In recent weeks both Bob Iger (Disney CEO) and Josh D’Amaro (the Chairman of Disney Parks) have made comments about the future of the theme parks. They’ve mentioned an eye-catching $17 billion investment figure and used the phrase "grow pretty aggressively".
While the company undergoes cost-cutting measures, restructuring, and ongoing legal battles, the theme parks continue to be a prime source of profit. Following a successful relaunch of Mickey’s Toontown in California, let’s look at the possibility of bringing it (back) to Florida...
The first iteration of this land across Disney properties was in 1988 with Mickey’s Birthdayland. But it took a while for the area to find its place. Over the next eight years it would go through three rethemes - (1) Mickey’s Starland in 1990, (2) Mickey’s Toyland in 1995, and finally a refurbishment for Magic Kingdom’s 25th Anniversary in 1996 to become Mickey’s Toontown Fair. The new land has seen Mickey and Minnie’s Country Houses, the Toontown Hall of Fame, the Toontown Farmer’s Market, and many other attractions as it was retooled throughout the years.
In 2001 the land was closed to create what is now Storybook Circus within the Northeast corner of Fantasyland. The renovation saw Dumbo The Flying Elephant moved to the new area, a second version being built alongside it, and the creation of a new interactive waiting area under the big top. The Barnstormer was rethemed and the creation of Casey Jr Splash ‘n’ Soak Station in 2012.
Disneyland’s 2023 Update
In March 2023, the renovated and reimagined Mickey’s Toontown was opened in California’s Disneyland. The land has received high praise and high marks for being an inclusive area, full of beautiful immersive elements, family-friendly areas, and open green space. Toontown features new houses of Mickey and Minnie, a playhouse Goofy built for Max, CenTOONial Park, and Donald Duck’s boat where Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby can be seen.
In case you have yet to see the newly updated Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Resort, check out this short walkthrough video:
Who wouldn’t want to visit that in Magic Kingdom?
Where Would It Fit In?
Some of the first questions that may arise are where would this area go in Magic Kingdom and what would it replace? Luckily, for Disney and fans of existing attractions, and as has been noted many times for various expansion ideas, there is a large portion of land north of Fantasyland inside the existing railroad loop.
A returning and updated Mickey’s Toontown could fit perfectly north of the current Storybook Circus area and behind Under the Sea - Journey of The Little Mermaid & The Friar’s Nook.
A Good Investment?
There are countless ideas for new rides, shows, and lands, either updated or newly created. Plus the long-speculated fifth gate in Florida. Every current park could use a part of that investment, so why would Toontown returning to Magic Kingdom be a smart idea?
- The Disneyland iteration has gotten great reviews, and often a well-themed and received land/attraction gets duplicated to another Disney park.
- Disney wants to continue to invest in theme parks and add attractions to help spread out congestion. Magic Kingdom is their busiest park.
- Mickey and his friends are timeless, as opposed to some current attractions, shops, and dining options that could use an update. The company doesn’t want to create something that feels irrelevant in 5-10 years.
- There is a focus on IP and immersive lands/attractions will continue to be the new standard for the foreseeable future.
- Having learned from the Disneyland renovation, just think what the Imagineers can deliver in a Magic Kingdom version. In addition to the attractions in California, they could add Minnie’s Style Studio from Tokyo Disney and the Chip 'n' Dale's GADGETcoaster to Florida.
Given the available space, and resources, do you think Disney should consider adding ToonTown into Magic Kingdom? Let us know your thoughts by voting in our poll and by leaving us a comment below or on our Facebook page.