When Walt Disney opened Disneyland in 1955, he included the “Snow White Ride-Thru” as seen in the guidebook “The Story of Disneyland.” Guests boarded a mine car and went on Snow White’s adventures, but many guests were disappointed. They never saw Snow White in the attraction, and they wondered why. Where was Snow White?
The missing princess wasn’t the only problem parents had with the attraction, which took them and their children on a 3D ride through the 1937 movie story line. The witch shows up numerous times, threatening, changing into the old apple peddler, and the mine cars head through the castle dungeon and into the scary forest, which in the film is a figment of Snow White’s imagination. This attraction was terrifying for some of the younger audience.
According to “The Disneyland Encyclopedia,” the attraction changed to make clear what was going on. Snow White was added to the interior, and “scary was added to the official attraction name. But why wasn’t Snow White in the original plan?
“The park achieved a kind of reality. Like these virtual reality games the children are playing with. I told them we were doing this 40 years ago! Disneyland is virtual reality.” – John Henchwww.wisesayings.com/disneyland-quotes/?sm=107073#107073
The attraction developers wanted people to experience the attraction as if they were Snow White. This may be one of the earliest examples of first-person shooters if you don’t count the Frontierland and other shooting galleries themselves. It was a way for Disneyland to immerse its guests in the films they loved, but for some this proved too traumatic, and even through 2019, Snow White’s Scary Adventures were, well, scary.
When Disneyland reopened after the COVID pandemic on April 30, 2021, the Snow White attraction changed names. It is now called Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. Disneyland Resort Creative Executive for Walt Disney Imagineering Kim Irvine said:
“The Snow White attraction has such a rich history. We wanted to take into account the beautiful scenic work that has always existed and retell the story in a special way. We believe guests will enjoy this sweet story line in a stunning experience.”https://disneylandnews.com/2021/04/27/disneyland-park-reopens-with-new-magic-at-a-classic-attraction-snow-whites-enchanted-wish-celebrates-a-timeless-fairytale-in-fantasyland/
The Snow White Ride-Thru has been a part of the park since the beginning, and like the park, it was meant to change and grow. This latest incarnation reminds us of Walt Disney’s words, “Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.” It also shows us that scary things can become less scary when we use our imagination to create new solutions.
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