Attraction Archaeology: Snow White’s Scary Adventures

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Up until the release of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Walt Disney’s name was only synonymous with cartoon shorts. The release of the groundbreaking full-length animated film in 1937 skyrocketed Walt Disney’s career and made him a series player in the film industry. So even though Walt said it was all started by a mouse, it’s a fair argument that the fairest of them all played a significant role as well. This is why a Snow White attraction was a must when creating Disneyland; and when the park opened in 1955, the Snow White and Her Adventures attraction also made its debut.

Then, in 1971, a version of Disneyland’s Snow White attraction opened with Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom. However, while Disneyland’s version, now known as Snow White’s Scary Adventures, is still operating today, Disney World’s version closed in 2012. So for today’s installment of Attraction Archaeology, we’re taking a look at Snow White’s Scary Adventures and what remains of it today.

What was Snow White’s Scary Adventures?

Snow White’s Scary Adventures was a classic-style dark ride where guests traveled through scenes from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. When the ride first opened in 1971 as Snow White’s Adventures, it was scarier than its Disneyland counterpart. Throughout the attraction, the Witch would appear to tempt guests with a poison apple or attempt to kill them!

The final scene was especially scary. After the Witch tried to overturn a huge jewel onto guests below, the following sounds and effects conveyed that the guests had been killed before they returned to the boarding area! (If you know your Disney Park History, you know that this attraction isn’t the only Fantasyland attraction where guests didn’t survive the story. Aboard Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, guests collided with a train and were condemned to hell.)

What also confused guests was the minimal presence of the dwarfs and zero appearances by Snow White. The reason for this was guests were supposed to experience the attraction as Snow White. However, it was a story point few guests picked up on.

In 1994, the attraction was redesigned to be more Fantasyland friendly and received a new name: Snow White’s Scary Adventures. In this reiteration, guests rode through scenes from the movie which now thankfully included Snow White. Instead of being killed by the Witch, the ride ended with the Prince waking Snow White and Dopey waving goodbye. Still, the ride lived up to its new name as the Witch maintained a strong presence.

Where was Snow White’s Scary Adventures?

Snow White’s Scary Adventures was located in Fantasyland in the space now occupied by Princess Fairytale Hall.

Why Did It Close?

©Disney

The reasons for closing and replacing attractions are complex. We may never know the full stories behind why they happen. What we do know is the attraction closed May 31, 2012, to make way for Princess Fairytale Hall, a new meet-and-greet location which was part of the park’s New Fantasyland expansion. Also, Imagineers had plans for another Snow White-themed attraction, the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which would be more family-friendly while offering the appeal of a coaster.

Where Can You Find Remnants of Snow White’s Scary Adventures Today?

Imagineers paid homage to the park’s original Snow White attraction by including several of its props into New Fantasyland’s Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

For example, atop a crane outside the mine of Seven Dwarfs Mine Train are vultures which were taken from Snow White’s Scary Adventures.

The scene above serves as the finale for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train; but it’s also a reminder that this same scene was represented in Snow White’s Scary Adventures too. In fact, the Grumpy, Doc, Bashful, Happy, and Sleepy figures from this scene were taken from Snow White’s Scary Adventures!

Also, could it be that the glimpse of the Witch at the door in this scene may be a reminder of her lurking presence in the park’s original Snow White rides?

Another remnant of both Snow White’s Scary Adventures and Snow White’s Adventures is the crowns decking the posts of the entrance to Princess Fairytale Hall. While they compliment this royal princess meet-and-greet perfectly, they were original to Snow White’s Adventures! Also, inside the hall, there is an open Snow White storybook on display. Perhaps in homage to this space’s original occupant?

While I enjoy what the Disney Parks have to offer now, I also enjoy discovering relics and tributes to the magic and memories that came before and their presence in the parks today. Did you ever experience Snow White’s Adventures or Snow White’s Scary Adventures? If so, please share your experiences!

Savannah Sanders

Savannah has been visiting Disney World since she was a year old and has gone back almost every year since. In the real world, she teaches high school history and government and enjoys writing about all things Disney. Savannah can be reached on Twitter @DisneyParkSavvy.

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