Following on an earlier post about other things that could be done with Big Thunder Ranch Jamboree (and one of my guesses turned out to be right!), now that that location is being refocused and rethemed, it’s time to turn to another area of the park that is really underutilized space with potential to be much more!
Currently Mickey’s Toontown is a mishmash of leftover 90’s Disney Afternoon meets Disney Junior meets the original idea of Toontown from the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? but with little of the charm of or commitment to any of it.
I’m with a lot of other fans who would like to see the still popular Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin attraction moved to the far more thematically appropriate Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure where it would fit in wonderfully with the time period of such set pieces as the Red Car Trolley and the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. But assuming that it makes little financial sense to pack up that attraction and move it, here are some other personal ideas just off the top of my head of things I might do if I could remake Mickey’s Toontown.
- As mentioned earlier this week, why not make the area a Meet & Greet location for rare characters? Plenty of people would love to meet more than just the most popular Princesses or Fab Five characters who can also be found in Town Square on Main Street or at Disney California Adventure. So why not have a different set of characters from a different film appear here each month? Maybe base it on the anniversaries of their films? Just imagine getting to meet characters from The Lion King one month, Pinocchio the next, Sleeping Beauty the next (including Phillip and Maleficent!), and so on…
- Again I will suggest Oz and the Emerald City would be a very cool place to visit. No, the Disney movies based on this property weren’t runaway hits, but the most recent one was successful enough and the source material is beloved. I’m sure I’m not the only person who would want to visit this fantastical region. Why not tear down this whole area and make it a new land of Oz?
- And in that vein… NARNIA! Hello! Who doesn’t want to step through the wardrobe and into the eternal-winter forest, battle the White Witch and meet Aslan! Okay, yes, this would probably involve renegotiating rights since the third film in this recent series wasn’t even distributed by Disney. But… but… Narnia! (Really needs a much bigger space to do it properly though…)
- And while I’m at it – Prydain! Yes, The Black Cauldron movie was a pretty lackluster take on a brilliant series of books (The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander – READ THEM!). But… think of a dark ride where you face the Cauldron-Born and the Horned King while looking to rescue Hen Wen! A celebration with Doli and the Fair Folk! A meal with Gurgi! A song played by Fflewddur Fflam, enjoyed in the company of Taran and Eilonwy! Yes, well, it’s not even 1% likely, but one can dream!
- Put an Alice in Wonderland-themed labyrinth back here! It would look beautiful next to the topiary-filled It’s a Small World attraction! Shanghai Disneyland is getting a Tim Burton version of the maze, while Disneyland Paris already has its own classic Wonderland iteration and it also looks from the concept art that Tokyo Disneyland will be getting one in its Wonderland expansion of their Fantasyland too. (Okay, this idea is just personal wishful thinking – I suppose it wouldn’t make much sense being separated from the Mad Tea Party and Alice in Wonderland attractions already in Fantasyland. But still it would be awesome!)
- Just commit and extend Star Wars Land out this way. Yes, Toontown shuts down early every night for fireworks safety, but if you enclose the area as Star Wars Land seems like it could be, this isn’t necessary and you can keep the Star Wars mania going all day and night with this extra space for another great attraction from a galaxy far far away!
- Some rumors for remaking Toontown include a Frozen Land – I’m actually all for this. In my personal opinion, Frozen belongs in Fantasyland – not in Disney California Adventure’s Hollywood Land (nor in my beloved Royal Theatre in Disneyland – well, okay, if it would play nicely and share the stage with the Tangled show, I wouldn’t mind if it stayed… but that’s a post for another day). I’d love to see a mountain (NOT the Matterhorn) topped with Elsa’s ice castle and see Arendelle down below. And a proper sized enclosed version of Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post beyond the extended kiosk that is currently in Hollywood Land outside the Frozen Sing-Along. Heck, move the Sing-Along over here, too – it’s a cute show. But frankly, unless they push out into backstage areas (which they do seem willing to do with the Star Wars Land area) or spread out into the Fantasyland Theatre area (which would make me sad as I still very much enjoy Mickey and the Magical Map there), I don’t think there’s quite enough room for a good sized castle on a mountain. And I wouldn’t want the miniature castle style utilized at Be Our Guest in Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.
- Speaking of which, another popular rumor is the idea of bringing a version of the Be Our Guest restaurant to this area and make this an extension of Fantasyland. Again, I’m super all for this. Not only is Be Our Guest AMAZING (and I’ll feature it in its own future spotlight), but I’m totally supportive of more Fantasyland. There’s certainly room for more Beauty and the Beast themed entertainment such as Enchanted Tales with Belle and Gaston’s Tavern here too, if desired. (And have Gaston out as a Meet & Greet character in that case, too, please!)
- Make it Halloween Town! While I love the Nightmare Before Christmas-themed Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay, having to lose the classic Haunted Mansion attraction for four months out of every year is frustrating. So why not give Jack and Sally and their friends a land of their very own to keep festively decorated year-round? The location has the advantage of being out of sightlines of other nearby attractions, so having this festive but dark and goth area wouldn’t disrupt the look or flow from nearby Fantasyland. Better yet – enclose the area so it’s properly dark to enter at all hours and could be kept open in the evenings. I think it would be a great location for Nightmarish fun! And we could have our Mansion back for all 12 months a year!
- Make it a real Toontown. Open an actual Ink & Paint Club from the movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? to go with Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. No, we probably wouldn’t see Donald Duck on dueling pianos with Daffy Duck or actual penguin waiters, but I bet a table service restaurant with a periodic musical appearance by Jessica Rabbit would be VERY popular. In other areas of the land, rip out the 90’s look and theme it back to the 40’s style of the film and have the classic Fab Five characters still Meet & Greet there, but in classier digs. Re-theme Gadget’s Go Coaster to Benny the Cab cars speeding around it. Doesn’t require much more than a thematic overlay and a new restaurant instead of the current snack locations and it would be a real winner!
Do you like Mickey’s Toontown just the way it is? Or would you like to see something else done with the area?