Disney Scraps Snow White Ride, Adds New Roller Coaster
Walt Disney World officially announced more details about its renovation of Fantasyland, now underway. The biggest surprise: The Mouse will scrap Snow White's Scary Adventure, a ride that has been open since the park's opening day, and build a new indoor roller coaster, tentatively called The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.
Disney says cutting the original and beloved Snow White will make room for a Princess meet-and-greet area, to be called the Fairytale Hall.
In 1988, when the resort demolished another opening-day attraction, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, the uproar among purists reverberated for years. By contrast, Disneyland in California, which sits on a much smaller lot, retains both its original Snow White and Mr. Toad rides.
The new Mine Train will track the dwarfs' workday in the diamond mine. So far the new ride has only been announced for Disney's Orlando-area resort and not for the company's other parks.
Eric Jacobson, Senior Vice President of Creative Development at Walt Disney Imagineering, told AOL Travel News the new Snow White attraction will employ an internally developed technology that will allow ride vehicles to pivot using centrifugal force, resulting in a mimickry of swinging movements of the mine carts in the 1937 animated film.
Disney's Fantasyland rehab, set to open in stages starting at the end of 2012, has been anything but dreamy for the corporation.
When it was first announced in September 2009, the renovation plans were heavy on promotional, meet-and-greet tie-ins with its Princess and Pixie franchises that are mostly popular with young girls.
But last June, when Universal Orlando opened its Wizarding World of Harry Potter attraction to sellout crowds and thunderous acclaim, Disney halted progress on what was a modest plan, for which land had already been cleared, and went back to the drawing board.
The new outcome, it's hoped, will be more appealing to boys.
Walt Disney World News
Disney previously announced the Fantasyland renovation would include a second Dumbo ride machine to double load capacity and a new queue system that lets families roam a circus-themed entertainment area while waiting for their time slot for that ride; the addition of an indoor ride based on The Little Mermaid that will be a clone of one already being built at Disney's California Adventure in Anaheim; and the removal of Mickey's Toontown Fair.
Walt Disney World News
Disney has also now deleted a previously hyped fairy-themed area called Pixie Hollow from its Fantasyland roster.
The outgoing Snow White ride has terrified children in Florida for nearly 40 years, and several years ago, the "scary" was added to the ride's name as a fair warning to parents of nervous toddlers.
"It frankly is pretty scary for some of our younger guests," Jacobson said. "So we thought, 'How can we tell this story in a way that's more fun and less about the Witch and more about Snow White and her pals the Dwarfs.' Our fans ultimately know that we're doing to the right thing for them and we'll please as many people as possible, so I think they'll be happy."
The new Snow White ride's theme is also sure to set amusement park aficionados' tongues wagging. There's already a runaway mine train coaster, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, in the Magic Kingdom, resulting in a rare creative duplication for Disney.
Disney also announced at a media event that its Star Tours ride would return with new 3-D computer animations on May 20, and confirmed the Barnstormer kiddie coaster would be renamed The Great Goofini.
The company also debuted the new 10-minute projection show, "The Magic, The Memories, and You", that uses Cinderella Castle at Walt Disney World as a canvas for a series of colorful computer animations and 500 images of guests taken in the park each day by the company's souvenir photographers.
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