Travel | North America
July 6, 2020
My whole life I have hated roller coasters. I especially hate the big drops, the feeling of your stomach suddenly moving into your throat, the panic of trying to push your body back into your seat so you don't fall out. Just me?
Several years ago (as an adult), I decided to overcome my childhood fears and try Expedition Everest. I did survive. However, I hated it and had no desire to do anything like that ever again. So at my last trip to Disney, I decided to try something a little more my speed.
The friend I traveled with to Disney was a thrill-seeker, and I could tell she was getting bored with rides like It's a Small World and the Prince Charming Carousel. So I reluctantly agreed to try a roller coaster with her.
I had already tried Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and it was jerky and made me motion sick. So I was very nervous about another roller coaster, no matter how small it might be. The ride we settled on was the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The roller coaster is located in Fantasyland, behind the Cinderella Castle and directly across from the Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. There was a long wait time (I think it was around a 150-minute wait), but we managed to get a Fast Pass and skip the long lines. As we waited in the (much shorter) line, I tried to silence my fears by looking at the tiny children who were ahead of me. (The height requirement for this ride is only 38 inches). I told myself that if THEY could do it, I could do it!
We made it to the front of the line, then a cast member strapped us in... and I prepared to die. Riders board the Mine Train cars indoors. As you take off, you can see the tracks turning ahead of you towards the outdoors, but you can't see where they're going. The Mine Train's fear factor is mostly because of this inability to see what's coming. In several instances, there appears to be a big drop ahead, but it's only a small one.
I am happy to report that my fears were unfounded and I did survive. There was nothing too terrifying on this ride. And halfway through, there was a nice change of pace as we casually rode through the "mine" ogling at piles of shining gemstones. The largest drop (at 39 feet) comes after you exit the mine from the top of the mountain, but it's not a steep drop, and it curves, so it doesn't feel like a "big drop" at all.
The tracks on this roller coaster were very smooth, which helped me avoid motion sickness. It wasn't jerky, and my stomach didn't end up in my throat. The ride only reaches a top speed of 34 MPH, so it's pretty tame. As for my fear of heights, the tracks were never far removed from the ground; as the tracks went higher, there was still actual earth right underneath the tracks.
At the end of it, Snow White and the Dwarfs threw me a celebration for making it to the end. (I heard they do that for everyone, but I doubt that's true.) In the end, instead of dying, I was finally able to experience a little bit of what I assume that other people enjoy about roller coasters: the (slight) thrill, adrenaline, wind in my hair.
Maybe one day I'll manage to try the other roller coasters at Walt Disney World, like Space Mountain and Slinky Dog Dash (but I'll be honest, probably not the Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith). I also look forward to returning to the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. I'm sure that the next time around, I'll be able to enjoy it, minus the fear I had the first time. If you're also a motion-sick, roller-coaster-fearing adult like myself, I recommend that you try this one. I think it's a great place for our kind to start.
If you're still feeling uncertain, here's a video of my full ride experience, along with some of my commentary right afterwards.