roller coaster

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coaster Construction Update from Disney World

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The last attraction to open in the Magic Kingdom’s New Fantasyland expansion is the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s a completely new kind of roller coaster with cars that swing back and forth. This allows for tighter corners and a slight increase in the thrill, while still keeping it kid friendly.

If it seems like the project has been taking forever, you’re partly right. Vertical construction of the coaster only began in March of 2012. It is currently expected to open sometime in early summer of 2014, which puts it at a little over two years from dirt to ride opening. Don’t make any plans based on that rumor as it may be pushed back. That’s about the speed for a major new attraction at Disney these days.

Those who have been paying close attention to the blog know I had an emergency surgery to correct a heart defect, so I’ve been limited in what I can do in the parks, but I was able to get out and get some new video and photos from the scene earlier this week.

There is significant progress from my November 6th update. The mountain is starting to look like a mountain, with actual real trees and some artificial ones dotting the show building. Queue and show elements are beginning to be installed and actual testing of cars on the track is occurring. Not on the day I was there unfortunately, but I did capture some video of the mountain to share with you:

Many more pictures of the construction site below the jump:

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Update on the Details of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland

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Disney’s Imagineers have been high-ho’ing away on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride at New Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom, and we finally have proof that it’s almost ready to ride! We know it will open sometime in 2014, although when exactly is still unannounced.

The aspect of the train that I find the most fascinating is its aged look. Obviously it’s a brand new ride, but the Imagineers specifically painted and carved the wood to make it look weathered. The rusty hinges on the doors and the crumbling rock structures also add to the worn appearance, which I think makes it feel more authentic. The story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is an old one, so it makes sense to combine it with an aged, yet new theme park ride.Read More »Update on the Details of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in New Fantasyland

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Construction Update from Disney World

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Construction on the last attraction remaining to be completed for the New Fantasyland expansion at the Magic Kingdom has taken some exciting leaps since we last checked in. Although they weren’t testing on the day I was there, as you can see above, a complete train has been added to the tracks of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster. That’s an exciting bit of progress, but the attraction still is set to open sometime in 2014 with no official date yet announced.

Here’s more video from around the mountain and through the peek windows. Sadly the windows are getting progressively dirtier, but you can still make out most of the detail. I’m most excited about how the buildings that will house the entrance and exit queue are coming along. Notice the steel construction, gotta be hurricane proof in Orlando.

Thanks for watching. I’ve added a few photos below the jump if you can’t watch the video:

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Construction Update – New Fantasyland’s Final Piece

But the mine entrance is taking shape

I made it back to the Magic Kingdom this weekend to film another Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster construction update. It’s great to see how much further its come since just two weeks ago. That said, there’s a lot left to do, but we are finally beginning to see some of the final shape the mountain will take.

This new mountain in the Magic Kingdom mountain range (yes, I’m calling it that) will be the last part of New Fantasyland to open. The exact date has not been announced, but it’s currently scheduled to welcome its first guest sometime in 2014. So cross your fingers and hope for good weather so we can all visit the gem mine as early in the year as possible.

Want more? Plenty of photos of the construction below the jump:

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Bring to Walt Disney World: The Hyperloop

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This week crazy-like-a-fox billionaire businessman Elon Musk introduced his latest revolutionary concept, the Hyperloop, and then gave it away to the masses as an open source project. Musk’s previous successes include Paypal (without which much online transactions wouldn’t happen), Tesla (an electric car company that’s profitable for a change), SpaceX (a private company that is helping NASA get payloads into space with an eventual goal of Mars(!)), and SolarCity (affordable solar panels for home and business; It remains to be seen if this will fall into the success category, but it seems likely with a net positive in the profit column last quarter).

Hollywood director Jon Favreau has said he modeled his version of Tony Stark, aka Marvel’s Iron Man, at least in part after Musk. But I think Tony Stark is the wrong model. Musk reminds me more of late period Walt Disney, when Walt had his eye on the future, not just of entertainment and the Disney Company, but of the planet as a whole and improving the lives of those who live on it. His gained steam with Monorails (mass transit), moved onto PeopleMovers (person rapid transit (PRT)), and dabbled in energy efficiency and recycling. Then Walt united all his theories and took on the mother of all urban planning projects – EPCOT, the experimental prototype community of tomorrow. With EPCOT, Walt wanted to build a working community where he could partner with industrial explorers with a similar vision for the future.

That is essentially the same vision as Elon Musk; which is why I think there is a natural partnership between Musk, his companies, and The Walt Disney Company. To get started, create the partnership for the purposes of building a working prototype of the Hyperloop at Walt Disney World. Musk, or his team, would be involved enough to oversee things, but most of the R&D would be left to Walt Disney Imagineering. The resulting prototype would be a great first step to making a full scale Hyperloop a feasible project to get past local and state governments.

Disney’s Imagineers already have much of the expertise needed to build such a system. They have experience with air-bearings (from the Flying Saucers ride in 60s to the revisited version at DCA), mass transit systems (Monorail, PeopleMover, etc.) and for years they used a garbage disposal system at the Magic Kingdom that magically whisked away trash right from the curb side down an air pressure driven pipe. They also have good contacts in the coaster and mass transit construction industries, so finding suppliers would not be difficult. Read More »Bring to Walt Disney World: The Hyperloop

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Construction Update – August 2013 – New Fantasyland

Another look at the big drop out of the interior

Another look at the big drop out of the interior

We check in again on the progress Disney is making on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It’s schedule to open in 2014, the last of the New Fantasyland expansion area to be finished. Hard to see much change since we last updated the project, bit it’s there. There’s more finished rock-work and more of the yellow rock contour installed. On the exterior portion they’ve really started to do some detail work in the tight twisty portion of the track.

Still, we’re a long way from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs moving in. All we know so far is sometime in 2014. I wish they’d hurry up.

Photo gallery below the jump:

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Construction Update – July 2013

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Here’s an updated look at the construction on New Fantasyland’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train roller coaster at the Magic Kingdom. There is still a long way to go on one side, but when you turn around the back to where Prince Eric’s Village will be, it looks nearly finished. Current plans call for it to be open sometime in 2014, but it’s hard to tell if they’re on pace or not.

As before we have both video and photos of the area

Photos are below the jump:Read More »Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Construction Update – July 2013