Disneyland's new Snow White ride criticized for including Prince Charming's 'non-consensual' kiss
Disneyland recently revamped one of its original rides, Snow White's Scary Adventure, unveiling it to the public during the park's reopening last week. The ride, now known as Snow White's Enchanted Wish, has garnered a lot of praise for its upgrades which include new audio, new animation, new music, and stunning visual technology that includes laser projections and LED lights. But there's one part of the ride that hasn't been as well-received: the grand finale of the movie, where Prince Charming kisses a sleeping Snow White to wake her up with "true love's kiss."
The addition of the movie's ending is a new part of the ride, replacing the death of the Evil Queen. Between the outdated animatronics and the slightly scary visuals, Snow White's ride has been due for an upgrade for some time. While the controversy over the kiss isn't new, discussion has been reignited over the fact that if a ride is being updated to reflect the current time period, it also should fix outdated and old-fashioned issues — namely, the issue of consent.
Theme park reviewers Katie Dowd and Julie Tremaine addressed the issue in an article on SFGate, writing that the kiss is one "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. 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 okay?"
The authors went on to wonder why Disneyland wouldn't fix such an outdated scene, especially given its overhaul of recent rides containing problematic cultural references like Splash Mountain and Jungle Cruise.
Of course, there are two sides to every issue. New York Rangers player Matt Traynor tweeted his feelings about the controversy, writing, "I'm sorry, this is what's wrong with the world. Snow White, a fictional character getting brought back to life by a kiss by her future husband. Y'all taking things too far and ruining the gullible by making them believe this is what to flip out about instead of REAL issues..."
A representative for Disneyland didn't immediately respond to EW's request for comment.