There are a lot of people that don't like change when it comes to theme park rides. Because nostalgia is such a prevalent feeling in theme parks there's a feeling from some that change is antithetical to the concept, but the recent updates to Disneyland's Snow White attraction are getting attention now, not because of what's been taken away from the ride that opened with the park in 1955, but what's been added. The ride contains a recreation of the final moments of the classic Disney film, including Prince Charming's kiss of Snow White, which at least one critic pointed out is a non-consensual kiss, which has touched off a bit of a firestorm.
It's perhaps a bit surprising but until the recent update to the Snow White dark ride, which was significant enough the name of the ride has now been changed to Snow White's Enchanted Wish, the big kiss moment itself wasn't actually part of the ride. The fact that it now is struck a writer at SF Gate as odd. With all the changes Disney has recently made to make itself more modern, and the focus that the concept of consent is being given today, the decision to add this sequence was seen, as surprising. If the writer was hoping to spark a reasoned debate on the topic, that hasn't worked out.
The "controversy" has since been picked up by other news organizations, but mostly in the "wow, this is an overreaction" sort of way. Of course, the fact that the story has even been picked up is something of an overreaction because the impression being given is that there's some sort of widespread call for DIsney to change the ride (again) and that's just not happening. Some seem upset that "woke" people are upset, but you'll be hard-pressed to find anybody, even of the "woke" persuasion, who is actually upset to the point of calling for the scene to be removed from the attraction.
The fact that Snow White's kiss, and also Sleeping Beauty's kiss for that matter, are technically kisses without consent isn't exactly new news. It's been brought up before, though most would likely argue that it's simply an issue to be discussed with younger readers/viewers so they are aware of the issue, not that the story needs to be changed in any way in order to remove it.
Outside of the alleged controversy, the update to the attraction is getting high marks from guests who have ridden the new version since Disneyland reopened last week. Previously called Snow White's Scary Adventure, the ride has been updated with new technology including new animatronics and some new projection effects. The ride is now called Snow White's Enchanted Wish as it focuses more on the magical experience than the scares.
This will all likely die down before too long. The vast majority of both casual guests and serious Disneyland fans don't seem to see this as an issue. It's not on par with retheming Splash Mountain or the Jungle Cruise. THe kiss will more than likely remain until the next time the ride needs an update.
CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Armchair Imagineer. Epcot Stan. Future Club 33 Member.
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