March 27, 1961 – The Snow White Grotto Opens in Disneyland
“Nestled amid the greenery near Sleeping Beauty Castle, the lovely little water wonderland adorned with handcrafted figures of Snow White, Doc, Dopey, Bashful, Sleepy, Happy, Grumpy and Dopey…”
On March 27, 1961, the Snow White Grotto area opened in Disneyland, just outside of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The grotto came about due to a collection of marble sculptures that Walt had ordered from Italy, and Imagineer John Hench was asked to create an area to display them. Hench was dismayed, however, to find that Snow White and the dwarfs were the same size (this sizing issue apparently was traced back to a package of Snow White gift soaps, from which the models were based, which featured the characters all the same size), and used “forced perspective” to make it appear that Snow White was larger than the dwarfs. The marble statues have since been replaced by fiberglass statues after the marble became discolored through the years. The area also features a wishing well, where guests can throw coins and make their wish, with the proceeds donated to charity. In 1983, the original voice of Snow White, Adriana Castelotti, was asked to come in and rerecord “I’m Wishing” for the New Fantasyland opening. The song is heard over the waterfall and echoing back from the well.