Posts Tagged ‘Disney World’

Snow White’s (Scary) Adventures

August 5, 2019

Recently, I have been watching shows like Defunctland and Yesterworld and I am starting to branch out from there to like-minded shows. All of these shows delve into the history of theme parks and their rides and attractions. They mostly explore those attractions that have been removed from theme parks. As I explained in my review of Defunctland, they explore things through business decisions, tactical decisions, and creative decisions. All of these decisions effect each other, obviously. It has been endlessly fascinating and has inspired me a lot in my own creative choices. However, it has also served another purpose. It has let me know in great detail that my memory was correct when I was scared by rides.

I have spoken before on a particular nemesis of mine when I was a little child but let us set the scene a little more. There was a time before my brothers when I spent a lot more time taking joint vacations with my mom, my uncle, and my cousin, Brantley. Brantley is the oldest of the cousins on my mom’s side and over time she became a sort of leader when there were eventually six of us. Early on, there were just the two of us though and she and I were fast friends. I remember in particular a visit to New York City together and a visit to Walt Disney World. The visit to the Magic Kingdom (aka the real happiest place on Earth) had a lasting effect on me even though I cannot remember a lot of it now.

Disney parks are an experience as many of the good theme parks are. When you enter, you are entering another world, a self-contained city of pure entertainment. There is so much to do that you could spend a week there and not finish doing absolutely everything. It has always been this other world that I have been interested in and not exactly the actual thrill rides. I do not remember riding Space Mountain, Splash Mountain, or any of the particularly big rides. I know we went on some of the more sedate rides for sure. I vividly remember It’s A Small World and I am strangely not very annoyed by the song now because I was inoculated to it young. I think I almost remember going on the Jungle Cruise which seems like it would be a fun time. Journey Into Imagination is an attraction that has really stuck with me. I remember going on Pirates of the Carribean and getting scared while in line but once the ride started, I was enamored by the fun scenes unfolding in front of me.

When Disney created the Fantasyland section of the park, they wanted to adapt their movies based on popular fairytales. That is why the icons of Disneyland and Disney World are both storybook castles (Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella respectively). They ended up creating a bunch of rides based on Disney animated movies where the riders took the place of the main character of the movie. (Which ended up flooding the park with complaints). When I visited in the early nineties, one of those rides is the focus of this post: Snow White’s Adventure. While on the trip, at some point my mother and my uncle went off to do something. In order to occupy we children, we were put on one of the dark rides. How scary could Snow White be? Well, there is a reason why they changed the name of the ride to The Scary Adventures of Snow White in 1994.

The ride would not be so bad if they had simply followed the movie. Instead, they made it into a straight horror movie. Instead of only showing up once, the Wicked Witch (the Evil Queen in disguise) shows up tons of times. Her animatronic jumps out at the riders over and over, cackling with murderous glee. Among other things, she tries to offer the riders the iconic poison apple, tries to ram them with a minecart, tries to attack them head-on, and finally tries to smash them with a giant boulder. She is more like Wile E. Coyote than the sneaky witch she is in the movie. My little heart could not take it. The relentless witch and the ominous darkness of the ride sent me into full-on panic mode. I ended up covering my eyes and crouching down into the vehicle to make myself as small as possible. If I had even thought of coming back up for air, I swear I heard the witch cackle and call out “Don’t Cover Your Eyes, Sweetie!”

I swear that last part happened even though I cannot find it anywhere on the Internet. In fact, the first results in google are my own blog from a previous claim I made. Still, I have irrefutable and well-researched evidence that proves that the ride was scary. Many people have backed up those words and I have now seen plenty of footage. The witch was relentless and hilariously and needlessly aggressive. I look back and laugh now but I was pee-my-pants scared during that ride. I really believe that it was one of the formative moments that led to me being a fan of the Horror genre. Which is not to say that I was scarred by the experience but maybe somewhat inspired.

I do not blame the Imagineers who made the ride for making it scary. In fact, that was kind of a theme in Fantasyland. The rides there were scarier than the Haunted Mansion ever was. Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan’s Flight were originally also pretty scary. It is alright to scare children a bit. A little darkness shows them about the world in a safe way. I also don’t blame my mother as she had no idea and was there to hug me afterward and assure me that it was going to be alright. I was in the sunshine and everything was safe. At least, safe from the Evil Queen and all the imaginary horrors that would become an obsession later in life.

Scary Rides

November 14, 2016

This is where the haunt takes place. It is actually an abandoned section of the city.

My experience with the Nevermore Haunt was an interesting one. The experience was amazing as those kinds of experiences always are if you let them. I do not want to go into detail about what happened inside the haunt just in case some of it is used again next year. My first reaction even before going through was pride. I love any sort of fiction that has to do with Baltimore and journeying through a pastiche of Poe’s Baltimore was attractive even if I was going to get the bejeezus scared out of me. While I waited in line with my brother, we heard a lot of thunder and a lot of screams from inside the haunt. Every so often, we would hear the door from the lobby into the haunt slam behind the next guests to walk through. It brought up memories.

There are so many great videos out there if you do not have the money to actually visit parks.

I have a somewhat interesting history with rides and attractions. I explained in the The Houses That October Built review that I have a fascination with both rides and attractions. I have studied video, narratives and behind the scenes photos for a lot of haunted house and theme park attractions. However, I never liked actually going through these things as a kid. I was a nervous kid. Maybe it was caused by always being the smallest kid growing up or maybe my vivid imagination just would not let me take the risks. Mentally, I knew there were very few real risks but emotionally I knew I was in great danger.

Just as disappointing and disconcerting as most experiences with Scooby-Doo

Roller coasters were never my thing. The rush was never really attractive to me but I understand if other people like them. I remember being goaded into riding The Scooby Doo! coaster at Kings Dominion as a smallish child. I believe it is now called the Woodstock Express. I remember dreading the whole thing as we waited in line. This will become a theme in this post. We got onto the ride and I did not enjoy myself in the slightest. I was frightened and shaken and when the ride was over, I got a nosebleed as I started out the exit. I would associate this nosebleed with roller coasters for a long time. When my brothers became obsessed with The Big Bad Wolf coaster at Busch Gardens, I always abstained. When it came to the Shipwreck Falls ride at Adventure World, I was happy to watch it splash down instead of riding it.

This does not make me anxious now. It calms me.

I love Disney World. I have never been to Disney Land or any of the overseas versions but Disney World was a magical place for me when I was a little boy. It was also a very frightening place at times. At a certain age, everything is real to you which even includes animatronic characters that are created to look fake as all heck. In fact, I did not even have to encounter any animatronics to actually be scared. I remember standing in line at The Pirates of The Carribean long before Johnny Depp was actually that big of a movie star. This was the OG Pirates ride and the lobby was like walking into a cavern full of lamplight and the sounds of chill but vaguely dark music. I got scared just waiting in line because the place was enclosed and the anticipation of going on a ride scared me. We almost did not go on the ride but we eventually did and I enjoyed it even if it did make me nervous.

Putting this here to remind you how terrifying childhood can be.

The strongest memory I have of being afraid of rides is pretty ridiculous. I was a small child but even if I was not, I would not be ashamed and I would own the memory. I got scared on the Snow White ride. It was during a trip to Disney World with my mom, my uncle and my oldest cousin. My uncle and my mom clearly thought that they could catch a short break by putting my cousin and I on a baby ride for a few minutes. So she and I climbed into a little car and went into the Snow White ride. It did not take long for me to get overwhelmed and eventually I was covering my eyes and waiting for it to end. I clearly remember the witch crying out “Don’t cover your eyes, sweetie!” and I believed then that I was going to die. She could see me. She could see me and she was displeased with my behavior.

Kids these days, their rides don’t threaten to steal their souls.

As a side note, I did some research while looking up some of the attractions for this post. I feel a little better knowing that the ride is actually called Snow White’s Scary Adventures though it does bring up interesting questions about where my mom was. I know she had the best intentions. I think I rode the pre-1994 version and in retrospect, I am glad that I had my eyes closed because the ride does end with the Witch (fictionally) killing the guests with a giant gemstone. I feel a little vindicated about being afraid of that ride even if it is full of statues and good voice acting. While the experience did scare me, it actually probably sparked my interest in the way things are put together and probably led to me being a better artist.

Scary Studies

Horror is fascinating.

The Hidden Message

klaatu barada nikto

Growing a family

Im just trying to evolve

Panorama of the Mountains

Liam Sullivan's Ideas and Reflections

Boccob's Blessed Blog

A gaming blog with an emphasis on D&D 5e

No Hate Only Snootboops

As Told By Carly

The Ramblings of a Geek Girl

Beyond the Flow

A Survivor's Philosophy of Life

Silvia Writes

Life is a story. Might as well write it.

An Artist’s Path

Art, Poetry, Prose, Spirituality & Whimsy

The Bloggess

Like Mother Teresa, only better.

%d bloggers like this: