Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Saying Goodbye to Snow White's Scary Adventure (New Fantasyland Update)

With construction about to begin on Princess Fairytale Hall, a royal meet-and-greet area in New Fantasyland, we unfortunately will be saying goodbye to another "Opening Day Attraction."  The Princess Fairytale Hall will be located on the site that has been a home to the Snow White’s Scary Adventures attraction since October 1, 1971.  Snow White's final day of operation will be May 31.  But before the Princesses move into their new home, let's take a look back at the departing attraction.

The original Walt Disney World version of the ride in 1971 was very different, and arguably scarier then the one we've come to know over the past 18 years.  Snow White did not appear, and the Dwarfs only showed up briefly in one scene.  There were also seven witch figures in this version, while there are only six in the current version.  The queue was similar to the one currently in Tokyo Disneyland.  It featured the Dwarfs' mine and their house was visible in the distance.  Guests began by entering the castle in a scene very much like the current ride, however, there was no Snow White cleaning.  Upon entering, the guests saw a mirror, but not the magic one.  The Queen still transformed into the Witch and was still seen at the cauldron.  The riders "crashed" through the dungeon walls and escaped through the forest (still bumping into the Witch).  Soon, the guests arrived at the Dwarfs' cottage to see the animals peering in at them.  They passed the Dwarfs (in their only appearance) walking up the stairs to their room to investigate a scary shadow, which was presumably Snow White.  The Witch was waiting in the doorway with an apple.  The final scene was the diamond mines, where the Witch appeared several more times.  Her final appearance was on top of a doorway, pushing an enormous jewel onto the riders.  Riders would then enter a room full of flashing lights.

In 1994, the Magic Kingdom's attraction was redesigned to be similar to the Disneyland version, but in a different order with a few new scenes.  Guests board by a mural depicting the cast of the film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and begin their ride in the Queen's courtyard where Snow White is seen working outside.  The Queen is watching her (and the guests) from her window.  Inside the castle, the scene is similar to the Disneyland version (with the Queen turning into the Witch and working at her cauldron), although the Magic Mirror has been added.  The ride continues into the forest, and then into the Dwarfs' Cottage, where Snow White stands on the stairs.  In a new scene, the riders pass the Witch giving Snow White the apple, then emerge from the cottage to see her gloating that she is fairest in the land.  From there, guests ride through the mines where the two of the Dwarfs (Bashful and Sneezey) call to them to stop the Witch.  After the scene where the Witch tries to drop a rock on the guests, there is a new ending with the Prince waking Snow White amidst the cheering Dwarfs.  Dopey is seen above the bridge, on leaving, waving to all the passengers.  Guests then travel through the open doors under the bridge and disembark.

Even though Snow White's Scary Adventures will be removed on May 31, 2012, Snow and the Dwarfs will definitely be represented in the New Fantasyland expansion.  It will feature the Dwarfs' cottage and the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, which is expected to be one of the major attractions in the Magic Kingdom.  Princess Fairytale Hall, will be a new interactive Disney Princess meet and greet area.  It will actually be taking the physical spot where Snow White's Scary Adventures currently exists.

Located in the Castle Courtyard, in the center of Fantasyland, Princess Fairytale Hall will be the new home for visiting royalty in the Magic Kingdom.  The castle-like entrance will feature walls of stone and stained glass windows.  The entrance will open into a large gallery, a space with a high ceiling and portraits of all the Disney Princesses.  When it’s time for their audience with a princess, guests will proceed to an elegantly finished room to meet her.  Princess Fairytale Hall is set to debut in late 2013.

As I mentioned, Snow White’s story will play a big part in Fantasyland’s expansion with the debut of the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train attraction in 2014.  Guests will board mine train cars and take a voyage through the dwarfs’ glinting diamond mine.  Walt Disney Imagineers are designing a unique ride system that allows each mine car to swing back and forth individually as the train twists and turns along the track. (see video below).

Until the mine train’s debut in 2014, we can all can get our Snow White fix by meeting and greeting her (and other Disney Princesses) in Town Square at the front of the park.  Snow can also be seen in the Celebrate a Dream Come True Parade in the afternoon, and in the Main Street Electrical Parade after dark.

For those of you that can’t make it out to the Magic Kingdom for one last adventure, or maybe you just want to relive this classic attraction for years to come, you can take a virtual ride-through here in this HD video.

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