Sunday, May 29, 2011
Snow White Evolution: Opening Day vs. Now
The July 17, 1955 Grand Opening Day of Disneyland was a huge event with live coast-to-coast coverage by ABC-TV. To make sure that all went smoothly, rehearsals were held for both the technical and performance personnel...even as the painters and construction workers were putting the finishing touches on the park itself.
This photo, as can be told by the sparse amount of people on the sidewalk (primarily family and friends of Disney staffers working on the opening event), is from the dress rehearsal of the big opening day parade, held several hours before the live telecast.
Pictured is a float from the Fantasyland section of the parade, featuring Snow White. The "Fairest One Of All" holds court atop a tiered float, and in attendance, naturally, are the Seven Dwarfs (though only Grumpy, Sneezy, Bashful, Dopey and Doc are visible from this angle). The slatted steps of the float allowed both ventilation and vision for the float's driver, and atop the floral canopy can be seen a miniature of Disneyland's signature structure, Sleeping Beauty Castle.
The costumes for Snow White and the dwarfs, like many of those seen throughout the opening day festivities, had been borrowed by Walt from the Ice Capades, a touring ice skating entertainment who had featured Disney themed production numbers in their shows (with Disney's participation). Here’s a previously published photos of the Disney Ice Capades stars in their semi-primitive looking costumes:
Following Snow White in the parade is a Conestoga wagon and riders representing Frontierland.
Eventually, Snow White evolved back into the form that we all know and love from the original 1937 animated feature. Here's an assorted collection of shots of her in the park.
From July 1968:
This June 1979 shot shows her wearing her wedding day finery:
A treasured photo from my 40th birthday:
Here’s what our beloved heroine looks like if you catch her in the park today:
And the real gal herself:
Which one do you prefer? Follow my Daveland updates on Twitter. See more vintage & current Disneyland photos at my regular website.