Tuesday, 27 February 2018

The History of Snow White's Scary Adventures

                Before I start this post, I want to talk about the book I read that inspired the post. The book is called 3500: An Autistic Boy's Ten-Year Romance with Snow White. It is a book about a nine-year-old autistic boy that took a trip to Walt Disney World and after taking a ride on Snow White’s Scary Adventure, it really changed his life. While reading this book, it really reminded me how interesting the history of Snow White Attractions in Disney World is.

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Facade for Snow White's Scary Adventures

                Like most history posts, you have to start at the beginning. And this one is no different. Magic Kingdom opened on October 1st, 1971 with a Snow White attraction known as Snow White’s Adventure. This attraction was designed a bit different than most movie attractions are. This attraction was designed that you were to take the role as Snow White. It confused a lot of guests as not only did you not see Snow White anywhere but you also see the witch seven times in the attraction.  It was a much scarier and darker version of the Disneyland version that already seemed scary enough. Also, unlike the Disneyland version, this attraction had no music, just the witch’s loud laugh. It featured scary vultures, a dark forest, and a mine where the witch tries to kill you multiple times. This version lasted relatively long as it stayed open until October 1994, 23 years.

Around Christmas of the same year, the new version of the ride opened as Snow White’s Scary Adventure. This version saw a few changes including the removal of a witch, the addition of Snow White and increase of ride capacity. It also was a bit less frightening but Disney still added the Scary part to the title as another warning. Music was also added in at this renovation. But it was added in a bit of an unconventional way. The audio that was added was straight from the movie. Usually, when a new ride is added the audio comes from it being re-created but due to trying to keep the renovation short they decided to use the movie audio instead.

                Now let’s fast forward 15 years. We hit 2009 and there are a lot of rumours going around about Fantasyland getting a new updated as Disney needs a way to compete with The Wizarding World of Harry Potter opening in 2010. Some say that the Snow White attraction is safe, others say that the Snow White attraction will be gone. Although there was nothing official announced from Disney, the rumours were getting stronger and stronger and a lot of them were pretty believable. Then we hit the D23 Expo where there was a pretty big announcement done by Jay Rasulo of Disney Parks and Resorts.
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Original New Fantasyland Concept Art
                This was pretty exciting at the time as this was going to be a huge expansion. And at this time, Snow White was safe! The expansion was going Northeast of where Snow White’s Scary Adventures is. But I know what you are thinking. This is not the Fantasyland that we got. There is no Country Chateau to meet Cinderella, or interact with her; there is no Sleeping Beauty Cottage to celebrate her Sweet 16, and there is definitely no Pixie Hollow area. So what happened? When announced, people were worried that the new Fantasyland was too princess orientated.  Due to this, Disney announced an updated look to new Fantasyland in early 2011. There are two notable changes here. The first being that the Pixie Hollow area in the back of the concept art was replaced by what we now know as Storybook Circus. The other change was the addition of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train and the removal of all the princess cottages in favour of one central location. This is where we saw the end of Snow White’s Scary Adventure. The central location that Disney decided was where Snow White currently was.

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New Fantasyland Concept Art in 2012

                Just because we lost Snow White’s Scary Adventure doesn’t mean we lost Snow White entirely, however. when Princess Fairytale Hall opened in September of 2013, Snow White could be occasionally found in there. Then there is the Seven Dwarfs mine train ride. The technological advances with this attraction were unreal. It was designed that the train cars would sway with the turns of the ride. It also saw the revival of some of the Audio-animatronics with the Vultures as well as some of the dwarfs in the final cottage scene. I went on fairly soon to when it opened in late 2014 and I absolutely loved it. Because of how soon it was after opening the line was quite long always so we only went on it a couple of times when we had fastpasses or right when the park opened. I absolutely love the mine scene of the attraction as I think the projection is incredible and I love the sounds in there.
                I loved Snow White’s Scary Adventure as I still even go on it in Disneyland. I think it is a bit rough that it was lost for just a meet and greet. While the Meet and Greet is incredible, I just think that space could have been used for something better. And of course, I absolutely love the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train!

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