Story at a glance:
- Two reporters at San Francisco Gate criticized a feature of the ride, “true love’s first kiss,” while praising the attraction overall.
- Some turned the criticism back on those who scrutinized how the ride — and the overall story — ends.
- The park was closed for more than a year due to the pandemic.
Two reporters at The San Francisco Gate are facing their own criticism after they scrutinized Disneyland’s new "Snow White" ride, which depicts a nonconsensual kiss between Prince Charming and Snow White.
It has been 13 months since the reopening of Disneyland, and it is the San Diego park that unveiled April 30 its revamped Snow White's Enchanted Wish — a ride that exhibits one of Disney's classic animated movies.
The review, authored by Katie Dowd and Julie Tremaine, praised the ride for its storytelling, attention to detail and special effects. But the writers also questioned why Disneyland would choose to keep a scene with “such old fashioned ideas” and not instead “re-imagine an ending in keeping with the spirit of the movie and Snow White's place in the Disney canon, but that avoids this problem?”
“It [is] a more cohesive storyline that's true to the 1938 movie. It also adds in the movie's biggest problem — but we'll get to that in a minute,” Dowd and Tremaine wrote.
By all means, the ride is a complete improvement over its 1955 version, report the pair, one of whom specifically covers Disneyland. The attraction has new music, LED backlighting, laser projections, an animation system and new animatronic scenes like Snow White dancing and the evil Queen's collection of spell books and bubbling potions.
The reviewers’ hangup of the ride comes from the ending scene, “true love’s kiss,” which depicts Prince Charming kissing Snow White while she’s asleep.
“A kiss he gives to her without her consent, while she's asleep, which cannot possibly be true love if only one person knows it's happening,” the reporters said. “Haven't we already agreed that consent in early Disney movies is a major issue? That teaching kids that kissing, when it hasn't been established if both parties are willing to engage, is not OK?”
The reporters go on to write: “It's hard to understand why the Disneyland of 2021 would choose to add a scene with such old fashioned ideas of what a man is allowed to do to a woman, especially given the company's current emphasis on removing problematic scenes from rides like Jungle Cruise and Splash Mountain.”
The story garnered backlash on social media, with some saying it’s just a fairytale and others quipping about how adults can get politically frustrated while attending an amusement park.
The chief deputy district attorney for Clark County, N.V., Jonathan VanBoskerck, wrote an op-ed for the Orlando Sentinel, saying “wokeness is ruining the experience” of the Disney parks.
“Disney World is going to lose us as customers if it continues down this path. I do not want to have Disney World taken away from us because Disney cares more about politics than happy guests,” VanBoskerck wrote.
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