By now any Disney blog / news reader is aware that one of the original Magic Kingdom attractions permanently closed as of last week.
Snow White’s Scary Adventures, one of the oldest “dark rides” in the Disney Universe, closed its mine cars for the last time, and shut down for good, and… you know… there’s a good bit of outrage. I figure I may as well weigh in on my thoughts on the ride that once was, the ride that will eventually replace it, and the nature of closing favorite rides.
Maybe it’s blasphemy, but I was never a particular fan of Snow White’s Scary Adventures. It was a good dark ride, but not in the same league as Pirates, or Haunted Mansion, or Peter Pan. It certainly never had the same sort of niche thing going like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (and his visit to Hell). In fact, I rode it a half-dozen times in my life (not even once per trip), and I have a hard time picturing anything particularly memorable about it.
Sure, when a fellow blogger points out favorite things about it, I remember those things, and sometimes, I even remember them fondly, but still, I would have never ranked it higher than 4th best attraction at Fantasyland at any point during my Disney fandom. (Pan, Philharmagic, Pooh). Really, I only preferred it over It’s a Small World in practice. I’d be a lot more upset if Small World closed, even if I can barely tolerate a single loop around that insane river.
Note: I shudder to think of the outrage that would accompany any closing of It’s a Small World. That would not go well for anyone. Nothing short of needing to clear room to build a big machine that would successfully resurrect Walt himself would soothe the rage of Disneydom.
I certainly understand the nostalgic aspect Snow White held for many people. On a lot of blogs, the comments are dominated by the point that Fantasyland should have a ride representing the movie that got it all started. Of course, I rarely hear anyone clamoring for Mickey’s Steamboat Adventure or something like that, but you know… Fans. Because it was there for so long, people have these lasting, often life-long memories of riding Snow White’s Scary Adventures, and some of them even identify that ride with their entire perspective on the Disney experience. I can understand that. If The Great Movie Ride ever closed (and let’s be honest… it probably should at the very least be updated some day), I’d be extremely sad. It may not be that great a ride at this point, but I think that’s the standout experience of my first trip to Disney.
Also, if I’m being totally fair, the crazies who are upset about Snow White’s closing are not nearly as crazy as the crazies who were upset about Mr. Toad when it closed in 1998 (there were barely ANY t-shirts made this time around), or the folks who were up-in-arms about Disney removing Figment from Journey into Imagination. The protests here are relatively staid, and polite.
The thing is…
It’s not a good enough ride on its own merits for me to be sad it’s going for that reason (Like I would be with something like Pirates). It’s not an iconic enough ride to be upset about it going away (like I would be about Small World). While it does honor one of the single-most important films ever made, and certainly among the two or three most important to Disney’s history… It’s being replaced by another ride based on the same movie. So really, I don’t see the problem.
I’ve heard a lot of folks express concern that the planned “Mine Car Coaster” won’t be a good replacement. That it seems too likely to be a Goofy’s Barnstormer knock-off, or that it will be too short, or that it’ll be like a watered-down Big Thunder Mountain. This whole attitude just strikes me as defeatist. I haven’t been paying attention to this kind of thing for all that long, but I wonder if this kind of negativity is a new feature of Disney fans, or if there’s been an increase in negativity based on a reduction of trust.
People are quick to point out how poor some of the newer attractions have been in the past few years. They don’t like the Laugh Floor, or they hate Primeval Whirl, or you know… It could end up being as bad as Stitch’s Great Escape. These same people seem pretty quick to forget epically boring rides like The Astro Orbiter, that’ve been there forever. Just because it’s old, doesn’t mean it’s good. On the other hand, I rarely hear a complaint about Soarin’ or Mickey’s Philharmagic or Expedition Everest.
I just wish people would give things a chance. Trust in the company that has given us all so many happy memories for so many years. I’m sure that when the marketing and press for Soarin’ came out, people were skeptical. “Sounds like Star Tours” “I don’t get it.” “What a waste of a huge area.” Turns out that Soarin’ is among the best rides in all of WDW.
I’ve said it many times before, but Walt Disney himself wasn’t a man driven my sentimentality. Sure, he had things that were important to him, and things that were important to honor, but Walt wasn’t just a man who wouldn’t stand in the way of progress. Walt was the man driving the bulldozer.
The Fantasyland expansion is the biggest alteration to The Magic Kingdom since the park opened 41 years ago. There are bound to be some epic failures, but more importantly, there are bound to be some amazing triumphs, and how cool will it be to create new memories?
What if The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (that’s what they’re calling it) is awesome? What if it becomes your kid’s favorite ride, when they may not have given Snow White’s Scary Adventures the time of day? Disney World was created for you and me, but also for every future guest. I’m okay with letting progress give way. (Incidentally, the ride sounds pretty cool to me… There’s something about independently swinging cars that react to every twist and turn of the track.)
I say give it a chance? It’s certainly better than various princess meet-and-greets, which was the original plan for that area.
Of course, I was just thinking about how badly I wanted another Belle autograph.