Snow White's Scary Adventures opened on Disneyland's opening day as Snow White and her Adventures. Imagineers had designed the ride so that guests felt like they were the main character of the story; in this case, the guests were Snow White. Few people understood this concept and some wondered why Snow White herself was not featured in the ride. Some footage of the original version would be part of the 1962 film 40 Pounds of Trouble, which featured a lengthy sequence set inside Disneyland.
During 1983, all of the Fantasyland dark rides were expanded and redesigned as part of a large overhaul of Fantasyland. This attraction and the other dark rides were modified to include the main characters of the films they represented. Today, Snow White appears once in the attraction. The present outdoor façade was made to resemble The Evil Queen's castle from the movie.
When the Witch offered guests the poisoned apple in one scene, guests frequently tried (and sometimes managed) to steal the apple and bring it home as a souvenir. When Fantasyland was reopened in 1983, they solved the problem of the ever-missing poisoned apple by replacing it with an image of an apple projected by means of a parabolic mirror. Guests who reach out to steal the apple now find their hands passing through it.
The Magic Kingdom's original version of this ride also put the guests in the role of the story's main character (Snow White). Around Christmas of 1994, a less-frightening version of the ride took its place and appearances by Snow White were also added. The redesigned ride took some cues from the Disneyland Paris version, including increasing the capacity of each ride vehicle from four to six passengers.
The original Disneyland version is noted for not featuring Snow White at all (with the intention being that the riders were Snow White), while the Dwarfs only appear in one scene (aside from Dopey, who appears twice). The ride began in the diamond mine, where the Dwarfs were seen digging. As guests exited the mine, Dopey was seen for a second time, pointing at a sign reading "beware of the Witch".
The ride vehicles then entered the forest, where various animals were seen watching the riders. A two-way sign was then seen, pointing to the Dwarfs' cottage in one direction and the Witch's castle in the other direction. The vehicles turned towards the castle, where one of the gateways led to the cottage and the other led further into the castle. The gate to the cottage slammed shut, forcing guests to go further into the castle.
The vehicles went through the dungeons, where skeletons warned guests to turn back. The vehicles turned to face a huge archway, through which the Witch's shadow moved across the wall. Guests then moved towards the cauldron, where the Witch was obscured by shadows until she turned suddenly towards the cauldron, offering the guests the poisoned apple. Exiting the dungeon, the Witch appeared from behind a pillar and offered the guests the apple again.
Riders then exited the castle and continued through the dark forest, where the trees have faces and arms while the logs look like crocodiles. This scene is one of the few that would remain mostly unchanged in the 1983 overhaul.
The ride vehicles then returned to the Dwarfs' cottage, where the door suddenly swung open, revealing the Witch, who would offer the guests the apple for a final time. Guests then turned to a cliff, where the Witch was seen above them attempting to pry a huge boulder from the outcrop onto the riders. As ride vehicles crashed through a set of doors hidden in the cliffside, the Witch's scream could be heard, though she was not actually shown falling to her death. The vehicles then entered a pitch-black room briefly before exiting to the unload area.
The current version, opened in 1983, is similar to the original version, but is meant to be less scary overall. Guests enter the ride building through The Evil Queen's castle. Overlooking the entrance is a high window whose curtains are parted every few minutes by the Queen. A metal gold-colored apple is within reach of guests standing in the queue. Touching the apple causes the disembodied voice of the Queen to cackle menacingly. Guests wind their way through a dungeon inside the castle, passing by a book of poisons. The book reads, "One taste of the poisoned apple and the victim's eyes will close forever in the Sleeping Death..." The background of the boarding area is a forest setting dominated by the Dwarfs' cottage.
The mine cart ride vehicles resemble the beds of the Seven Dwarfs, but are officially considered "minecarts," and feature the names of each dwarf on the front of them, much like their beds in the film. After guests board the vehicles, they enter the Dwarfs' cottage. Here, the music and yodeling from "The Silly Song" can be heard. Guests pass Snow White and some of her animal friends climbing the stairs to the cottage's second floor. The guests then move past the Dwarfs, who are performing "The Silly Song". Happy is on bass, Grumpy is on organ, Bashful is on accordion, Doc is on mandolin and Sleepy is on fiddle. Dopey is standing on Sneezy's shoulders.
When guests leave the cottage, they pass by the Queen and her pet raven, peering through one of the cottage windows as the Queen divulges her plans to get rid of Snow White. They then pass the Queen's castle then enter the Dwarfs' diamond mine, which is full of jewels of many colors.
Guests then pass under a branch with two vultures perched on it. A false path leads guests to believe they are entering a cave, but the vehicle turns toward a different path and enter the Queen's castle. There, they see the Queen as she stands before her Magic Mirror with her beautiful reflection saying, "Magic Mirror on the wall..." She then turns and faces the guests. They see that she has become an ugly, green-eyed, toothless hag with a wart on her nose. "With this disguise, I'll fool them all!" she adds. This effect is achieved by two models—one queen and one witch—rotating on different sides of the 'mirror', which is actually a sheet of transparent glass. Projections and LED lights create the effect of cobwebs and electricity running through the walls.
The guests continue on to the castle's dungeon, laden with skeletons, who warn guests to turn back. Nearby, the Witch is in her laboratory, where she is creating a poisoned apple for Snow White. She heads for the Dwarfs' cottage in a small boat, bumping into the guests on her way out.
The guests wind their way through a menacing forest. Here, trees have ugly faces and branches like talons or grasping hands. Bats fly everywhere and logs resemble snapping crocodiles. The echo of the Witch's cackle is heard throughout the forest scene, implying that she is chasing the guests. The guests then turn toward the Dwarfs' cottage. The music and cackling stop until the witch's voice is heard again. The door the opens to reveal the Witch, who offers the guests the apple (the apple was originally a physical object, but Grad Night guests made it tradition to swipe the apple, so it became an optical illusion in the 1983 rehab). Guests turn towards a mountainside where the Dwarfs pursue the Witch. Nearby, the Witch tries to roll a boulder down the mountain to crush the Dwarfs and guests below. However, a strike of lightning causes her to tumble to her death; her scream is heard as guests exit to the unload area. The climax in this version differs from the other two surviving versions in that there is a strobe effect to illustrate the Witch falling off the cliff; in the Paris and Tokyo versions, the figure simply leans back.
Arriving at the unload area, guests pass a giant book featuring a silhouette of Snow White and her Prince with his horse as they walk away towards a castle. The words at the bottom of this picture read "And they lived happily ever after." The unload area also features a mural depicting Snow White, the Prince, the Dwarfs and the forest animals bidding the guests farewell. The guests then disembark from the ride vehicles and exit back out into Fantasyland.
The original Walt Disney World version of the ride in 1971 was very different and objectively much scarier. The witches were much more realistic than their animated counterparts. There were also seven witch figures in this version, while there were only six in the second version. The queue was similar to Tokyo's current queue. It featured the Dwarfs' mine and their house was visible in the distance. This version of the ride also notably featured no music.
Guests began by entering the castle in a scene very much like the 1994 version; however, there was no Snow White cleaning. Upon entering, the guests saw a mirror, but not the magic one. The Queen transformed into the Witch--this was the first incarnation of the ride to feature the famous "transformation" effect. The witch cackled and disappeared until a raven began to shriek. It was reacting to the witch, who was then seen at the cauldron around the corner. The riders "crashed" through the dungeon walls and escaped through the dark forest, bumping into the witch on her boat along the way. Soon, the guests arrived at the Dwarfs' cottage to see the animals peering in at them. They passed the Dwarfs (in their only appearance) walking up the stairs to the wall perpendicular to their room to investigate a scary shadow floating on the wall, which is implied to be a ghost. On the way out, the Witch was waiting at a window with the apple, sliding into view on the top half of the door similar to in the movie. Riders would again escape into the forest, where the Witch would jump out from behind a tree and offer riders the apple for a fourth time. The final scene was the diamond mines, where the Witch appeared on top of the door to the mine, tipping over one of the wooden support beams; by this point she had given up on using the apple. A mine cart, pushed by the witch, would run out of control and nearly hit you. Her final appearance was on top of the door to the vault, prying an enormous jewel from the rocky outcrop and onto the riders. Riders would then enter a room full of flashing cartoon strobe lights, with the witch's cackling still in their ears, echoing like a skipping record, thus implying that the witch had killed you. The guests would then crash through the wall to return to the boarding area. This version followed the film least accurately of all of the versions.
In 1994, the Disney World attraction was completely redesigned to be similar to the upgraded Disneyland version, but in a different order and with a few new scenes, as well as one scene being omitted. Guests board by a mural depicting the cast of Snow White and begin their ride in the Queen's courtyard where Snow White is seen working outside. The Queen is watching her (and the guests) from her window. Inside the castle, the scene is similar to the Disneyland version (with the Queen turning into the Witch and working at her cauldron), although the Magic Mirror has been added. The ride continues into the forest and we see the Huntsman telling Snow White to run away. She can be seen with a terrified expression after a flashing strobe light goes off. We then see the Witch on the boat and the forest similar to the original version and then into the Dwarfs' Cottage, where the Dwarfs sing to the Silly Song. In a new scene, the riders pass the Witch giving Snow White the apple, then emerge from the cottage onto a rocky cliffside. Initially in almost complete darkness, a flash of lightning revealed that the witch was right next to the guests. Guests ride through the mines where Bashful and Sneezy call to them to stop the Witch. We then see the Witch and Dwarves on the cliff. After her comeuppance there is a new happy ending with the Prince waking Snow White amidst the cheering Dwarfs. Dopey is seen above the bridge, on leaving, waving to all the passengers. Guests then travel through the open doors under the bridge and disembark. Ironically, this version followed the film most accurately out of all of the versions, but was the replacement for the least movie-accurate version.
On May 31, 2012, the attraction closed and was replaced by Princess Fairytale Hall as part of a major expansion of that park's Fantasyland.
When the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train opened in 2014, many of the Dwarf and animal figures from the Silly Song scene were recycled for use in the new ride, as were the two vultures. The Witch received a new design which looks the most accurate to the movie and less scary.
Disneyland Park, Paris
Disneyland Paris' ride is basically the same as the current Disneyland version. The only real difference is a happy ending similar to Disney World's. However, in this variation, instead of passing the Prince waking up Snow White and then Dopey on an arch, all the Dwarfs, the Prince and Snow White are on an arch, with Snow White sitting on the Prince's horse and waving the guests goodbye. On the left side of the guests, the Prince's castle is seen above the clouds. The cottage at the loading area is replaced with a mural of the characters. The ride is also called Blanche Neige et les Sept Nains, which is French for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs".
Tokyo Disneyland represents a mix of all the other versions. It begins in the courtyard then into the castle where the Queen transforms into the Witch, moving on to the dungeon and passing her on her boat. After going through the forest, guests enter the cottage and see the Dwarfs singing, with Snow White watching from the stairs. Exiting the cottage, guests find the Witch outside waiting for them, they see the Queen's castle then enter the mines. They approach the cottage again to find the Witch is once again waiting. The ride ends like Disneyland's version, with the Dwarfs and Witch on the cliff. There is no happy ending, with the vehicles exiting to the unload area immediately after the Witch's death.