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The Fate of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

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  • [Chat] The Fate of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride

    Google recently recommended this article to me, and I clicked, and I got to reading... and I got to thinking...

    https://insidethemagic.net/2021/04/m...wild-ride-jp1/

    I personally love Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. I love its charm, and how it's one of the only Fantasyland rides that has been touched the least alongside Pinocchio's Daring Adventure. However, after reading the article, I have a creeping suspicion that it's on the chopping block. When the article mentioned other Disney princesses taking residency in the show building, I thought about how the ride must be living on borrowed time. After all, we know Disney's mindset these days, and it has moved forward with changes to other rides despite going through a big "financial hit."

    Is the attraction on life support? How long until the plug is pulled? Or do you think it's an untouchable classic, and Disney has a good sense not to do anything? How would you feel if it was announced tomorrow that it was going to be replaced?

  • #2
    I think Mr. Toad is in a unique and challenging position. Like all of the very early rides at Disneyland it will always maintain a mystique around it; and a crowd of devout followers that will at least vocally cry out if it was ever removed. I, for one, would be incredibly disappointed if they got rid of the ride. I am not a huge fan of the original cartoon, but something about the whimsy and simplicity of the ride makes it one of my favorite attractions at Disneyland. All of that being said, Disney knows that the vocal outcry would be just that, and that the people angered by the change will almost certainly just keep coming to the parks. They balance this against the new revenue and excitement driven by synergy with some modern IP and the younger crowds enjoying the change away from a character that they have no attachment to. If the end result means more happier fans and a smaller vocal group that will continue visiting anyways then I doubt there will be much stopping them. Just look at the fate of particular attractions in WDW's Fantasyland, everyone has just moved on, the change a mere speed bump in the road.

    However, Mr. Toad does present a unique problem in that it's actual footprint is very very small. The article mentions Maelstrom's change to Frozen.....we are talking two completely different situations in terms of scale. In addition, at the time EPCOT was a bit attraction starved, whereas DL and especially Fantasyland is full of nearby rides. Unless Disney plans to rip out several dark rides in Fantasyland, Alice and Peter Pan, I think they may hesitate to demolish Mr. Toad. You can only do so much with that space. As examples if a Beauty and the Beast or Frozen attraction ever came to Fantasyland fans would probably want and expect FAR more than that small footprint could provide.

    What I COULD see happening is a shift in that space from ride to meet and greet. If the popularity remains low and once COVID is over there is a larger pent up demand to meet Princesses that space could provide a larger venue for guests to meet their favorites. Though I hope it never comes to that.

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    • #3
      I for one enjoy Mr. Toad.....class A-1 dark ride, alongside Pinocchio's Daring Adventure
      and IMO, like to see it around for a lot longer !
      Soaring like an EAGLE !

      Comment


      • #4
        Another problem with Toad is that part of it is BELOW Alice in Wonderland. There is YouTube video that shows a shutdown of Toad and you can hear the Cheshire cat through the ceiling.
        That aside, the Plaza Pavilion got the axe to make way for PrincessLand. Instead of another Meet-n-Greet area, just let the minor princesses wander the park (remember when they did that?)
        Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by MRaymond View Post
          Another problem with Toad is that part of it is BELOW Alice in Wonderland. There is YouTube video that shows a shutdown of Toad and you can hear the Cheshire cat through the ceiling.
          Very rude of you to mention this and not include a link to the video.

          Fortunately, I found it myself:



          It's quite striking how well you can make out which Cheshire Cat clip it is, even over the noise of Toad's fountain right next to the ride vehicle!

          I would love to see a 3D model of the building space so I can see exactly how the attraction spaces link up.
          Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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          • #6
            Even as an 'old dude', I really enjoy the dark rides and will ride each one several times a day.

            Mr. Toad is one of the best, as evidenced by there always being a long line for it.

            Given its location and how it intertwines with several other rides, they'd be fools to get rid of it.

            On the other hand, DL management is known for making ......well.....not the brightest decisions.......

            Out with the old, in with the new.........right?????

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            • #7
              Disney is known for doing stupid things so I have no doubt that if they could ditch Toad for the IP du jour they would. However, as pointed out, Toad has an extremely small foot print and capacity per hour. This is probably one of the few instances in the DL resort where it makes more economic sense to leave the currently existing attraction alone instead of redeveloping it. They could gut it and and make a character meet-and-greet (yuck), but again the size constraints would likely make the venture unviable.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by micromind View Post

                On the other hand, DL management is known for making ......well.....not the brightest decisions.......

                Out with the old, in with the new.........right?????
                For the latest advertisement of a new brand
                decisions is made?
                It were the $Money$ is , with today Disney !

                Hope that not the case with Mr. Toad...........imo
                Soaring like an EAGLE !

                Comment


                • #9
                  Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is not one of the greatest feats of Imagineering, nor has it aged as well as other Walt Disney-era attractions in my opinion. Yet there is without a doubt something quite special about it, if for no other reason then it being a window into a bygone era of Disneyland, an era when attractions could be more abstract and have a bit of an edge to them. The ride also has one of the most iconic endings of any attraction I can think of. Suffice to say, I would be sad to see it go.

                  The current trend seems to be to update Disneyland Fantasyland rides, not replace them. Add to this the space restrictions others have mentioned, and I think Mr. Toad will be updated within the next few years, not replaced. Any update inevitably brings concerns, and I myself would be cautious about an update to Mr. Toad. But Disney's track record for Fantasyland updates has been good so far.
                  Brian the Pooh

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                  • #10
                    The general consensus is that even if Disney did want to swap it, they would have to pay a price for it (i.e. shutdown Alice in Wonderland in the process) and to switch it with something else... well, it wouldn't be worth it.

                    I do wonder if internally if Disney is considering re-working some of Mr. Toad's elements. Disney has branded itself so much into the "family-friendly" trenches that a portion of the ride totally devoted to the rider going to hell really does clash with the rest of the park at this point.

                    It's such a weird attraction to exist in this day and age. That's what makes it great but also what might confuse so many. I think Snow White getting the family-friendly makeover makes Mr. Toad a much more striking outlier in the park (well, aside from Pinocchio, I suppose).

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Captain Andy View Post
                      The general consensus is that even if Disney did want to swap it, they would have to pay a price for it (i.e. shutdown Alice in Wonderland in the process) and to switch it with something else... well, it wouldn't be worth it.

                      I do wonder if internally if Disney is considering re-working some of Mr. Toad's elements. Disney has branded itself so much into the "family-friendly" trenches that a portion of the ride totally devoted to the rider going to hell really does clash with the rest of the park at this point.

                      It's such a weird attraction to exist in this day and age. That's what makes it great but also what might confuse so many. I think Snow White getting the family-friendly makeover makes Mr. Toad a much more striking outlier in the park (well, aside from Pinocchio, I suppose).
                      I agree that the Snow White makeover may very well be the death knell for Mr. Toad as we know it. It saddens me a bit that future generations won't get to experience all the great character-building trauma of the old Fantasyland dark rides, but I nevertheless am holding out hope that any Mr. Toad renovation will be done tastefully, which has been the case with Fantasyland makeovers so far.
                      Brian the Pooh

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                      • #12
                        Replace it? - No, never! Even in 1955, Toad wasn't one of the most known or loved Disney films - it was chosen because it makes a great ride! In fact, it sort of serves as an addendum to the film in that Toad's wild ride in the stolen motorcar isn't shown in the cartoon -- it's here and here only.

                        Upgrade/ Sure - but don't change out the scenes, just replace the plywood in places with three dimensional elements and animated projections.

                        Disneyland's quirky bits are part of its overall charm. To smooth over all the oddities on the curio shelf would make for a boring "brand" display.

                        Sometimes you just need to be merrily on the way to nowhere at all (and end up in hell if you make bad choices).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          It's possible Mr. Toad's Wild Ride along with the Pinocchio ride, may not be open on April 30th. With the popularity of Peter Pan's ride and the rush to see the revamped Snow White ride, social distancing rules may end up having those que lines gobble up the entrance area for Pinocchio and Toad.
                          During the initial reopening of Disneyland, they may take that time to decide if Toad (and maybe Pinocchio) would be worth keeping around.
                          Last edited by SuperHappyCM; 04-12-2021, 04:23 AM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would hate to see Mr Toad go, it's one of my favorites. It's a little bit drinking and driving, (or a lot a bit - it's literally all there). I love the bumpy dock and the train coming right at you. It's a delight.

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                            • #15
                              I really dislike that blog for two reasons: 1. Their writing style reminds me of really bad college essays and 2. They tend to stir up the pot with random Twitter posts that often hold no validity and tries to get readers through clickbait.

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Nowadays I'm of the mindset that, eventually, everything will be replaced or changed. As long as there's enough things I love left in the park, I'll keep going. When those things I love are on the chopping block, I will do what I can to save them, inevitably fail, mourn and finally, decide if going is still worth it to me or if there isn't enough left to outshine the sorrow. If not, I will take my time and energy elsewhere to new adventures and let others enjoy what I seemingly cannot.

                                I would be heartbroken to see Mr. Toad go. But, it's still not a deal-breaker for me. I can't imagine not visiting the park at this moment because Mr. Toad wouldn't be there, as sad as it would be to lose it. I'm actually someone who enjoys The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh out in Orlando more than Mr. Toad's so, it's not like I don't think they couldn't successfully replace it. That said, the footprint for ours is much smaller than theirs was. It'd have to be replaced with something absurdly short which is going to limit Imagineering options and like others have said, also affect the nearby Alice in Wonderland.

                                There are certain attractions I don't see leaving in my lifetime. But I could realistically see Mr. Toad's plug getting pulled before my own. The attraction has a lot of charming, simple effects so I just hope whatever replaces it keeps that kind of old school fun.
                                "I take no side. I am beyond your worrying and wars. I am unseen. Unknowable. Like a rock in the river."

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                                • #17
                                  I'd be sad to see it go, too, partly because it's nice to see the occasional nod to lesser-known films and characters, and partly because it's taken on a life of its own -- the fact it's lasted this long is a testament to that. Many modern riders may not know it's based on a film, and might think it's an original concept created for the park.

                                  I wouldn't mind if it were to be re-worked, though. The ending has always seemed strangely out of place for Fantasyland (it has more of a Mansion/Pirates feel), but surely a refresh would be easier and more cost-effective than a replacement.

                                  Of course, there's no indication that a change is coming, so probably nothing to worry about.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    It's hard to imagine how they might change Toad beyond simply updating some of the props and effects, simply because the source material is so obscure. I mean...when was the last time you watched it? For real...has anyone in this thread (besides me) seen the Toad featurette recently enough to actually remember how it goes? If you haven't, pull it up on Disney+ or something and you might just gain a whole new appreciation for the ride.
                                    Like this post? Read more like it at The Disneyland Dilettante!

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by Karalora View Post
                                      It's hard to imagine how they might change Toad beyond simply updating some of the props and effects

                                      I love when one , in the tunnel, and a TRAIN """""CRASH""""""
                                      To me ,it one the best special effect around !



                                      Soaring like an EAGLE !

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by Karalora View Post
                                        It's hard to imagine how they might change Toad beyond simply updating some of the props and effects, simply because the source material is so obscure. I mean...when was the last time you watched it? For real...has anyone in this thread (besides me) seen the Toad featurette recently enough to actually remember how it goes? If you haven't, pull it up on Disney+ or something and you might just gain a whole new appreciation for the ride.
                                        It's so obscure Disney needs to put descriptions of the characters in the queue. In what other attraction does that happen! And yes, I also love Wind in the Willows.
                                        Brian the Pooh

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