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Latest Update: September 10, 2012

The KenNetti Tribute - Ride Versions - Page 2

Ride Description

Snow White's Adventures
Disneyland California 1955-1981

General Survey & The Facade (Page 1)

divides the original
Snow White's Adventures
into the following scenes,
sequences and details:

Into the Diamond Mine
Endless Mineshaft (mural)
Dopey at the Vault Door
Treasure Vault
The Dwarfs at Work
Dopey's Sign (Mine Exit)
The Glade & Animal Friends
Seven Dwarfs' Cottage (mural)
The Fork in the Road
The Vultures
Portcullis of the Evil Queen's Castle
The Dungeons
The Skeleton
Shadow of the Wicked Witch
Cobweb Archway (string effect)
Witch at the Cauldron
Behind the Pillar
Escape from the Castle
Dark Forest
Return to the Cottage
Witch Offering the Apple
The Boulder Climax
Dark Tunnel

The scenes and details as they were listed in the 1954 plan
published in the E-Ticket Magazine # 13 article:

D) Entrance to the Dwarfs' mine
E) Timbers in the mine tunnel
F) Mural of the endless mineshaft
G) Dopey opens the jewel vault door
H) Precious gems in the inner vault
I) Deeper in the mineshaft
J) The Dwarfs pickaxe by lantern light
K) "Beware the Witch" (sign)
L) Snow White's forest friends
M) Cottage or Castle ...which way?
N) Vultures overhead
O) Gates to Castle of the Queen
P) "Go Baaack... Go Baaack!"
Q) Shadow of the Wicked Witch
R) Bubbling brew/ poison apples
S) Lurking in the castle halls
T) Crash doors into darkness
U) The Magic Forest
V) A grasping evil tree
W) More grasping trees
X) Still more grasping trees
Y) Witch in cottage doorway
Z) Watch out ...the Witch!

The original 1955 Snow White's Adventures started with a visit to the Seven Dwarfs' Diamond Mine where "a-million diamonds" shone beautifully through the magic of fluorescent paints under the ultraviolet lighting. Driving through several timber beam doorways, the vehicle reached an Endless Mineshaftrealized simply with a mural. Dopey, the most memorable and recognizable of the little men, peeked from behind the treasure vault's huge door. After a short visit in the breathtaking Treasure Vault, the vehicle continued into the deepest corner of the Diamond Mine where the other Dwarfs worked by dim lantern light.

The original Dwarf figures may have seemed rather crude with their anatomical oddities (i.e. arms that seemed twice as long as the legs). Movements of these three-dimensional figures were very simple; most of them followed the pattern of up-and-down, while at least one of them turned from side to side. Old Viewmaster reels of the 1960s Disneyland and other photo gems support the belief that the Dwarfs were repositioned when the 1959-1965 improvements were made. The figures may have even been replaced with new ones.

Before our visit in the mine was over, the delightful Dopey was seen again, this time pointing at a sign "Beware of the Witch". Exiting the Diamond Mine, our vehicle entered a brief but beautiful forest scene (The Glade & Animal Friends). Almost half of the ride experience was already behind.

Following immediately the cute and cuddly animals, the Seven Dwarfs' Cottage was seen in a distance, in a forest clearing. The warm and inviting sight of the cottage was one of the most breathtaking little details of the entire ride; realized very simply through the magic of paint, illumination and some magnificently crafted cutout sets, the Seven Dwarfs' Cottage could easily be seen as a predecessor of the Castle in the Moonlight mural in the remodeled 1983 Snow White's Scary Adventures.

The area from The Glade & Animal Friends to the Seven Dwarfs' Cottage mural was the only spot in the ride where a mysterious Snow White figure could have appeared briefly during the 1970s. (More about this figure is revealed on the Castle Courtyard page!).

The Seven Dwarfs' Cottage mural was a turning point in the ride, featuring the Fork in the Road. Signs pointed directions to the "Dwarfs' Cottage" and to the "Witch's Castle". For some odd reason, our vehiclerepresenting Snow White's perspectivemade the decision to continue towards the castle! This Fork in the Road can be seen definitely as the weakest point in the ride's ambitious aim (of the heroine's perspective)and it may have inspired the 1971 Walt Disney World ride's very different way of starting the adventure inside the Evil Queen's castleso that Snow White doesn't need to make any wrong turns during her adventure.

It seems that one of the teams producing the improvements for the Disneyland ride may have actually noticed the script blunder and tried to fix it by changing the signs. In an official publicity shot of the Seven Dwarfs' Cottage mural, the sign pointing to the cottage has the hilarious text "Witches [sic] Cottage" and the sign pointing towards the castle has the text "Dwarf(s) House". Contrary to the popular belief, the messed-up sign actually does make a pointthat Snow White is forced to choose the direction towards the castle to reach the real Seven Dwarfs' Cottage (although Disney aficionados of the time most certainly recognized the "Witches Cottage" as the home of the merry little men).

Regardless of the fun-fact sign, the cheerful atmosphere of the forest scene changed quite abruptly as the vehicle turned away from the path leading to the Seven Dwarfs' Cottage. Among the dead vegetation of these scary woods, two gaunt vultures perched on a gnarled tree branchand an ominous structure, Portcullis of the Evil Queen's Castle, emerged from the darkness. The Vultures have continued into each new version of the ride, although their appearance has changed into more cartoony direction over the decades.

Passing beneath the Portcullis of the Evil Queen's Castlewhich was only a painted stationary cutoutthe vehicle headed straight towards another open portcullis doorway, where a clear sign pointed the way "To Dwarfs' House". Without a warning the second portcullis came down with a crash, forcing the vehicle to turn leftdeeper into the threatning darkness of the Evil Queen's castle. Never since this original Portcullis scene has there been anything as deliciously wicked in the Snow White dark rides. However, inside the remodeled 1983 Disneyland ride, the Drawbridge sequence with its huge opening doors seems to be a definite powerful relative of the original Portcullis creation of 1955.

The scary part of the adventure, that gobbled up rest of the ride, led the vehicle further into the deepest Dungeons of the Queen's castle. Eerie ambience enveloped grisly skeletons, still imprisoned in their cells. Ghostly voices echoing from the vaults adviced the intruders to "go baaack! go baaack!"

A particularly gruesome sighta skeleton hanging chained to the back wallstretched its neck and opened its jaws to the direction of the arriving vehicle. It is not certain, if this memorable skeleton was actually the only bony fellow in the original 1955-1981 Dungeons scene. Nevertheless, it was (at least in the early 1960s) quite a faithful representation of one of the two skeletons seen in the 1937 movie masterpiece. Ken Anderson's original artwork shows a little more elaborately chained skeleton, but in the 1960s it still had both wrists in shackles. The skeleton may have had also red shining eyes in the skull's eyesockets. One can only imagine how shocking the skeleton may have appeared in the authentic, original darkness of the ride, gleaming in eerie slimy-green fluorescence. The skeleton was captured forever in the movie "40 Pounds of Trouble" (1962).

The imprisoned skeletons remain an integral part of Disney's version of the fairytale. The later versions of the Dungeons scene hide some of the most deepest and darkest secrets of the "Fairest One Of All". (All those secrets are revealed on the Dungeons page, dedicated to these bony fellows).

Following immediately after the Dungeons scene, the vehicle faced a huge spider web in a dark archway. The silhouetted Shadow of the Wicked Witch emerged behind the web and moved across the wall. The shadow was previously believed to be an authentic gobo shadow effect (as the ones used in The Haunted Mansion, Peter Pan's Flight and several other Disney attractions)but flash photos of the scene reveal that the Witch's shadow was actually a cutout, throwing its own tiny shadows on the wall. In the late 1970's the foreground of the Shadow of the Wicked Witch scene was changed glowing in fire-orange, with a spider possibly flicking across the web as the vehicle passed the archway. The movement of the Witch's shadow was also changed; it didn't move across the wall anymore, but rocked up and down to the right, as if the Witch was dipping the apple in a cauldron.

As the vehicle continued its journey into another pitch-black archway, the guests sitting in the vehicle passed under a customary string gag tickling the top of their heads that has been included in countless other spook rides. KenNetti calls this tiny segment of the ride as Cobweb Archway.

When she was finally seen in terrifying three dimensions in the next scene, Witch at the Cauldron, the old hag was poisoning the apple for Snow White. The very first figures of the Wicked Witch didn't exactly resemble the original character in the 1937 moviethey were actually much scarier! In most photos her nose may seem like a sluggish banana glued on her face, the hood of her cloak drooping badly, and her entire posture very undramatic and oddbut all these details can be explained by poor photography that hasn't done justice to the ride's dramatic lighting and the actual ride experience. For example, in the dark ride montage of the 1962 movie "40 Pounds of Trouble" the drooping hood of the Witch seems to get a proper explanation: as the vehicle approached the Witch at the Cauldron scene, the hag was completely shrouded among shadows, but as her figure turned to face the glowing cauldron, she "appeared" quite suddenly. Thus the drooping hood on the other side of her face has been absolutely necessary, to hide her properly before the vehicle was close enough. But when one sees a still photo of the very same Witch, the figure may seem only ridiculously undramatic.

The original "Cauldron Corner" decoration (in the Witch at the Cauldron scene) was unusually modest creation with very few details when compared to almost anything else in the same ride. But actually, who had time to look at the sets when there was a shockingly frightening old hag in the middle of the sets! After many modifications, the Witch at the Cauldron scene became an inseparable part of all Snow White dark rides.

At least in the 1970s till the 1983 remodeling, the "Cauldron Corner" may have included something quite special: the bubbling brew of the cauldron may have been real water with green fluorescent dye. Some people claim that the very same dye is still used in the waters of the Splash Mountain attraction. (KenNetti points out, however, that the use of real water in a dark ride depending on electrical guide track has definite hazards).

Before finding the way out of the Evil Queen's Castle, the daring adventurers in the vehicle came face to face with the ghastly Matriarch of Evil againthis time emerging from a dark corner, Behind a Pillar. (This scene, with the Witch appearing very suddenly and offering the deadly apple to us, may have developed later into the Witch on the Boat scene, first seen in the 1971 version in Walt Disney World). The continuity of these original 1955 castle sequences was definitely heightened by a little detail: in the Behind the Pillar scene the apple was oozing with the poison brew and forming the famous skull image (from the 1937 movie)as if the Witch would have scurried straightly from the cauldron to the next chamber! It is worth of mentioning that the oozing poison on the apple has not formed the skull image in any other ride version (except in Tokyo) and that the fruit has ever since been much smaller than the devilish red delicious seen in this original 1955 scene.

The photo above is an enhanced version of the famous publicity shot of the Witch figure from the Behind the Pillar scene. The original photo was used in the 1960s Viewmaster reels of Disneyland. There is, however, some controversy whether this Witch is the original 1955 figure or one of the improved figures of 1959. Nevertheless, this beautifully sculpted three-dimensional figure was truly the scariest of them all! Her deformed ugliness and gnarled, gaunt and surprisingly realistic features made her definitely much more shocking than any of her later smooth-skinned reincarnations. At least in the late 1960s her eyes were gleaming as devilishly red as in the repainted Witch sections of the queue mural. A less-ghoulish Witch figure has also been seen in this Behind the Pillar scene.

The narrow escape from the old hag's clutchesthe Escape from the Castle included "crash doors", although it is not believed that these doors would have been originally pushed by the vehicle, as in more primitive spook rides. The frightening adventure continued into the Dark Forest sequence (known by several names as the Magic/ Enchanted/ Haunted/ Evil/ Frightening Forest; KenNetti uses the "Dark Forest" title of which You can read more on the Dark Forest page). Monstrous trees with gaping mouths, glowing eyes and branches with talon-like clutches seemed to reach out to the vehicle from every direction. The 1955 Dark Forest creationand especially its 1959 improved versionset such a high standard in strategic illumination of some extremely modest decorations, that the scene has been very difficult to top even in the later reincarnations.

The shocking escape ended with a Return to the Cottage, as the beautiful home of the Dwarfs emerged from the darkness. A slightly three-dimensional life-size model of the house's front is one of the few set-pieces that hasn't changed much in the California ride since the original 1955 Snow White's Adventures. (It has only become more exclusively two-dimensional). Here, at the cottage, the Wicked Witch appeared in the doorway and offered the shiny red apple to us for one last time. This was followed by the climax on the steep cliffs where the Witch made her final appearance, trying to hurl a huge boulder onto the approaching vehicle, while cackling victoriously "Goodbye, dearie(s)!" (with the voice of the very talented Ginny Tyler). The realization of the cliffs seemed impressively three-dimensional. However, until the 1983 remodeling of the ride, no Dwarfs were seen cornering the Witch in this original Boulder Climax.

And no Happy Ending either. As the boulder was about to drop and the vehicle didn't have a visible escape route, a pair of crash doors (quite well-hidden amongst the cliff decoration) opened a path into a Dark Tunnel. The vehicle plunged into an almost complete darkness accompanied by the Witch's terrifying death screamthe original, authentic 1937 movie scream by Lucille La Verne. (Unfortunately only the people who had seen the 1937 movie understood that the chilling scream indicated the Wicked Witch's plunge to her death). Another pair of crash doors inside the blank tunnel led the vehicle to the unloading area, where the most sharp-eared guests could actually hear the Witch's death scream! As there was no proper happy ending in the ride, the design team must have thought that surviving all the horrors of the 1955 original ride alive was a Happy Ending enough for the guests!

At the Secret Laboratory page we introduce the design & development team of the 1955 Snow White's Adventures more closely and also study a preliminary track layout that wasn't eventually used for the ride. Several legendary Disney voice actresses linked to the cackling Wicked Witchincluding Ginny Tylerare presented at the Cauldron Corner page.

Snow White's Adventures
Disneyland California 1955-1981

n o t - u p d a t e d - y e t

The KenNetti Tribute for Snow White's Scary Adventures strives for presenting at least some of the essence of the actual enchantment and atmosphere found in the Snow White dark rides. This is why most of our exclusively enhanced & expanded photos are not as glaringly revealing as most dark ride images on the internet. We ask you to notice, however, that some of these expanded and/or enhanced photos may not show things (sets, lighting and character design) exactly like they appear / or have appeared in the rides.

Most images and photos are specially processed for this KenNetti appearance. Originals can be found at the websites of the image providers or copyright holders. Whenever a provider or copyright holder other than Disney has been indicated in these images and photos, the originals have been used with permission in this KenNetti Snow White's Scary Adventures Tribute. KenNetti doesn't always have the exact source of the original images and photos provided by several different people, so these originals are usually copyrighted to the providers of the images.

Facade & Queue
The Facade (Late 1960s)
The Loading Area (1968)
The Queue Mural - Complete 1954 Sketch
The Mural Cast Portrait (1960s)
A Postcard Based on the Cast Portrait
The Mural "Lab" (Authentic 1950s)
The Mural "Lab" (Restored Version)
The Mural "Boulder" Comparison
The Mural Horrors (Coloured Version)
The Demolition Combo (1982)

The Ride Interiors
The Endless Mineshaft (mural)
Dopey at the Vault Door
The Dwarfs at Work - Original
The Dwarfs at Work - Slightly Enhanced
The Dwarfs at Work - Alternate Poses
The Dwarfs at Work "Fantasy"
Dopey's Sign - Beware of the Witch
The Glade & Animal Friends
The Dwarfs' Cottage and the Fork in the Road
The "Witches Cottage" Delight
The Original Vultures
Portcullis of the Evil Queen's Castle
Portcullis (original, not enhanced)
Shadow of the Wicked Witch
Shadow (original, not enhanced)
The Witch at the Cauldron
Another Witch at the Cauldron
The Cauldron Witch "Fantasy"
The Dark Forest Trees
The Dark Forest Trees (slightly enhanced)
Return to the Cottage from the Dark Forest
Return to the "Witches Cottage"
The Boulder Climax

Very Scary Stuff
The Witch at the Cauldron Closeup
Behind the Pillar - The Ghastly Witch
Behind the Pillar (original, not enhanced)
The Dungeon Skeleton (1960s)
The Dungeon Skeleton Colour Combo

The C-Ticket "Scary" (Late 1960s)
Snow White's Adventures - Original Plan

Research, analyse, text,
design and image processing
by Kenneth Sundberg

All original artwork © Disney

Next Page
Walt Disney World 1971-1993 Version
General Survey

To Entrance Hall
(The Tribute's Main Index
and Full Credits)


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