May 31, 2012
Snow White's Scary Adventures
It creaked. It squeaked. It showcased the number one
reason why kids should not talk to strangers. Heck, there were even
crocodile posers and conniving squirrels. But, that didn't stop
little Miss Cinderella and tiny Peter Pan from happily abounding
into the 'Bashful' mine car. I glanced at their weary parents,
waiting a few more seconds for them to trek through the chained maze
their children so easily bobbed and weaved through.
'We can go by ourselves. We're not scared of the
witch,' Cinderella proclaimed, while flicks of glitter from her
Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique hair-do found their way onto her nose.
'This is scary? There's a witch? I don't want to
go!' little Pan attempted to shove the princess out of the way, but
it was to no avail. Once you're trapped in that mine car, whether
it's by lap bars or your unnecessarily bossy sibling, you're stuck
in that mine car. Peter Pan's eyes widened at the unknown world the
car was going to drive him into. His parents' cajoling voices and
sister's impatient attitude appeared to multiply the butterflies in
his stomach rather than vanquish them. Flashes from my first
childhood Snow White Scary Adventure prevented me from giving the go
ahead to lock down the lap bars. I did not want to be the one to
switch on the green light and force the kid to go into the
terrifying oblivion he was imagining.
Unfortunately, the once empty queue line started to
fill with princes and princesses anxiously awaiting their turn to
explore the Dark Forest. Waiting for mini Peter to garner courage
wouldn't be a plausible option for much longer. Conversely, anyone
could sense the imminent cry that was sure to ensue from
pixie-dusted-Cinderella if someone didn't convince her younger
brother to go on the adventure. Improvising, I blurted the first
thing that popped into my head to try to ease the boy's fears. 'You
get to wave to Dopey at the end.'
In an uncanny, 80's family sitcom sort of way, the
entire family became quiet and stared at me like I sprouted fairy
wings. For a brief millisecond I couldn't tell if my interference
was helpful or useless. After all, what kind of benefit is it to see
a silly, mute dwarf when there are evil queens and hags lurking
'I can see Dopey?' Peter's voice rose slightly with
hope, his knuckles slowly regaining their natural color.
'Even better, you get to go to a party at the Seven
Dwarves' cottage,' I smiled. My eyes darted back and forth between
the growing queue, the cautious parents, and little Pan slowly
maneuvering into a seated position.
Taking off his feather adorned hat, mini Peter shook
his head, 'I don't want to see the witch.' A collective sigh
enveloped their mine car and Cinderella did her best to hold her
tears at bay. With an empathetic smile, I waved good bye to the
family and wished them the quintessential magical day they deserved.
But just as I led a new family into the emptied mine car, little
Peter suddenly popped up behind me, tugging at my green pant leg.
'Can you tell Dopey that I'm sorry I wasn't brave enough?'
I bent down a couple inches (or maybe it was only
one inch) to his eye level, 'How about I tell Dopey that when you're
ready to help banish the queen, he'll get to meet his new buddy?'
Pondering like an old soul, he scratched his head
and stared inquisitively at me, 'Do you think I'm ready?'
'Of course I do,' my smile widened. Hope started to
take over me now, wishing that this little boy would find courage
somehow and some time during their trip. 'I wouldn't have told you
about the cottage party if I didn't think you were brave enough to
face the evil queen. Plus, the seven dwarves will help you out.'
'Honey, the nice lady has to go back to work,' Pan's
mother motioned her hands toward the exit and pointed out that my
coworkers could use me back at my post. He grabbed his mother's hand
and trudged down the unload ramp, but not before gazing back and
showing me a brave, tiny smile.
A few minutes later, I went on break and my mind
couldn't help but wonder if I would ever see Pan and Cindy's family
again. I also was in disbelief at how intricate little Cindy's dress
was ' it was the first time I had seen park-issued princess attire.
I clocked in after lunch and was sent to the friendly post of 'Snow
Greeter.' With my greeter attitude in full gear I headed back to
Snow expecting new faces asking me what time the 3 o'clock parade
Before I had a chance to exchange rotation passes
with my coworker, I was bombarded mid-stride by a not so lost boy.
His green felt hat nearly got knocked off his head, but his toothy
grin didn't seem to care. My eyes lit up at the sight of Little
Peter Pan laughing and smiling away.
'Hi! Hi! Guess what! Guess what! I did it! I did
it!' Joy washed over his face as he jumped around like Tigger at a
bounce ' a ' thon, 'I was brave enough to go! And I SAW DOPEY!!!'
Laughing at his enthusiasm, I high-fived the kid for
his bravery and courage. After his intense and rather entertaining
re-enactment of his adventure, I asked why he changed his mind about
facing the evil queen.
'Because you said that I'm brave.'
Snow White's Scary Adventures is where I took my
first steps as a Disney cast member. It was the first attraction I
walked through with my Fantasyland training buddy. It was where my
family first saw me in attraction host action. Break room parties,
accidental mine car hold ups, black curtain guesses, CP party ride
throughs'Heck, it's where Thing 1 and Thing 2 first met a certain
white pants guy. But the reason why my heart slightly drops at the
thought of it vanishing forever is because it was the site of so
many 'Take 5's' and 'Magical Moments,' the first and most special
being Mini Pan's Courageous Day.
You never know where you'll find a bit of magic,
that bit of extra strength, to overcome the evils and hurdles you
encounter in life. And sometimes, that magic appears in killer
friends who are willing to squash witches with boulders for you.
We'll miss ya, Snow. Thanks for the scary and not so
And thank you, Huntsman, for some pretty good
advice. It's just a shame none of us ever listened. Specifically:
'Run, Princess! Run away and never come back! (Ahh!)
Maybe if I listened to the huntsman, my blissfully
ignorant idea about squirrels being cute and fluffy might still be
intact. Beware of squirrels, people. Seriously. You never know which
forest cottage an evil squirrel may be lurking.