Snow White's Scary Adventures (EXTINCT!)
(October 1, 1971 - May 31, 2012)
History and photos of the Snow White's Scary Adventures dark ride in Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
Walt Disney made history in 1937 with the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, the world's first full-length animated film. The animated movie was a smash hit and it helped pave the way for future Disney animated films. The success of those films and the company as a whole would ultimately lead to Disneyland as well as Walt Disney World and the other Disney theme parks around the world. While it's said that "It all started with a mouse," we also know that it also started with Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
It was only fitting that Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs have a ride in the Disney theme parks. When Disneyland opened on July 17, 1955, the park had a dark ride called Snow White and her Adventures. The ride was a hit with the crowds, and it was only natural to add it to the new Walt Disney World theme park in central Florida. However, the Florida version of the ride would be fairly different than its California predecessor.
Originally called Snow White's Adventures, the Snow White dark ride opened on October 1, 1971 with the rest of the Magic Kingdom.
The original version of the ride had a medieval-like structure to the outside of the attraction. The line queue and loading station were themed to a dark forest, and the dwarfs' cottage was featured on a large mural. The ride began with people boarding mine cars and then briefly winding their way through the forest and to the Queen's castle. Above the doors to the castle was a high window, and the Queen would periodically open the blinds and look down at the people. Inside the castle, the Queen transformed into the wicked witch and prepared a poisoned apple in a cauldron. The mine cars would crash through a wall and escape through a forest, avoiding crocodile logs, tree monsters, and of course, the wicked witch.
The mine cars would eventually reach the dwarfs' cottage, and inside the cottage the guests would see the dwarfs climbing a staircase to investigate a mysterious shadow. Up ahead, the wicked witch was waiting for us with the poisoned apple. After the cottage guests would find themselves in the diamond mine, going around turns and trying to escape from the wicked witch. Around one bend the witch tries to roll a mine cart at us. Around another bend she appears above us and smashes our car with an enormous jewel.
The original version of Snow White's Adventures ended with a death scene. The wicked witch crushes our mine car with an enormous jewel, and the next room would have a bunch of cartoon-like strobe lights and the sound of the witch cackling. That's it. Game over. The witch won in this version of the ride.
All in all, this was a pretty frightening ride for little kids. There were numerous appearances by the wicked witch, and the ride had an unpleasant ending. In addition to that. there was no appearance anywhere by Snow White. Many of the park guests did not know that *they* were playing the part of Snow White.
That's how the ride operated for its first twenty years. On October 14, 1994, Snow White's Adventures closed for what would be a major refurbishment and major changes throughout the ride. The attraction re-opened on December 16, 1994.
Now called Snow White's Scary Adventures (in a move to remind parents that parts of the ride may still be frightening to kids), the exterior still had a similar medieval-style of entrance. This time though, the line queue and mural would feature Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. The evil Queen and wicked witch were also on the mural, but they were lurking off to the side.
After boarding a mine car, the ride began in the castle's courtyard. We would see Snow White doing chores while singing "I'm Wishing," and the Queen would be watching her from an upper window. We would then enter the castle and see the Magic Mirror telling the Queen that, "Alas, Snow White is the fairest one of all." The Queen responds with "Never!" and turns around, transforming herself into the wicked witch. We would then ride past a skeleton in a dungeon cell and then the wicked witch poisoning an apple in a cauldron.
Our mine cart then goes outside and we see the Huntsman warn Show White to run away and never return. Lightning flashes and we see that she's tangled in some tree branches. We then pass some crocodile logs, the wicked witch, and some scary looking tree "monsters" before finally arriving at the dwarfs' cottage. It's a merry scene inside of the cottage as the dwarfs sing and dance to "The Silly Song." Around the corner we see that when the dwarfs are gone, the wicked witch pays Snow White a visit. She offers the princess the poisoned apple, to which she accepts. The wicked witch then laughs and claims that now she is the fairest one of all.
The dwarfs return to the cottage and discover the wicked witch. They chase the witch through the mines, but she stays a step ahead of them. Outside of the mines, we see the dwarfs try to climb a rocky cliff and catch the wicked witch. The witch is waiting at the top of the hill. She tries to push a large boulder on top of the dwarfs, but she's struck by lightning and falls to her death.
After that we return to the woods and see that the dwarfs have placed Snow White inside of a glass coffin. The Prince is there and he gives the sleeping princess a kiss. Snow White awakens and we see her and the Prince ride off to their castle to live happily ever after. Above the final door is Dopey waving good-bye to us. The mine car returns to the loading platform and we exit the ride vehicle. You know the spiel. "Please step out to the left. Step out to the left please. When the car stops step out to your left." It's then just a couple of steps back into Fantasyland.
END OF RIDE
That's how Snow White's Scary Adventures was presented for almost eighteen years since it re-opened in late 1994. It was an entertaining and slightly sinister dark ride with relatively simple special effects. The ride followed many events in the film, and it still maintained that classic feeling to it from the original version. Truth be told, it's too bad that there aren't more dark rides like Snow White's Scary Adventures in the Disney theme parks.
Unfortunately, Snow White's Scary Adventures had its days numbered. Future plans called for the removal of the attraction as part of the new expansion to Fantasyland.
Snow White's Scary Adventures closed for good on May 31, 2012 to make way for Princess Fairytale Hall, a place for kids to meet and take pictures with some of their favorite Disney princess.
Fortunately, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is still going to remain part of Fantasyland in the new attraction, Seven Dwarfs' Mine Train. Scheduled to open on May 28, 2014, the Seven Dwarfs' Mine Train is going to be a family-friendly roller coaster that takes guests on a fast-paced journey through the famous diamond mine. Several props and animatronic figures from the original ride are going to be part of the new roller coaster's theming.
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