For Mickey’s 60th birthday, Disney decided to have a big year for the mouse. Parties were located throughout the Disney parks, but none bigger than in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World.
Mickey’s Birthdayland was a brand new land for the Florida theme park that opened in 1988. Located behind Fantasyland, this land was a somewhat temporary area to celebrate the iconic character. This area mostly consisted of huge tents that housed a few attractions. One was a show called Mickey’s Surprise Party, in which Mickey’s friends planned his birthday with the audience. Disney characters were available after the show for pictures in a separate tent
The whole area could have been called Duckburg, as a new train stop heralded the famous Disney city. Facades laced the paths to the party tents. Donald’s boat made an appearance, as well as Mickey’s house. This area probably inspired such other areas as the Disney Afternoon Avenue that was in Disneyland at one point, and eventually Mickey’s Toontown.
Grandma Duck’s Farm was another attraction in Birthdayland. The most famous resident to grace the place was Minnie Moo. Minnie Moo was a cow that had an unusual black spot in the shape of a Mickey Mouse icon. The cow stayed for quite a while at the theme park. In addition to Minnie Moo were other animals in petting zoo style.
The temporary land was so popular that Walt Disney World made it a permanent land after Mickey’s 60th year. Now called Mickey’s Starland, much stayed the same with the exception of the story of the show. Eventually it was renamed Mickey’s Toyland, and shortly after it was rethemed and redone as Mickey’s Toontown Fair.
Mickey’s Toontown Fair has given way to New Fantasyland expansion. Elements of its original idea are in the theme of Dumbo’s Circus, which occupies this area. Tents are still up, though not the originals. Goofy’s Barnstormer, which stayed over from Mickey’s Toontown Fair, was not a Birthdayland attraction, but also harkens back to the history of the area.
Like I said before, Mickey’s Birthdayland’s influence can be seen in the Toontowns that still exist in different Disney parks. Any of the toon themed areas that decorate the Disney parks had their start, in a way, with Birthdayland. It wasn’t a grand land, but it had its great place. It was a fun land to meet the Disney characters and enjoy a Disney celebration.