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Disney Imagineer addresses backlash over Snow White and Prince Charming's kiss depicted in revamped park ride

INSIDER logo INSIDER 5/9/2021 ledmonds@businessinsider.com (Lauren Edmonds)
a colorful flower on a stage: Disneyland reopened for California residents on April 30. MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images © MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images Disneyland reopened for California residents on April 30. MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images
  • Disney Imagineer Jim Shull responded to criticism over Disneyland's revamped Show White ride.
  • A recent op-ed noted that Snow White and Prince Charming appeared to share a non-consensual kiss.
  • Disneyland reopened to California residents on April 30 after a 13-month closure.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

An Imagineer spoke out about Disneyland's Snow White ride after some criticized the kiss between Snow White and Prince Charming.

During Disneyland's 13-month closure amid the Covid-19 pandemic, Imagineers transformed Snow White's Scary Adventures - known for its sometimes frightening elements - into Snow White's Enchanted Wish.

The original Snow White ride included an ending in which the Evil Queen fell to her death. The new conclusion shows Prince Charming giving Snow White a "true love's kiss," but not everyone agrees the kiss was appropriate.

An op-ed written by Julie Tremaine and Katie Dowd for SFGate proclaimed the ride was good, but the ending kiss was problematic. The article suggested the kiss between Prince Charming and Snow White was non-consensual.

"The new grand finale of Snow White's Enchanted Wish is the moment when the Prince finds Snow White asleep under the Evil Queen's spell and gives her 'true love's kiss' to release her from the enchantment," the article said. "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 article continued: "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."


Video: Disneyland Snow White ride criticised for kissing without consent (The Independent)

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Disney fans began to weigh in on Snow White's Enchanted Wish after the park reopened on April 30, and the op-ed received much attention on Fox News.

On Wednesday, longtime Imagineer Jim Shull shared his thoughts on the debate surrounding the revamped ride.

"Allowing for the fact that cultural changes occur over decades, it must be acknowledged that in the context of the tale on which the film is based that the ride is accurate," wrote Shull, who's been an Imagineer for 33 years.

He added: "People are, of course, allowed to dislike the story, but the Imagineering team did a spectacular job!"

Insider has reached out to Disney Parks for comment but did not hear back in time for publication.

Disneyland's Snow White ride isn't the only attraction that's been rebranded over the years. In January 2020, the company announced that Disney World and Disneyland would turn "Splash Mountain" into a "Princess and the Frog"-themed ride.

The ride was originally based on the 1946 film "Song of the South," which received criticism for its negative portrayal of Black people and brushing over slavery. A Change.org petition was launched last year after many believed the ride was a symbol of racism.

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