Mickey’s Toontown Getting a Makeover
Since 1972, the Happiest Place on Earth has only opened two new themed lands…and one of them is about to shut down for massive renovations.
Yes, Mickey’s Toontown is getting a makeover. Here’s what we know about it.
What Is Mickey’s Toontown?
In 1988, Who Framed Roger Rabbit debuted in theaters and quickly turned into one of Disney’s biggest blockbuster hits in ages. The movie’s joint animation and live-action elements fit perfectly with the overall theme of Disney theme parks.
So, Magic Kingdom quickly capitalized on the popularity of the premise by opening what would later become Mickey’s Toontown Fair. The themed land actually opened the same week as the movie, demonstrating Disney’s confidence in the premise.
In January of 1993, Disneyland introduced its own version of Mickey’s Toontown. You may not realize it, but (excluding New Fantasyland) it was the only new themed land at the park from 1972 through the opening of Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge!
Alas, the popularity of Who Framed Roger Rabbit diminished over the years, leaving the parks with a somewhat outdated premise. Magic Kingdom did away with its Mickey’s Toontown, converting it into Storybook Circus instead. Disneyland officials stuck with the premise, though. Of course, it helped that this park hosts an actual Roger Rabbit attraction.
The Current Mickey’s Toontown
In fact, you’ll find two of them at the Happiest Place on Earth. Here’s Gadget’s Go Coaster:
And here’s the more recognizable Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin:
This ride claimed headlines recently for its decision to update and modernize. Certain elements haven’t aged well, especially Jessica Rabbit in the trunk of the car (the 2:39 mark of that video).
So, Imagineers announced plans to reimagine the ride with a more current story. Now, Jessica Rabbit will play a private investigator researching a case. This move serves as a precursor for what’s next at Mickey’s Toontown.
For years now, fans have loudly wondered whether this themed land would follow the same path as Magic Kingdom’s version. Now, we know that Mickey’s Toontown will remain at Disneyland. However, changes are afoot.
We’d already known that Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will come to Disneyland in 2023. That attraction has proven wildly popular at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, where it opened just before the start of the pandemic. Since then, Disney has switched it to a Lightning Lane option, demonstrating its lasting appeal. It’s the ideal anchor attraction for Mickey’s Toontown.
What’s Next for Mickey’s Toontown
During the International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions (IAAPA), Disney Parks Chairman Josh D’Amaro announced what comes next.
Mickey’s Toontown will close in March of 2022, but don’t freak out! This move won’t be permanent. Instead, this part of the park will reopen in 2023 with a fresh new look and another attraction!
D’Amaro just confirmed that Disney will add new play areas to make it even more family-friendly than it currently is. According to the Parks Blog, “Mickey’s Toontown will feature new play experiences, as well as open, grassy play spaces for everyone to unplug.”
The primary addition is CenTOONial Park, which will work as the front of the reimagined themed land. Disney promises the following:
“At the center of CenTOONial Park will be a fountain, designed for play, which will also become a center icon for Mickey’s Toontown. As its base, water tables will invite guests to play with the water and have a sensory experience. At night, the fountain will be brought to life in a unique spectacle. A nearby dreaming tree will be inspired by the tree a young Walt Disney would daydream under in his hometown. Sculpted tree roots will provide an opportunity for children to play, crawl and explore, and undulating topography will offer rolling hills and a place to sit and dream.”
So, Mickey’s Toontown will look substantially different when it returns in 2023. If you want to look at it in its current form, you have four months before it changes forever. Also, please keep in mind that this part of the park will close for the body of a calendar year. So you should plan for that when you visit Disneyland.
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