taking place just down the road?
From Rob Pastor on June 30, 2014 at 8:45 AM
Can Dwarfs measure up to Universal's new attractions? Probably not. It remains to be seen whether Avatar will equal Universal's new offerings. Avatar seems to be Disney's effort to match Universal, but that is pretty far into the future. Avatar will be the real test. But I'm not very optimistic for Disney concerning Avatar.An immersive Star Wars land is their best hope, if ever they decide to do that. Just my opinion, though.
From 99.158.174.209 on June 30, 2014 at 8:59 AM
A review (mid-June) from a family of four adults:
7DMT is a one-of-a-kind ride that adults can share with their children or grandchildren. It supports classic characters from decades ago as the new centerpiece of Fantasyland.
It could be characterized as "two-thirds of Thunder Mountain" (no third hill) with a dark middle section. It could be characterized as a 'family coaster', a 'first coaster' for youngsters, or even a 'last coaster' for seniors. Such is its balance between thrill and pleasure. No other ride comes close in design.
We rate it a "ride it twice" - once first trip day and once again last day.
fred
From Gabriel Schroll on June 30, 2014 at 10:11 AM
I haven't had the pleasure of riding 7DMT, but I am excited for the chance. It really does look absolutely beautiful, and whether or not the ride itself lives up to expectations, I think the ride's structure and beauty is a great addition to the landscape of New Fantasyland. Not everyone will ride, but everyone will see it and/or walk by it. It makes for a fantastic backdrop to a family photo.

As for what I've seen/read/heard about it, it does appear to me like they really missed out on an opportunity for something really great.

I agree with the general consensus that it doesn't know if it's a roller coaster or a dark ride, and the witch at the end really changes the aftertaste of the ride, so to speak. My food analogy (lame, I know) is just finishing a delicious dessert dish, and then eating a small bite of garlic mashed potatoes. As great as the dessert was, you can't help but have the mashed potato taste in your mouth at the end of the day. The witch visual will stay with guests longer than Disney might have wanted.

It seems like a really beautiful, technologically advanced ride with a lot of time and money invested, but a real lack of focus.

I wouldn't be surprised to see some high level Cast Member turnover at Disney coming in the not-to-distant future if things continue down the current path.

From Court E on June 30, 2014 at 10:15 AM
Disney will be fine regardless of what happens "down the road." There will probably be 1 or 2 more slam dunks from Universal before Disney removes it's bean counters from their high horses and they start investing more heavily into the parks.

It happened back in the mid 70's and early 80's when Disney actually was competing heavenly with parks owned by Marriott and Six Flags, which at the time had theming on par if not better than Disney. The purse strings are opening up and while the theme park crowd hasn't been wowed yet, I'd not be too concerned by what Disney has yet to accomplish.

From James Rao on June 30, 2014 at 10:21 AM
Disney will continue to "get by" on $1B - $3B profit per quarter. It's going to be a struggle, but somehow, some way they will survive.
From Nick McKaig on June 30, 2014 at 10:28 AM
@James, that doesn't get to the heart of the issue I meant to address. Clearly Disney is the leader in Orlando at this moment in time when looking at attendance and profits, there is no doubt about that. But what is Disney doing to secure its position as a leader for the future? How is it responding to the competition, or does it need to? How long will it be until the numbers change?
From James Rao on June 30, 2014 at 10:56 AM
Obviously Disney is doing something right or attendance and profits would be down, not up. We keep saying they are struggling but that struggle is not supported by the numbers.

Is Disney losing the thrill crowd? They never had it. Is Disney losing the themed entertainment crowd? Maybe, but if so, it is not reflected on the bottom line. From all accounts Disney needs to maintain the course they are currently pursuing: slowly but steadily building high quality attractions, shows, restaurants, and parks that bring in the lucrative whole family market. Would we as enthusiasts like to see Disney do more on the ride side of the equation? Absolutely. However, the enthusiast crowd is a niche crowd and not one to which Disney traditionally caters.

In my opinion, we're going to have to wait for Iger to step down then hope against hope we get a replacement that is more focused on the parks and expanding the parks than on the holistic expansion of the company in general. As long as Iger runs the show expansion has to be measured across all Disney divisions rather than in a simple count of new attractions.

From O T on June 30, 2014 at 11:14 AM
@James Rao Disney is loosing attendance in Orlando but because they know to squeeze more money from their customers their earnings are up and that is a great thing for a company because less people in the park means less work for Disney but (as said) more money from their customers.

This is clearly not the question here, it's that the god of story telling baked an half ass story in their ride and a lot of people are disappointed about that as Robert explains from many of the comments in the attraction review on this site. It's probably not up to the standard Disney set for itself. But like you many people in the end won't care about quality of story telling and keep visiting the stuff they know, so again Disney did a great job getting away with lack of story telling and still keep spending up. I think Disney gradually and successfully lowers it's bars without loosing money. It's like the frog that is slowly cooked.

@Anon You are really rude, just saying.

From Robert Niles on June 30, 2014 at 11:37 AM
For the record, Disney is not losing attendance in Orlando. It is losing (ever so slightly) market share, simply because it is not growing as fast as Universal Orlando is. But overall attendance, spending, and profit are up for Disney on an annual basis. And there's no sign that's about to change.
From James Rao on June 30, 2014 at 1:07 PM
@O T I do care about quality, and I do want Disney to do more and make more and push the envelope in ways no other company can push it. I get just as frustrated as you, I promise!

However, I also try to have a little perspective and realize that not every addition to the parks is going to be perfectly suited to me and my tastes. And in reality the only people complaining about 7D are grown ups. Conversely, I have spoken to several recent visitors who told me 7D was their kids' absolute favorite ride. So the intended audience seems to be quite pleased while people like you and me are left wanting. But Disney seems to know what they are doing as attendance and profits grow, so I am merely defending the actions of Disney in that regard. It doesn't mean I am thrilled with their decisions just that I understand them.

Also, you have to understand my local park is Cedar Fair's Worlds of a Fun, so almost anything Disney does is comparatively impressive to me and mine! ;)

From Sylvain Comeau on June 30, 2014 at 11:25 PM
I haven't had a chance to ride it yet, but I disagree with the notion that you should have time to take in all a ride's details. For the sake of re-rideability, why would you want to take everything in the first time?

Most Disney and Universal dark rides have too much detail to take in, and that is a plus in my book.

Personally, I love noticing something new on my second, third -- twentieth, thirtieth -- ride through.

P.S.: Sure, some kids don't know the Seven Dwarfs at all. But the movie has been available on VHS, then DVD and Blu Ray, for decades now. Surely millions of people from all generations have seen it in those formats.

As for the long wait time for a short ride, that is endemic of Fantasyland rides, and wait times are predictably long for a new attraction. Even if it was twice as long, would it be worth waiting for an hour or two in the summer heat?

From Sylvain Comeau on June 30, 2014 at 11:43 PM
I'd like to add another comment. This ride was never intended to be an E Ticket, so of course it doesn't have the scope of rides like Splash and Pirates.

It's not another Radiator Springs Racers -- it's a Fantasyland ride. And two minutes is pretty standard for FL.

From David Brown on July 1, 2014 at 6:33 AM
So many of the negative comments on this thread seem to be from people who wanted Disney to produce something, anything, that would rival Harry Potter over at Universal. I think much of the problem here is that 7DMT happened to come along at the same time as Diagon Alley and it's being compared directly to it when it simply isn't even trying to be in competition.

As has been pointed out it sits within Fantasyland which is aimed fair and square at kids under 11 or so - often much younger. So big thrills are out. So is complex nuanced storytelling. What we've got is something that looks gorgeous and so creates a real heart and centre-piece to Fantasyland, anchoring a themed area that is as good as it gets anywhere in the world visually. And that matters to Disney, and it matters to a lot of the people who visit Disney regularly. They are looking for that sense of being somewhere else and new Fantasyland delivers.

And most of all it's not aimed at the sort of people who inhabit forums like this. Most of us want cutting edge, technology-pushing attractions, not a gentle 'my first coaster' experience. We were never going to get the former. Disney doesn't really do cutting-edge. It does landscaping. It does theming. It does immersion. And for its market that is more than enough, as the figures show.

I understand the disappointment. We would all love to be blown away by a Disney attraction but I'm not sure that's what Disney is about. I think we will get something impressive from Disney eventually - maybe Avatar, maybe Star Wars. But not yet. In the meantime, complain if you want to. But I predict 7DMT will be popular for years to come, and that's all that matters really....

From Nick McKaig on July 1, 2014 at 6:45 AM
I don't understand the argument. The ride was built for kids so the story doesn't matter? Kids are smart, and they care about "complex nuanced storytelling" just as much if not more than adults would.

Disney could have opened 7D whenever they wanted, but they chose to have it open a month before Diagon Alley. I have a hard time believing that was a coincidence. Whether it was intended to be compared or not, the opening of these two attractions at the same time means that they will be held to the same standard, which is that they should be "impressive". Why is it okay that 7D be good enough, why not brilliant?

I sort of feel that the addition of the witch and snow white at the end of 7D has caused the primary issue of story. If the coaster only told the story of the dwarves going home at the end of the day, the scope of the story would fit the short duration of the ride. But then all of the sudden the rider is introduced to a conflict right before they depart the attraction. That to me is why the ride seems incomplete.

From Gabriel Schroll on July 1, 2014 at 8:23 AM
As I said before, I haven't been on the ride. But it seems to me that this would be a golden opportunity for Disney to have the ride exit right into a Snow White Meet & Greet and a store, where they could market the original movie on DVD/Blu Ray. Something along the lines of "Continue the story on DVD" or the like.

Though the ride may seem (or be) incomplete in a sense, the viewer could pick up the DVD for $20 and watch it on the flight or drive home. That would not only satisfy the curiosity of the guest, but be another money maker for Disney.

From David Brown on July 1, 2014 at 8:51 AM
Who says it has to be a complete narrative?

Here's the story of the Dwarves mining and going home at the end of the day and partying with Snow White. Simple, cute, safe.

But I like the little sting in the tale at the end. There are plenty of great novels or films that end with a hanging plot - leaving the reader to imagine what happens next. Think of the Italian Job for example....

It could be argued that Disney is stimulating imagination with this ending, allowing children to decide what they think will happen next. Who is the witch? What does she want? Why is she holding an apple? What will happen next?... If I had kids that's the conversation I'd be having with them after riding...

There is nothing wrong with an open ending.

From TROY DAVIDSON on July 1, 2014 at 9:13 AM
As negative as I have been about Disney….(Still got my annual pass for a few more months...) This ride did what it was intended to do; which was add capacity and complete the landscaping of the new Fantasy Land. Should it have taken 3 years to complete...H-e-double hockey sticks no! The speed at which Disney is completing their projects is inexcusable. They may not be losing money, but they are losing market share. Harry Potter will steal people away from Disney for at 2 or 3 days. Some guest may just like Universal enough to wake up and smell the roses; seeing that Disney is being lazy and not investing in their Orlando parks. Universal has already broken ground on a major King Kong E-ticket. (yes, another E-ticket!) Jurassic Park is getting another attraction. Kid-Zone over at the Studios is rumored to be demolished to create a "Fantasy Land" type experience. Twister and T2 getting replaced after this year......Universal opening a 5th on-site hotel and a state of the art water park.....If a third gate opens in the next 5 to 7 years, Disney needs to be afraid---very afraid. People will drop a day at EPCOT, AK, or the studios....Leaving the Magic Kingdom to capacity with long lines and moody guest.
From Sylvain Comeau on July 1, 2014 at 9:40 AM
Fantasyland rides are intended to appeal primarily to children. That doesn't mean the adults can't enjoy them, too (I know I do). But the kids are the primary audience.

From everything I've read about 7DMT, kids are giving this ride enthusiastic thumbs up. By that measure, it appears to be a complete success.

From Court E on July 1, 2014 at 10:45 AM
The "too short" complaint comes from the lack of "coaster" to this ride. There isn't a whole lot of dark ride elements or a whole lot of coasting. It wets the palette but leaves you wanting more which it fails to deliver on.

From 140.215.152.11 on July 3, 2014 at 11:17 AM
I agree whole heartedly with this article. It seems that today's Disney "imagineers" are good at artistic detail, but when it comes to the big picture, to put it bluntly, they pathetic. I wonder if they went through all this trouble just to illuminate the true story of Snow White with the resurrection and celestial city ending just because they couldn't stand the allusion to the biblical theme. If Walt were alive, he would be livid. Some of these people wouldn’t even be working for him. But of course, they will ignore these posts because they are smug and arrogant, which by the way is a very ugly thing. Walt may not be here, but there is no doubt that their day of reckoning will come. Another generation will rise up that will return to the true art of Walt Disney and these people will be very lightly esteemed, if they are esteemed at all.

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