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:

June 1970:

November 1970:

July 1972:

August 1972:

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? See more vintage & current Disneyland photos at my regular website.


Joe Shelby said...

Here's Snow White at Walt Disney World in the afternoon parade from 1974.

Connie Moreno said...

Great pics! I love the July 1972 shot.

Mike, Studio City said...

Oh but it is you that truly is the fairest of all.

Snow White Archive said...

Great 40th B-day pic Dave. I will have to get one for my 50th (coming up in a few years).

The info about the borrowed Ice Capades costumes is terrific.

I really like the 1972 shot. Snow White hanging out with the little "flower power" children. She seems somehow in her element there. I've always felt that of all the princesses, she would have made for the most natural earth-goddess-hippie, in another lifetime of course.

Daveland said...

Mike - You are hired as my new PR person! Joe - Thanks for the WDW shot.

Mike, Studio City said...

I love your blog, It's gives me a smile every day.

pixiegirltink said...

Your 40th Birthday ~ who cares about Snow White?! I'm looking at the hottie with the nice guns! :)

Great pics as usual, my friend. Fun to see Snow's hair change over the years, as well as the dwarves.