Matt Stroshane
Stephen M. Silverman
May 02, 2014 10:55 AM

From now on, Sneezy, Sleepy, Bashful, Grumpy, Happy, Dopey and Doc don’t have to take a backseat to anybody, not even Snow White.

The boys now have a ride of their own.

Walt Disney World‘s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train officially opened in Orlando, Florida, Friday morning as the jewel in the crown of the Magic Kingdom’s recent expansion, New Fantasyland.

Incorporating the major thematic elements of the now-shuttered dark-ride staple Snow White’s Scary Adventures with what Disney Imagineers call a “family-friendly” roller-coaster, the attraction’s 20-passenger trains slow down inside a dark cavern to provide a mirthful glimpse of the popular Disney characters at work, then speeds into gear to zip through their well-landscaped – and hilly – village.

On the intensity scale, the Mine Train measures closer to The Barnstormer than to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, with gentle curves and the tallest hill 41 feet high.

Meanwhile, the visual experience inside the mine is enhanced by LED-lit “gems” that literally allow the Audio-Animatronic Dopey to have stars in his eyes. Other details include an exact replica of their cottage, with an evil visitor outside the door.

The attraction will be fully opened to the public on May 28.

Sleepy Does What Sleepy Does

“This is the first time we’ve done a full 3D design and delivery process on any of our Audio-Animatronic figures,” said Ethan Reed of Walt Disney Imagineering, which went back to the source material, Walt Disney’s first full-length animated feature, 1937’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, for inspiration.

“There’s so much new technology out there, we can really make these characters look like they jumped off the screen,” Reed said.

Disney World's Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Matt Stroshane

Another new technology just rolled out at Disney World is MyMagic+, a personalized wristband device that guests can use as their hotel-room key, park admission and Fast Pass ticket, credit card for purchases, and, in conjunction with the My Disney Experience smartphone app, schedule planner for the entire trip.

One other fun fact from the Disney archive: In creating Snow White’s seven friends, who were first brought to life – though never named – by the Brothers Grimm, Walt Disney considered calling them Wheezy, Jumpy, Baldy, Stuffy, Tubby, Dizzy and Burpy.

Just imagine what that last one would’ve been called today.

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