Gone But Not Forgotten
Mr. Toads Wild Ride may be gone from Magic Kingdom, but guests can still find hints of Toads memory around the park.
In the portion of the Pooh ride where guests pass through Owls house, sharp-eyed guests can see several framed images showing Mr. Toad and his friends with several folks from the Hundred Acre Wood. One of the images shows Mr. Toad handing over the deed for Toad Hall to Owl, symbolically representing the changing of the attraction.
Over in Liberty Square, the Haunted Mansions pet cemetery displays a small statue of Mr.Toad. In a graveyard famous for its witty epitaphs, a memoriam has been attributed to Toads honor.
Here Lies Toad, its sad but true. Not nearly as marketable as Winnie the Pooh.
The Fight To Save Mr Toad
During the 1990s under then-CEO Michael Eisners management, the Disney parks went through some significant budget cuts. Attractions considered outdated or too costly were removed or replaced with new rides believed to be more marketable. Such was the case with Disney Worlds version of Mr. Toads Wild Ride. Even before closing, the ride had lost some of its appeal, as the new emphasis on efficiently pushing riders through limited the potential for near-crash gags between the two tracks. Yet the ride was still very popular for visitors, with the upgrade to four-passenger cars in 1993 boosting ride capacity. But then Disney decided to close Magic Kingdoms version for good. However, the fans didnt let Mr. Toad go down that easily.
In 1997, Disney tentatively released a statement that they were considering replacing Mr. Toads Wild Ride with a Winnie the Pooh-themed attraction at Magic Kingdom. The initial statement was vague and indecisive, neither confirming for sure this would happen nor saying when specifically the ride would close. But when the Orlando Sentinel released the article on October 22, 1997, fans were outraged. Only a day after the initial news broke, John Lefante and later Jef Moskot started up a Save the Toad webpage. The site contained an Electronic Toad Hall for fans to leave comments as well as a mailing list for subscribers. And that was just the start.
Mr Toads Magic Kingdom Legacy
The ride that replaced Mr. Toads Wild Ride at Disney World, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, is a much tamer ride, but still lots of fun. It utilizes much of the track infrastructure for the previous ride, but there is only one track, as a good portion has been converted into a Pooh-themed gift shop at the end of the ride. Even so, many people of all ages enjoy the family-friendly ride, even if it lacks Mr. Toads unique charm.
Despite the replacement of Mr. Toads Wild Ride at Magic Kingdom, you can still find signs of Toad at the park. In Owls portion of the new ride, you can find several fun paintings depicting Toad and his friends interacting with the Pooh characters. In fact, one painting has Toad symbolically hand over the Toad Hall deed to Owl, representing the change in ride. Also, the pet cemetery by the Haunted Mansion includes a small statue of Toad try not to ponder on the implications too deeply, and just appreciate the thought instead. Plus, the Magic Kingdoms cast members facilities include a room dubbed the J. Thaddeus Toad Memorial Room.
While Mr. Toads Wild Ride is gone from Magic Kingdom, taking away the best version of the motor-maniac attraction, the ride still lives on at Disneyland. Mr. Toads Wild Ride, and the effort to save it as Disney World, make it a key part of Disneys history. Perhaps one day Mr. Toad will come back to Disney World, and we can once again enjoy the two-track, madcap adventure again.
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Should Mr Toads Wild Ride Be Replaced
When I think of Walt Disney, there is always a quote that comes to mind when pondering about the future of Disney attractions. Mr. Disney once said:
We keep moving forward, opening new doors, and doing new things, because were curious, and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.â
If Walt Disney believed that creating new things would improve his dream, this makes me wonder about the future of Fantasyland for children who are currently visiting the parks. Is Mr. Toads Wild Ride completely outdated for todays generation? What could this dark ride attraction become?
Disney has so many classic films that would be a perfect fit for the theme of Fantasyland, such as Bambi, Lady and the Tramp, and Sleeping Beauty. These classic films could boast a friendlier and less frightening ride for children compared to Toads confrontation with the court and the terrible car and train crash.
Disney has announced that they have revamped Disneylands Snow Whites Scary Adventures with Snow Whites Enchanted Wish, giving Snow White her happy ending and giving children a less traumatizing experience. Having another famous Princess, like Sleeping Beauty, whose film fits the Fairyland theme and Disneylands Castle, could be a wonderful addition to the park!
However, its possible that Disney wouldnt want two Princess-themed attractions in such close proximity to one another.
Christopher Leazer expressed his feelings on Mr. Toads and didnt hold back:
The Wind In The Willows
The story begins more than twenty years before Magic Kingdom would open. Remember that, when Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs premiered in 1937 at the Carthay Circle Theater, it was more or less assumed that Walt Disney would be finished. After all, Snow White was the worlds first full-length animated feature film and right from the start, it was called Disneys Folly. Critics assumed that this would be Walts first big misstep the thing that brought it all down.
Of course, Snow White was received with great acclaim. Walt was even awarded an Honorary Oscar for his work and the continuation of Disney Animation was assured. Soon after Snow Whites release, Walt was approached by animators James Bodrero and Campbell Grant about adapting Kenneth Grahames 1908 childrens book The Wind in the Willows into a film. The story could only be brought to life through animation. Walt objected, saying the idea was awfully corny, but acquired the rights in June 1938.
By time 1941 rolled around, the script was complete. The Wind in the Willows would be a budget film but it would employ many of the prestigious animators currently finishing up Bambi. By the middle of the summer, more than 30 minutes of the film had been animated.
Though Walt was infamously not a fan ready to move on to bigger and better things The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad was finally released in 1949 as Disneys eleventh animated feature film. It was also the last of Disneys War-era package films.
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Mr Toads Wild Ride At Disneyland: The History You Didnt Know
Let me preface this article by stating that Mr. Toads Wild Ride is one of my all-time favorite Fantasyland attractions! I was very excited to rewatch the film for the purpose of this article.
This classic attraction at Disneyland is the only one of its kind in any Disney Park. Originally, there was a second incarnation located in Magic Kingdom and was closed in 1998.
Currently, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh sits on the grave. It was an opening day attraction when Disneyland opened in 1955. Today, its not the same as it once was.
Are you familiar with the ride? Some people like to joke and call it The Hell Ride because of the.ending. Dont worry, it will all make sense as you read on!
Today, we will be touching on the following about the ride:
- Storyline and film
- Changes Over the Years
- Tips and Fun Facts
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More On Disneyland Resort
Disney California Adventure has plenty to offer Guests as they walk the roads Walt had in Hollywood, enjoy a hand-dipped corn dog at Award Wieners, check out the new Marvel-themed land in Avengers Campus, where they can meet Spider-Man, Loki, Ant-Man, Black Widow, Doctor Strange, and so many more characters. Donât forget to check out the glowing lights in Cars Land and ride Radiator Springs Racers. And of course, you have to ride WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: MISSION BREAKOUT. Rock on the Silly Symphony Swings as well, and go catch Jack-Jack on Incredicoaster!
At Disneyland, there is so much for Guests to enjoy! Now that the mask mandate has dropped for fully vaccinated Guests, Guests can enter buildings without a face covering if they so choose. Walking up to Sleeping Beauty Castle is always a dream, especially when you get to go inside and relive the story of Aurora and Maleficent. Riding classics like âitâs a small worldâ, Pirates of the Caribbean, Mr. Toadâs Wild Ride, The Haunted Mansion, Matterhorn Bobsleds, Splash Mountain, and more will have you feeling the magic, and craving a churro! Toontown is currently gearing up for a massive change which will be revealed in 2023 with the reopening of the land, and the debut of Mickey and Minnieâs Runaway Railway. Plus, now at Disneyland, Guests can enjoy Star Wars: Galaxyâs Edge for some blue milk, or green milk, and ride Rise of the Resistance and Smugglerâs Run.
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J Thaddeus Toad Esq An Incurable Adventurer
The original dark ride attraction opened in Disneyland in 1955, inspired by Disneys 1949 animated film The Wind In the Willows. The film was part of a double-feature package film called The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, which also featured the Halloween classic The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.
Guests of Disneylands opening day attraction enter the experience through the front door of Toad Hall Mr. Toads lavish estate.
Once inside Toad Hall, guests board a 1900s-era roadster. The ride starts off with a bang crashing through the wall of Toads mansion, through the British countryside, passing quaint rural villages, eventually ending up in London. While in London, guests find themselves making a narrow escape from a warehouse, outlasting a chase by the police and enduring a near miss with a train. The final scene of the attraction lands guests in hell. Literally. Hows that for a Fantasyland ride?
Mr. Toad was not your typical dark ride. What those roadster cars lacked in speed, they made up for with distinct madcap mobility. Guests might wonder where Mr. Toad ever learned to drive, enduring a steady stream of tight turns, near-misses, and even a couple collisions .
What Attraction Is There Now
The space which was once occupied by Toad Hall and the English countryside is now home to the Hundred Acre Wood. Instead of a motorcar, guests board a Hunny Pot to travel through scenes from the 1977 animated film The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Mr. Toads two tracks offering two different ride experiences isnt offered in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Its believed the rides attached gift shop Hundred Acre Goods occupies some of Mr. Toads Wild Rides original ride space allowing for that second track. It would seem that Pooh is indeed a capitalist.
However, the Hunny Pot ride vehicles in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh do bounce when Tigger appears. Plus, this attraction received an interactive queue in 2010 where kids can pass the time in line.
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Mr Toads Wild Ride Shirt $85
The shirt features a teal and red design by Disney artists Kevin & Jody.
The limited edition shirt was designed especially for Walt Disney World.
Images of Mr. Toad and other characters are mixed with images of guests riding the defunct attraction.
There are signs and landmarks from the ride.
The attraction closed at the Magic Kingdom in 1998, but can still be found at Disneyland.
Will you be sporting this Mr. Toads Wild Ride shirt on your next Walt Disney World outing? Let us know in the comments.
For the latest Disney Parks news and info, follow WDW News Today on , , and .
A Minor Yet Memorable Movie
Mr. Toad first appeared in a lesser-known Disney film in the 1940s, actually as a protagonist in just one-half of a double-feature: The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad in 1949. The two-part movie lasted just over an hour, with Mr. Toad only appearing in the first half of the film. Yet out of the two parts of the picture, Mr. Toads segment is the best remembered by many, due to its exciting mayhem and fun and quirky characters especially Toad himself.
Disney based Toads part of the animated feature off the classic childrens story The Wind in the Willows. The book details the adventures of various animals living in the English countryside most notably mischievous, daredevil Toad. His wastrel habits and thirst for excitement leads him into constant danger, and a big part of the plot stems from his desire to drive a motorcar and the trouble he gets into when he drives a stolen car.
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What Was Mr Toads Wild Ride
Mr. Toads Wild Ride was an opening day dark ride attraction at Walt Disney Worlds Magic Kingdom. It was based on Disneylands version which is still in operation today and was inspired by Disneys 1949 feature The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Unlike other Disneyland attractions replicated at Walt Disney World, the East Coast Mr. Toads was bigger and arguably better due to two tracks each with their own experience but with the same surprisingly dark ending.
On Mr. Toads Wild Ride, guests boarded a motorcar for their own reckless, wild joyride to nowhere in particular! But this attraction wasnt your typical dark ride. It was quicker, zanier, and a little scarier with tight turns, near misses, and simulated collisions.
Guests who rode on the right track began by rocketing through the library of Toad Hall, the barnyard, and then through town plaza where they nearly collide with the motorcars running on the left track! From there, the motorcar zipped through a courtroom, a jailbreak, and then collided head on with a train.
The left track took guests through more of Toad Hall before breaking out into the woods and into a gypsy camp. Next the motorcar drove through town plaza where it passed cars on the right track before driving into Winkys Tavern. Once outside, the motorcar drove into a railroad tunnel where it also collided with a train.
Toad Hall Not A Museum
A similar version of Pooh opened in Disneyland in 2003, having replaced another long-missed attraction The Country Bear Jamboree. With two iconic Disney park attractions seeing their ends at the paws of a golden stuffed bear, the surge of Winnie-the-Pooh is a good demonstration of opportunity and marketing in the entertainment industry.
For now, both Toad and the Country Bears still have their cross-country counterparts to carry on their legacies. But as Walt Disney famously said: Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world. The story of Mr. Toad is testament to Walts philosophy, which has been carried on by Walt Disney Imagineering in the form of the slogan Disneyland is not a museum.
Will Mr. Toad continue to take his ride to Nowhere in Particular in Disneyland? Or will he be pressed into handing over the keys to his California manor to the next big sensation? Only time will tell Toads future, so enjoy him in Disneyland while you can!
Thanks for riding, and please follow along here for additional articles in this series. Well continue to explore many other former attractions and experiences from Walt Disney World, including Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom.
Got a comment? Feel free to reach out here at Pirates & Princesses, or to Jim on social:
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Where To Find Mr Toad In Walt Disney World
Mr. Toads Wild Ride was a story-based attraction, but the dark ride was not a direct copy of his movie. Instead, it was an interpretation of it.
You, as the Disney Guest, were put into Mr. Toads situation: choosing to go on a wild ride in a motorcar ride vehicle and making some Mr. Toad-like decisions, but ending the ride with an unfortunate ending via demons and death. This reporter remembers being scared to death at the age of 6, riding the attraction, and then when passing it above in the SkyWay, vowing to never ride it ever again.
Unfortunately, I got my wish in 1998, when the ride was removed as the New Fantasyland expansion/revision started. After 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was removed, Poohs Playful Spot Playground took its place. Later on, Pooh and Piglets tree was uprooted and moved to the area in front of Mr. Toads wild ride, when it, itself, was removed in favor of The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
Is Mr Toads Wild Ride Scary For Kids
One of the big things I get asked regarding this ride is whether or not its scary for children. Personally, and this is my recommendation as someone who has worked in childcare for several years, is that I think its good for children above the age of 3.
But you know your child better than me, so if they are a shy child who might scare easily, I would skip this one for them.
At times, it can be sensory overload with the heat of the hell scene, the bumpiness of the car over the train tracks and one scene which features flashing lights.
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