My family just got back from a trip to Anaheim where we spent four days at Disneyland to celebrate a birthday. While we were in Fantasyland waiting for the Peter Pan ride, we noticed the non-existent line at Snow White’s Scary Adventures so we decided to check it out. Here’s how the ride works:
You get in an old mining cart and travel to the woods where you see Snow White & the seven dwarves dancing gaily. (Make sure to say goodbye to your happy place now, because it’s all downhill from here.) Then you rumble along to the evil castle where the crazy queen scares the freaking daylights out of you with her ugly hag face. Then you are plunged into a dungeon with skeletons, followed by a dark forest of moaning trees and horribleness. Then the ugly hag-witch jumps out at you again with a poison apple. There’s a bunch of thunder and lightning, and just when your heart is pumping and you’re cringing and wondering when things are going to lighten up. . . they don’t. Ride’s over. You are whisked through a tunnel where a wooden wall plaque reads, “and they lived happily ever after.” That’s it, kids. Have a nice day.
I know it’s twisted, but my husband and I laughed. Oh, how we laughed. No wonder tiny kids come out of there crying. No wonder I rarely see a long line for that ride. I recently learned that they closed it down permanently at Walt Disney World, which isn’t surprising. Who planned that ride and what were they thinking? Didn’t anyone point out that many small children can’t even read yet, so the “Happily Ever After” wall plaque doesn’t really bring it home? How about a bigger sense of closure, instead? Maybe a nice 3D scene where we can see that the pretty princess, you know, lives in the end? And since we’re on the subject of these old-school dark rides, I would also like to ask what is up with Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, because that one is equally disturbing. It’s like being inside a dream sequence from a David Lynch film. I’m pretty sure at the end of that ride you go to hell. As in, hell, hell. Complete with horned, cartoon imps leering down at you.
All I’m saying is that some of these rides could really use an overhaul, and maybe some help with plotting and pacing. Kids are smart! They want story structure and resolution. So there.
And now I will run for cover as die-hard Disney fans pelt me with poison apples. . .