Just over two weeks after a viral editorial criticized Florida’s Walt Disney World for its so-called “awakening,” its sister park across the country is sparking similar rhetoric.
Disneyland in California resumed welcoming guests last week after being closed for 13 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As many early visitors found out, Disney used some of that unexpected downtime to renovate its Snow White’s Scary Adventures ride, which was one of the park’s opening day attractions in 1955.
Renamed Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, the ride now features enhanced special effects, new music, and a happy ending forever. Fans praised many upgrades, but the finale – which features Prince Charming kneeling beside Snow White’s coffin to give her the ‘kiss of true love’ and revive her from the Evil Queen’s poisoned apple, as in the 1937 animated film – is apparently more of a contention.
In an article published on SFGate on Saturday, editor-in-chief Katie Dowd and writer Julie Tremaine criticized the scene for describing what they describe as a non-consensual kiss.
“A kiss he gives her without her consent, while she’s sleeping, which can’t be true love if only one person knows it’s going on,” Dowd and Tremaine wrote. “Haven’t we already agreed that consent in the early Disney films is a major issue? What teaching children to kiss, when it has not been established whether both parties are willing to engage, is not acceptable? “
The authors suggested that Disneyland would have been better served by creating a less problematic ending that would maintain “the spirit of the movie and Snow White’s place in Disney canon.” They also pointed to the planned redesign of Splash Mountain Park, a timber canal based on the 1946 “Song of the South” that has since been widely viewed as racist, as an example of a proper course of action.
The article drew mixed reactions on social media.
However, after Fox News got wind of the article, the network suggested that “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” was in danger of being “canceled.” According to the Daily Beast, Fox News referred to the attraction at least nine times and Fox Business Network mentioned it five more times as of Monday alone. Meanwhile, Fox Business digital site posted an article on Sunday in response to the SFGate article.
“If you look at an accurate portrayal of Snow White, she was poisoned and that kiss saved her life,” proclaimed Fox News host Todd Piro. “So for those two people who wrote this story, if you’re sick and someone needs CPR for you, are you going to get mad about consent?” No. You will not have an option in this matter. ”
“Little girls can become both princesses and presidents,” he continued. “Let’s keep that in mind – business presidents – but they can also have that part of their youth. And I don’t think anyone is watching Prince Charming’s kiss from Snow White saying, boy, it’s a microcosm of college date rape culture.
Disney did not respond to HuffPost’s request for comment on the controversy.
Interestingly, Snow White’s enchanted wish has historically divided visitors to Disneyland. Prior to the 2021 renovation, the Evil Queen was the focal point of the attraction, often terrifying small children and angering their parents.
Debate over the theme park’s current incarnation follows the Orlando Sentinel and the Tampa Bay Times publishing a much ridiculed column of a Disney fan accusing the company’s Florida theme parks of “ruining the experience.” with “awakening”.
“Parks are less fun because immersion and therefore joy takes a back seat in politics,” wrote Jonathan VanBoskerck, noting recent updates to Disney World’s Pirates of the Caribbean attraction, as well as a new casual dress code for employees. “Next time I’m on Jungle Cruise, I won’t think of the gloriously entertaining skippers’ puns, I will think of Disney’s political agenda. He’s a mood killer.
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