Mickey's Toontown Fair
Guests of all ages can make their own "character connections" every day at Walt Disney World Resort, as Mickey Mouse welcomes them to Mickey's Toontown Fair, the newest land in the Magic Kingdom.
Mickey and all his toon pals greet their fans in this whimsical village set amidst clusters of candy-striped tents and fanciful fairground facades, where kid-favorite attractions rekindle the old-fashioned excitement of a county fair.
Inside the fairground tents, favorite Disney heroes, heroines and villains await visitors in the Toontown Hall of Fame. Guests are led to special areas where they are welcomed by stars from favorite Disney animated shorts and classic feature films such as "Snow White," "Alice in Wonderland," "Winnie the Pooh" and "Cinderella."
Bring your autograph book! Mickey Mouse, the fair's presiding judge (and Big Cheese), greets guests in the Toontown Fair Judge's Office, surrounded by prize-winning fruits and vegetables. Nearby, Mickey’s sweetheart, Minnie Mouse, is happy to pose for photographs in the heart-paneled gazebo that sits neatly in her flower garden.
Best of all, the characters are there all day long -- welcoming old friends and making new ones.
And since they spend so much time in Mickey's Toontown Fair meeting their favorite friends, several Disney characters have actually taken up residence there -- with individual attractions devoted to Mickey, Minnie, Donald Duck and Goofy.
Mickey's Country House -- Mickey's four-room mouse house, with its slightly goofy architecture, is right in the heart of Toontown Fairgrounds. Inside, a radio in the living room is "tooned" to scores from Mickey's favorite football team, Duckburg University, while Mickey's clothes are neatly arranged in his bedroom beside Mickey's baby pictures and a photograph of Minnie. Down the hall, Mickey's kitchen shows the ill effects of Donald and Goofy's attempt to win the Toontown Home Remodeling Contest -- with buckets of paint spilled and stacked in the sink, paint splattered on the floor and walls. The garden, just outside the kitchen, features flowers shaped in Mickey's familiar silhouette and Mickey's Mousekosh overalls drying on the clothesline next to oversized tomato plants, pumpkins (complete with ears) and cactus plants.
Minnie's Country House -- A peek inside Minnie's charming baby blue and pink bungalow reflects her lively lifestyle. In addition to her duties as editor of Minnie's Cartoon Country Living Magazine, Minnie also quilts, paints and is an avid gardener. While touring her office, craft room and kitchen, guests may check Minnie's latest messages on her answering machine, bake a "quick-rising" cake at the touch of a button and open Minnie's refrigerator door to feel a chilling blast of arctic air.
Toontown Hall of Fame -- Disney's favorite characters take center stage at the Toontown Hall of Fame, where guests may also view many of the Toontown Fair blue ribbon-winning entries. The large and colorful tent also houses a shopping area -- the County Bounty -- which features plush animals and all kinds of Toontown souvenirs.
Goofy's Wiseacres Farm -- Classic red barns and farm buildings are the setting for The Barnstormer, Mickey's Toontown Fair's kid-sized roller coaster ride. Manning a 1920s crop-dusting bi-plane, young thrill-seekers zip up and around the high-flying trackway, before "crashing" through Goofy's barn at the climax of the topsy-turvy trip. Donald Duck's Boat, Miss Daisy -- A cross between a tugboat and a leaky ocean liner, Donald Duck's yellow and red yacht features a twisted smokestack, a laundry line (complete with Donald's yachting attire) and a foamy ocean featuring lily pads that spout jumping streams and spray without warning. While splash-tastic adventures await outside, pint-sized seafarers can go inside to blow the ship's whistle or clang Miss Daisy's loud boat bell. Toon Park -- Horticultural hijinks are on hand at Toon Park, a spongy green meadow filled with foam topiary in the shapes of goats, cows, pigs and horses. The bucolic play area is a favorite with kids, who jump and hop on interactive lily pads to hear the animal topiaries moo, bleat and whinny. Mickey's Toontown Fair replaced Mickey's Birthdayland, which opened in 1988 as part of his 60th birthday celebration. So popular was it -- visited regularly by more than two-thirds of the Magic Kingdom visitors -- that it was retained year after year as Mickey's Starland. The new fairgrounds covers about two acres in the northeast corner of the Magic Kingdom, and has its own stop on the Walt Disney World Railroad.
Tomorrowland, the final land at the park, was not quite complete for Disneyland's opening day; Walt Disney ordered signs and bunting placed around the land so that it would not look completely empty for the opening. Tomorrowland has undergone several changes over the years, including a complete renovation in 1967; in fact, the only original attraction still in operation today is the Tomorrowland Autopia, and even this ride has undergone several changes. The Imagineers have learned that the biggest problem is keeping up with the future, because it seems the future changes almost daily. Tomorrowland underwent another major renovation, completed in 1998, which added several new attractions, as well as a new restaurant and shops.
During its first few years of operation, Tomorrowland saw several attractions come and go. Many attractions were actually not much more than exhibits of new products proposed to make life easier; these exhibits included the Monsanto House of the Future and the Bathroom of the Future. Soon after Disneyland opened, a 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea exhibit opened in Tomorrowland, showcasing props and sets from that film, including an attack by the giant squid. Several other attractions had short lives in Tomorrowland. Perhaps the most famous of these was the Flying Saucers, in which guests rode in circular vehicles on a cushion of air provided by a huge airplane propeller. The Flying Saucers were quite popular, especially with the younger visitors, and were even featured on the cover of a National Geographic Magazine issue featuring a story about Walt Disney, but they were eventually removed due to several mechanical problems. One often forgotten Tomorrowland attraction is the Viewliner, a train that circled the area. At the time, Walt felt that this train, powered by a V-8 engine, was the future of transportation, but like the Flying Saucers, it suffered from frequent mechanical failures, and was eventually replaced by the monorail. The Phantom Boats, another short-lived attraction, once were found in the area now known as Fantasia Gardens; they were also replaced because of their lack of dependability.
Tomorrowland underwent a complete renovation in 1967, which involved practically tearing down many of the buildings and starting over; new attractions in this renovation included the PeopleMover, the Carousel of Progress, and Adventure thru Inner Space. The PeopleMover gave guests a complete tour of the land; this ride system was based on the system used in the Ford Magic Skyway exhibit at the 1964 New York World's Fair. The Rocket Jets, which had taken the place of the Flying Saucers, were placed on top of the PeopleMover station. The Carousel of Progress, also from the 1964 World's Fair, was also installed in Tomorrowland. Circarama, a movie which featured eleven screens in a circle around the audience, was replaced by the more advanced Circlevision technique, which uses only nine screens.
Adventure thru Inner Space, a new attraction in which guests were "reduced" to the size of an atom, was added at the Tomorrowland entrance. After being reduced by the Mighty Microscope, guests could see giant snowflakes and other items; at one point, guests could see a giant eye looking down the microscope at them. This ride featured narration by Paul Frees, the Haunted Mansion's Ghost Host, and the song "Miracles From Molecules" by Richard and Robert Sherman, who also wrote "It's a Small World". Adventure thru Inner Space introduced the Omnimover system, a constantly moving train of vehicles to move the guests through an attraction; the Omnimover was later used in the Haunted Mansion, as well as several attractions at Epcot Center in Florida. In this attraction, the vehicles were known as "Atomobiles", while in the Haunted Mansion vehicles are Doom Buggies.
The Carousel of Progress closed in 1974 to move to Walt Disney World in Florida. It was replaced by America Sings, another Carousel Theater show about the history of American Music; the top floor of the building, which originally housed a model city, was converted to office space. America Sings featured the voices of such performers as actor/singer Burl Ives and Betty Taylor, Slue Foot Sue from the Golden Horshoe Review. After America Sings closed, the cast of Audio-Animatronic characters moved to Critter Country to become the inhabitants of Splash Mountain.
Space Mountain, one of Disneyland's most popular attractions, was added in 1977 as part of a new, two story complex. This comlex also featured an outdoor stage and a video arcade; much of the waiting area for Space Mountain is on top of the arcade. A roller coaster through the darkness of space, Space Mountain first opened at Walt Disney World. While the Florida version features two mirror-image tracks, Disneyland's ride has only one track, due to space limitations. The PeopleMover track was extended to pass through Space Mountain, giving guests a sneak preview of what was ahead. In 1997, Space Mountain received a new soundtrack synchronized to the ride. The music performed by surf guitar legend Dick Dale, is based on "Carnival of the Animals" by Camille Saint-Saens. In the 1998 renovation, Space Mountain received a new coat of paint, changing the exterior from its original white color to a new green and bronze color scheme.
In 1984, the outdoor theater at Space Mountain was used at night to show the 3-D film "Magic Journeys", originally created for Epcot Center in 1982. In 1986, this theater was enclosed and became the home of "Captain EO", a new 3-D film starring Michael Jackson, produced by George Lucas, and directed by Francis Ford Coppola. "Captain EO" tells the story of a band of space travelers who must deliver the gift of music to an evil queen. The attraction featured several in-theater effects, such as lasers and smoke, as well as a state-of-the-art sound system. The premeire of "Captain EO" prompted a celebrity-filled thirty hour party. "Captain EO" was replaced with "Honey I Shrunk the Audience", which had premiered at Epcot in 1995. This film follows Wayne Szalinski and his family as he is to receive the "Inventor of the Year Award." Of course, predictable mayhem follows. In addition to Rick Moranis and Marcia Strasman from "Honey I Shrunk the Kids," the attraction film costars Eric Idle as head of the Imagination Institute.
1987 saw the introduction of Star Tours, a flight-simulator attraction developed in conjunction with George Lucas and based on his "Star Wars" films. This attraction is located in the space formerly occupied by Adventure Thru Inner Space. Set after "Return of the Jedi", Star Tours takes guests on a journey from a space port to the moon of Endor. Before their journey, guests in the waiting area see R2-D2 and C-3PO working on a Star Speeder that has some battle damage; R2-D2 is one of the original robots used in the Star Wars films. Guests can also see maintenance droids reparing several items. These two droids, G2-9T and G2-4T, were originally geese in the America Sings attraction, hence the "G" in their names. One droid works at what was once a diorama from Adventure thru Inner Space. Circling overhead in this area are baskets that contain such things as a Mickey Mouse cookie cutter and one of the miniaturized Atomobiles from Adventure thru Inner Space. Also seen throughout the waiting area are the initials and birthdates of the Imagineers who worked on the attraction. Early in the film, as the Star Speeder is leaving the hangar, guests can see the Mighty Microscope, also from Adventure thru Inner Space. The opening of this attraction also featured a thirty hour party.
The PeopleMover was removed in 1995, to be replaced in 1998 by the Rocket Rods. These high-tech vehicles whisked guests around the same track the PeopleMover once used, but at a fraction of the time, due to their high speeds. To board the Rocket Rods, guests entered the CircleVision theater, in which they could learn about Disneyland's other future transportation systems. They then boarded the Rocket Rods for a unique high-speed experience. Because of high maintenance problems, the Rocket Rods lasted just over a year.
The building which once housed the Carousel of Progress and America Sings is now home to Innoventions, showcasing the latest in technology. Guests enter the building on the rotating ground floor, and hear a short presentation by the Audio-Animatronic Mr. Tom Morrow. Incidentally, Tom Morrow's voice is by Nathan Lane, who performed the voice of Timon in "The Lion King." Tom then sings the song from the original Carousel of Progress, "There's a Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow," with new words written for Innoventions by the Sherman Brothers, who wrote the original song. Guests then go upstairs to view the exhibits of the different sponsoring companies.
Mickey's Toontown Trivia
Mickey Mouse's house is
at the center of the residential district. Guests are free to wander
through the bright yellow house, explore the rooms, and sit on the
cartoon furniture. Exiting through the back door and walking through
the garden past Pluto's house, guests find themselves in Mickey's
Movie Barn, where Mickey films all of his cartoons; previews of some
cartoons are shown by Donald and Goofy. Guests are then escorted to
the set of one of Mickey's cartoons to meet him during a break in
filming. Minnie's house, next door to Mickey's house, is also open
for inspection, where the bookshelf holds such books as "Elvis,
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