Planning which rides to go on is half the fun when planning a Disney holiday. We were lucky enough to be visiting just after the Seven Dwarfs Mine train opened in 2014. We had been told that both of these rides get busy and the queues can be long so it’s a good idea to get a Fastpass+ for them both. But which one did we prefer? Big Thunder Mountain vs Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened on 28th May 2014 in Fantasyland, Magic Kingdom to the public. As you can imagine it’s a very popular ride. We saw wait times during July 2014 reach 75 minutes. I’m not sure about waiting that long in the heat for a 2.5 minute ride, still plenty of people were doing it. Even visiting again in April 2016, we saw high wait times for this still popular ride.
The ride is based on a roller coaster, reaching speeds of 34 mph. You wont go upside down or backwards, but as you sit in your bucket seat, the carriages are based on a mine cart and will sway from side to side as you go around the corners, and up and down the tracks.
I found that each time you went up a steep track you didn’t go zooming down on the other side. Instead it tricked you with a small slope with a fast twist and turn instead.
As you go into the mine, you see all the dwarfs hard at work. The music is very catchy and upbeat. Up you go out of the mine to more twists and turns before coming to a stop at the end of the ride by the dwarf’s cottage.
This ride has a minimum height restriction of 96cm which means that a lot of smaller children can go on the ride as long as they are happy with the speeds, twists and turns. I found Miss A was very secure in her bucket style seat and wasn’t thrown about at all. We rode at the front of the mine train so we had great views.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is located in Frontierland, Magic Kingdom. It has a slightly taller height restriction of 102cm, and the ride will last around three minutes. Again we saw the queues reaching 70 minutes during peak times. I did notice however that at around 10am the queue times were only 20 minutes, so if you can’t get a fast pass, then go earlier rather than waiting.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad takes you back in time and you feel the ride a lot more than you do on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. The carriages are open between the riders, so there is a lot more crashing into each other. The seats felt a little harder, and I was definitely thrown around a lot more
There are plenty of fast twists and turns on this ride, as the speeds reach 34 mph. There seems to be a lot more jumps over the tracks than there does in Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. We sat at the back of the train during this ride and I admit to ducking when we went under low ceiling heights despite knowing I wouldn’t hit anything. I did jump slightly more during this ride as the carriage appeared to leave the track. This could have been a combination of being at the back of the train however.
In 2016, we rode Big Thunder Mountain at night which takes on a different experience to the day time rides. It feels faster at night and you get an amazing view of the castle lit up.
So which did I prefer? I think slightly and only just ever so slightly the Seven Dwarfs Mine train came out on top for me. I would definitely recommend getting a fast pass for both rides to avoid the queues.
If you planning your first holiday to Disney World then check out my list on what to buy before you go. If you’re looking for a Disney resort recommendation then check out what we think of Caribbean Beach resort.
Thinking of purchasing Memory Maker? Read if we thought it was worth the money here