In the center of the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland, workers are adding what appear to be the finishing cosmetic touches on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, the new Snow White themed children’s roller coaster which will act as a showpiece for what Disney is calling the “New Fantasyland.” Most such construction has historically taken place behind barrier fences which keep the work hidden, but by virtue of being several stories tall, work on the Mine Train is plainly visible to Magic Kingdom guests. As such, the progress on the new attraction has been trackable for some time, making clear that it wasn’t yet close to completion.
But workers were spotted today putting finishing cosmetic touches on the Mine Train, including the installation of fake trees alongside the roller coaster tracks. Disney has officially said for some time that the ride will be open in “Spring 2014” but the visible lack of progress, including visibly unfinished portions of the mountain surface itself as recently as two months ago, left some to speculate that things were running behind. The pictures I captured today suggest a different story.
The previous Snow White themed ride, the comparatively low key child’s ride Snow White’s Scary Adventures, has been closed since the spring of 2012. However other Fantasyland mainstays including the Winnie The Pooh and It’s A Small World rides have remained open during the construction.
The unusual open nature of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train construction project has opened the door for park guests to pass judgment on the speed of the construction and speculate on what may be behind it. One guest today remarked out loud that he believed the ride was “behind schedule” for “electrical reasons” but when I asked him to elaborate, he acknowledged he was merely guessing on both counts, with no factual basis. But the only way Disney could have headed off such wild speculation would have been to build a perhaps fifty foot tall fence around the construction zone, or to close Fantasyland entirely, neither of which may have been practical for the duration of the now nearly two year project.
But with workers now placing the visible finishing touches on the Seven Dwarfs roller coaster, the question now becomes whether it’s a sign that the ride is indeed nearly completed or if perhaps the cosmetic additions are simply to create the appearance of progress. For that answer, Disney fans can only wait for official word from the Walt Disney Corporation.