I like fun Disney gossip, but this certainly isn’t welcomed news. There’s a rumor going around right now that the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride that was scheduled to be part of the new Fantasyland expansion might be scrapped. Disney fans have been hearing grumblings for weeks now that the engineering behind the ride just wasn’t working, which in turn meant that they couldn’t design the track or even the building itself. Now we’re hearing that the entire ride is being cancelled.
You might remember the announcement that came out of Disney last year that elements of the Fantasyland project were being tinkered (sorry) with. The elaborate Pixie Hollow was out, as were several princess meet and greets. Why? Well anyone who looked at the original plans could see that the area was too centered around little girls. And while Disney recognized that the whole princess trend is huge, and very profitable, focusing on a very small segment of the guest population to that extent just didn’t make sense. Besides, how many meet and greets do you need?
One solution that fans readily welcomed was the addition a dark ride right in the middle of the expansion. While the characters were taken from a fairytale, this wasn’t another princess ride. Instead, by using the Seven Dwarfs, Disney added characters into the expansion which have widespread appeal, both for the casual fan and those who recognize the role of the movie Snow White is Disney history. From a ride perspective, the ride was to be a bridge between Goofy’s Barnstormer and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, sort of an opportunity for younger guests to try out a “big kid ride” before going on Thunder Mountain. And the concept seemed appealing, even for adults.
As much as I find the collective hand-wringing and concern among Disney fans interesting, it’s highly unlikely that the Mine Train ride is going to be cancelled in favor of going back to the original plan for meet and greets. Disney doesn’t want that kind of gaffe out there. They’ve promised a ride. It wasn’t just a rumor. Therefore, a ride is coming. I think what we’ll see is a re-design of the original idea if these reported problems are true. We always knew that the ride was going to be one of the last completed in the expansion and you have to expect little bumps along the way. No one wants repeat of the Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey debacle over at Universal, where the seats had to be re-designed. Better to fix those problems now than later.