Tag Archives: Disney World

Disney’s New Mine Train Ride in Fantasyland

The largest expansion in the history of Disney World is now complete. The Seven Dwarfs have been busy. They dug out the old 20,000 Leagues under the Sea space and discovered a mine. A roller coaster was built on top of the mine as the final addition to the make-over of Fantasyland. The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Ride will open to the public on May 28th.

The Beast's Castle in Fantasyland
The Beast’s Castle in Fantasyland
A few of the Seven Dwarfs.
A few of the Seven Dwarfs.

I had the opportunity to meet those dwarfs, visit their facility, and take a test run recently. I assure you, it’s not Dopey or Sleepy. The ride strikes it rich.

The mine train is a very high tech, a silent roller coast that gives a rousing but not too scary adventure. I’d say the ride ranks more thrilling than the Barnstormer, but doesn’t go as high or drop as much as Big Thunder Mountain. Perfect for young children tall enough to qualify for the attraction.

Disney's Seven Dwarfs
Disney’s Seven Dwarfs



The best part, in my opinion, was the time spent underground. You see the dwarfs dig, dig, digging and Hi- Ho-ing while they work and sing. I’m sure children’s eyes will light up as the mine sparkles with beautiful gems. When your car exits that area, you once again soar over Fantasyland catching a gorgeous view of the Beast’s Castle. The ride finishes with a peek into the cottage of the Seven Dwarfs. Don’t miss Snow White dancing with the gang.


Cottage of the 7 Dwarfs
Cottage of the 7 Dwarfs

Last year Disney added The Enchanted Forest, inspired by The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Here, you can venture through lush landscapes, discovering roaring waterfalls and royal castles along the way. The Enchanted Forest attractions and experiences include:

• Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid : Enter Prince Eric’s castle, board a giant clamshell and rock out on this new musical attraction.

Ariel in the Under the Sea  attraction.
Ariel in the “Under the Sea” attraction.

• Be Our Guest Restaurant: Feast in one of 3 incredible dining rooms in the middle of Beast’s Castle.

• Enchanted Tales with Belle: Become part of a lively retelling of the “tale as old as time,” hosted by Belle and Lumière.

• Ariel’s Grotto: Take photos and get autographs with everyone’s favorite undersea princess.

• Gaston’s Tavern:The manliest of manly places, this eatery serves up tasty tavern fare.

Last June, I was in the Magic Kingdom with my three granddaughter’s and this charming area was by far their favorite. Well, how could I have gone wrong taking three little princesses there? They met Belle and, of course, had photos snapped.

I personally adore Sebastian, the crab, and loved the Under the Sea ride so much that I chose to return by myself. I also hopped into a honeypot for Winnie the Pooh’s Adventure in the 100-acre Wood. Then I walked over to Tomorrowland. Couldn’t leave without taking a spin with Buzz Lightyear- truly a great kid’s ride for adults.

Magic Kingdom Fireworks
Magic Kingdom Fireworks

The fireworks spectacular is always a favorite, but in recent years Disney added nighttime projection onto Cinderella’s Castle. I found this adds an awesome new dimension. This year’s show is “Wishes,” the largest fireworks display ever presented at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.

The night time spectacular is narrated by Jiminy Cricket and the Blue Fairy. Guests of the Magic Kingdom are told a thrilling “story in the sky” featuring hundreds of brilliant pyrotechnic effects exploding above and around Cinderella Castle.

You’ve just got to love the Magic Kingdom!

Debi enjoys Disney and MagicBand
Debi enjoys Disney and MagicBand

By the way, I also visited Epcot and saw “Illuminations,” their fireworks display the night before. Amazing lighting effects around the spinning globe of nations.
Below are two video’s you can click on to experience the new Mine Train Ride. Enjoy.

First Half of the Mine Train Ride

Disney’s Mine Train Ride- from the middle section.


Grandkids at Disney

Mimi rides with the grandkids — RJ and Kyra

Taking the grandkids to Disney is as much an American ritual as the World Series; the planning process as complex as compiling baseball statistics. DisneyVacation.com, their website, overwhelmed me. But in the end, it’s as simple as sliding your credit card for a grand purchase.

Expectations run high–Mickey promises The Year of a Million Dreams. So we anticipated magical moments, character greetings and family togetherness. And the mouse roared.

Meeting Buzz Lightyear

RJ gleamed as Buzz Lightyear stamped his autograph book. Seeing Kyra’s star struck face as she watched the Princesses dance across the castle stage was, to quote the commercial–priceless.

Kyra gets a kiss from Minnie

I predicted a few meltdowns from these three and five-year-olds, but we only encountered whines. It’s understandably hard to resist the bombardment of everything Disney in ALL those shops. Walt’s marketing predecessors have soared to infinity and beyond.

At the moment, the Princess phenomena reigns supreme. Little girls indulge in royal make-overs, including hair, nails and a head-to-toe ensemble– for a king’s ransom. Fortunately, we brought a costume for Kyra which included her own simple crown. The fact that she wore the dress with her striped sneakers was unimportant.

Kyra and Sleeping Beauty

Meeting the fairy tale heroines was paramount and again Disney delivered, albeit after waiting in an-hour-long boring line. The Princess Pavilion hides within a Toon Town Tent where entry seems almost secretive. Once you are finally given an audience, it’s a photo extravaganza with Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella and Belle (of Beauty & the Beast fame).

The young ladies portraying these characters are polished professionals, truly charming, sweet and obliging. Professional paparazzi snap frames at the rate of about three per second. Of course, the Disney Photopass permits you to view and buy these pics through your home computer. My daughter-in-law, Amy and I shot our own.

I purchased the deluxe food plan which entitled us to more meals than we could manage. We dined with Winnie the Pooh characters, enjoyed BOMA’s Animal Kingdom African buffet and ate a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious breakfast in the Royal Floridian. Last morning, we met Chef Mickey and Minnie at our hotel, The Contemporary.

The nighttime parade and fireworks were truly awesome and as we walked toward the monorail, we spied four cast members (as employees are called) each holding a placard. The cards spelled out “See you real soon.” An extra touch and just the stuff that makes Disney memories. They must be doing something right, because we left with plans to return.

Fireworks behind the Castle