Opening Date: 1971
Three generations of children have been traumatized by this ride in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Florida. From 1971-2012, the scariest ride in the park was neither the Haunted Mansion nor Space Mountain. It was this ride, with multiple jump scares and morbid overtones, that took the top prize.
The original Snow White dark ride, which opened in California’s Disneyland in 1955, was also a scary experience, meant to place the rider in Snow White’s shoes. The Audio-Animatronic witch appeared several times, cackling her head off and offering a poison apple. You raced through a forest with menacing trees and bats. That was bad enough.
But the Magic Kingdom version of the ride took things way too far. First off, there were now seven different, moving witch Audio-Animatronic—the original Disneyland version had six. Like the original ride, this one also had no Snow White figure in the ride, since you, the rider, were supposed to be Snow White. The witches were positioned and revealed in such a way that they caught guests by surprise, creating jump scares. There was no soundtrack—only the witch cackling continuously in the background. And best (worst?) of all, the witch concluded the ride by pushing a boulder onto you, thus “killing” you. Happily ever after, my foot.
The current version of the Snow White ride in Disneyland is greatly altered from its original—it hews much closer to the movie’s plot and includes scenes of the dwarves dancing and mining. As for the Magic Kingdom version, it closed in 2012, and was replaced with the Princess Fairytale Hall, an elaborate meet-and-greet area.