This is the sixth in a series of six blog posts about my son and his experience on the last night of operation for Snow White's Scary Adventures at Walt Disney World. To read the entire series from the beginning, start with SWSA Final Night - Prelude. Thank you for reading.
After Ben completed his final ride on Snow White's Scary Adventures, we gave our heartfelt thanks to all of the remaining cast members, and then we were escorted out of Fantasyland so that the maintenance workers could get on with the task of erecting the construction walls. Ken thanked us for allowing him to share in the experience of those last half-dozen rides, and then he and Robert left to go back to their respective lodgings for the night. Even though it was well past eleven, Ben was still buzzing from the whole experience and didn't show any signs of winding down. We crossed under the castle and then down through the hub, merging with the last of the lingering crowd on Main street.
By the time we exited the park the monorail was already shut down for the night - we had to wait in line for a ferry boat instead. Ben was starting to agitate about Tinkerbell, so I dug out the Tink ornament that we had purchased at the start of the evening. That placated him at least for a while, but it was clear that he was on the edge of tipping over from happy to tired and cranky. I dearly hoped we would manage to get him all the way to the car before that particular time bomb detonated. Fortunately the boat came quickly. Before long we were walking through the Ticket and Transportation Center en route to the car. Ben stopped to take a photo of a Tinkerbell window decoration, which was when I thought to take a glance at his camera to see if he actually took any pictures during that last solo ride. As a matter of fact, he did capture a shot of his absolute favorite moment of the ride - Bashfull in the mine crying, "She's getting away, hurry!"
The very last photo taken by any guest on Snow White's Scary Adventures
Arriving at the car without incident, I gave Ben his nighttime meds and started the drive home. Usually in the car he listens to his iPod (almost exclusively Disney soundtracks) but for this occasion I went ahead and let him listen to the Snow White soundtrack on the car stereo. He tends to play the same track (or part of a track) over and over again, which can get a little trying, but that night I was just fine with it. For most of the drive he kept listening to the building music from the scene where the Huntsman warns Snow White to run away, followed by her terrified dash through the forest. It starts quietly, builds slowly, and then comes to a crashing climax. I heard that same track over and over again for about fifteen minutes, and then as we were nearing home he started skipping ahead through the tracks.
Now this, you are going to think, is something I made up for dramatic license. I swear to you it is not the case. Anyone who knows me will tell you I just don't know how to make anything up and that I am a terrible liar. I simply could not have dreamed up this ending to the drive if I had tried. Ben very specifically and deliberately skipped ahead to track number 24, "Loves First Kiss". It is the last scene of the movie, where the dwarfs are gathered around Snow White's glass coffin mourning her death, until Prince Charming arrives to break the spell. Ben started the track when we were still about two miles from home, and as we entered our housing complex it was reaching its triumphant ending. I pulled into the driveway just as the final fanfare ended, where the movie would fade out after the final caption of "The End". It was just the perfect serendipitous touch to cap off an amazing day.
As I write this now, it has been nearly a week since the ride's closing. It has taken me six full days to document our experiences from that night. In that time my direct memories have already started to fade. I wanted to get all of this down in as much detail as possible before my memories transformed from memories of the event into memories of remembering
the event, eventually transmuting like a perverse mental game of telephone. Ben has not been back to the park yet. We will probably go on Friday or Saturday, and I hope that it will go well. I honestly don't know what to expect - will he just shrug his shoulders and move on once he sees those construction walls, or will he have a complete meltdown? I guess we will find out soon.
Screenshot from the RideCounter app I used to keep count
Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read this story.