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Hear Me Out: I’m Skipping This Wildly Popular Disney World Ride Under Most Circumstances

Hear Me Out: I’m Skipping This Wildly Popular Disney World Ride Under Most Circumstances

This will probably be an unpopular opinion, but I (Joe) would rather skip this very popular Disney World attraction in most instances. Am I off target with my assessment?


In the first and second editions of the “Hear Me Out” series, I (Joe) mentioned the tradeoffs that guests face when trying to navigate the Disney World parks and accomplish attractions, shops, or restaurants on their priority list. There is so much offered in each park and resort. Most guests need to prioritize their “must do” lists.

With recent expansions and hype surrounding some rides, even with the help of Character Locator, getting everything accomplished in a day is not possible for most guests. Let’s not forget about the plethora of places to eat and shop as well.

Tradeoffs are the reality for most guests, and there is plenty of data out there that points to what often gets skipped by most guests. This data includes wait times, Genie+ availability, and reviews. In the inaugural edition we looked at Mickey’s PhilharMagic in Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom. Last edition we looked at Living With The Land in EPCOT’s Land Pavilion.

Credit: Susan

Should you revisit some of your touring strategies? Are you skipping some locations that should be on your “must do” list like we saw in the first two articles? Or, for today’s article, are you trying to prioritize something that should be left for another time?

We’re headed back to Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom for this edition of “Hear Me Out.”

Hear Me Out: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Credit: KtP

One of the most popular rides in all of Disney World is Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Opening in May of 2014 after the “New Fantasyland” expansion, the ride is a great family coaster featuring a rustic mine train that twists and turns around an age-old mountain. In addition to the drops and turns, the highlight of the ride is seeing the sparkling jewels inside the caverns and the Seven Dwarfs as they whistle while they work.

The smooth track, animatronics, and theming make this a great ride for all ages. So why am I telling you I would skip this ride under most circumstances?

Some Qualifiers

Credit: KtP

There are some circumstances where I would agree with making sure you get to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. If you have never done this ride, by all means figure out a way on your trip to fit this in. I’ll list some potential options for you below. As mentioned above, the ride appeals to all ages. It’s also a great “first roller coaster” type of ride for kids as it is a step up from The Barnstormer or similar amusement rides.

So I do understand the desire to get this ride in your plans. For my situation, having done the ride many times, I’ll explain why I’m ok skipping this very popular ride.

Reasons To Bump SDMT Down Your Priority List

Credit: KtP Writer Christina

I call this first reason the “Rope Drop Risk.” As an on-site guest, a common thought is to head immediately to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Guess what? Most guests are thinking the same thing. Complicating matters is the fact that only Fantasyland and Tomorrowland are open during Early Entry. The large majority of the crowd is heading to Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

Unless you are near the front of the crowd and get to the attraction with the first hundred or so people, the queue fills up very quickly. If you are not able to get to the Fantasyland ropes or have any morning transportation glitches you can expect the wait time to shoot up to 20-30 minutes (or more!) very quickly.

That result ends up eating away at your whole Early Entry advantage. In addition, the other nearby Fantasyland headliners like Peter Pan’s Flight will have quickly increasing wait times. In my opinion, a better use of Early Entry is to knock out some Tomorrowland rides (Space Mountain if you are a thrill rider, then Buzz or Peoplemover).

Credit: Maggie

Then, cut across the hub to lands that are just opening for the day like Adventureland (Jungle Cruise wait times jump quickly for the whole day) or Haunted Mansion in Liberty Square.

To illustrate this, here is a My Disney Experience screenshot from the day I’m writing this article. Magic Kingdom opens at 9:00AM, Early Entry for resort guests is 8:30AM. Overall crowd levels have dropped off after the Spring Break rush. Amazingly, at 8:45AM the SDMT line is a posted 75 minutes (Space Mountain is 20).

Credit: My Disney Experience

My guess is the actual wait would be a little less, but you can see my point from what I mentioned above. If you are running just a bit behind your plan, you will already be in a long line and lose your Early Entry advantage.

For non-resort guests that may consider rope-dropping Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at official park opening, I would not recommend it. The ride has been open for a half hour. You would be much better served heading to a land that is just opening. Once the queue wait time jumps, it is there to stay for the day. More on when to ride is coming later in the post.

Credit: My Disney Experience

Further complicating the “Rope Drop Risk” is a relatively common delayed opening for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. It happens maybe once a week as I have been tracking the last month. It happened to occur the day before I wrote this article (see screenshot from 8:44AM during Early Entry above).

A delayed opening, after fighting through the crowds, is a very frustrating experience as the time on your Early Entry advantage ticks away. Do you just wait it out? Shift gears to another part of the park or ride? Again it is not happening all of the time but it is enough to be mindful of as you consider the risks at rope drop.


Credit: Susan

Another common thought is purchasing an Individual Lighting Lane for the ride. The cost for an ILL for SDMT is generally between $11-$15. If you are in the situation that you want to basically guarantee you get on the ride during your trip I can understand the need to bite the bullet on the cost.

However, for a quick 2 minute, 30 second ride I don’t feel fulfilled spending between $50-$75 for that one ride (we generally have 4 or 6 in our party). I have purchased ILL for Rise of the Resistance, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Flight of Passage and have not regretted it at all. I don’t put Seven Dwarfs Mine Train in that category of paying for a ride.

Alternate Options

Credit: Disney

I’m skipping Seven Dwarfs Mine Train under most circumstances. After riding it many times the long waits, cost, or risky rope drop timing is prohibitive to our situation. However, the ride is a great ride as I mentioned in the beginning of the article. So we do work to figure out the best time for getting this into our trip.

As someone who typically stays in a Deluxe Disney World Resort (often through renting DVC points) my recommendation would be to ride Seven Dwarfs Mine Train during Extended Evening Hours. I would always recommend taking advantage of this perk, and it has worked well in the past. Added bonus: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is even better to ride at night!

Hear Me out tip: Save SDMT for close to park closing or during extended hours

If you are not a deluxe resort guest or cannot make it work with your schedule, I would get in the queue right before park closing. If you can’t make it that late or you are worried about an unforseen closure then you may need to go the route of ILL or take your chances with rope drop. Again, that is not ideal in my opinion and I am comfortable with the tradeoff of trying it late.

Credit: Donna

It will depend on your family’s priorities. Maybe you will say “hey, we need to get on SDMT at least once, we are buying an Individual Lightning Lane.” Keep in mind, with the ride’s popularity, that the ILL will sell out quickly especially at crowded times of the year.

Given the rope drop risk, value of ILL, and high wait times, I’m skipping Seven Dwarfs Mine Train under most circumstances. Heigh Ho, back to work I go on the next edition of “Hear Me Out.”

What do you think? Do you disagree with my reasoning here? Are you still making Seven Dwarfs Mine Train a priority? Let us know in the comments below!

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Christine Spang

Thursday 4th of May 2023

A plethora of great advice!!

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