This weekend Mickey’s Toontown reopened at the Disneyland Resort after undergoing a fairly major reimagining over the course of the last year. On Saturday, after being dedicated, the land was given a soft opening and guests began to pour into the land. Sunday, the land seemed even more crowded as guests stopped by to check out the changes, eat the food, experience the attractions, and most importantly to play.
Playing in Mickey’s Toontown
Mickey’s Toontown now has three attractions that had fairly long lines throughout the weekend. This includes the new marquee attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This attraction is a solid Disney experience that is packed with Disney magic. However, the true magic of the land doesn’t come from the attractions. It comes from the way the land and the cast members in it create space and opportunities for play.
Walking into the land and looking around one quickly notices that there are people at play in many different ways. This is most readily apparent with the kids that are running on the grass, rolling down the hills, sliding down a beautifully colored slide in Goofy’s How-To-Play Yard, making new friends, giggling, and simply just having fun. It is absolutely delightful to watch families playing together throughout the land and to see how Disney continues to encourage it. The way the land is built encourages different ways to play for people of different sizes, abilities, interests and abilities as it creates an inclusive and empowering environment. There is even braille to be found on the roots of the dreaming tree!
Over in Mickey’s Neighborhood characters aren’t just posing for photos throughout the day. They are playing. On both Saturday and Sunday, Pluto could be seen playing around in the grass with kids and their families throughout the day. It was absolutely adorable. On Sunday, Pluto was joined by Goofy in Goofy’s How-To-Play Yard as they played on a “Sprinkle Spring 5000” with kids. At other times, they were helping kids spin, going on adventures up and around different parts of the yard. Occasionally, they would stop briefly for a very quick photo. However, for the most part of the day the duo were focused on playing and not on lines.
For those that did want a more traditional meet and greet experience with photos, they could stop by and see Mickey Mouse or Minnie Mouse at their houses. Donald Duck also was out in front of his boat meeting with guests as well. Pete occasionally would stroll around Mickey’s neighborhood and wave at people as he wandered by. Clarabelle would also appear randomly in the area and join people as they enjoyed their picnics on the grass. She also would wander around and greet people as she strolled through Mickey’s Toontown. Daisy Duck could be found around her new dining establishment in town, Café Daisy as she made sure the guests were enjoying their meal.
Cast Members could also be found throughout the land encouraging play, or playing with the characters and guests as well. Inside EngineEAR Souvenirs, cast members could be found playing with a remote control train with kids on a table that was at a level to make it accessible for smaller friends in the land. Overall, these planned moments and experiences made Mickey’s Toontown a very happy place to be.
More Than Play in Mickey’s Toontown
It wasn’t just all fun and games, however, this weekend in Mickey’s Toontown. There were also foods to eat, merchandise to purchase, and picnics to be enjoyed as well. Shortly after the land officially opened on Sunday, it quickly became apparent that picnics were going to be popular. The line to get a portable picnics soon was stretching down to the entrance of the land. This could be purchased up at Good Boy! Grocers. A Good Boy! Grocers, guests could pick up a Souvenir Slushee Sipper, a Perfect Picnic Basket (that included three snack items), and also get a Perfect Picnic Blanket to create the complete picnic experience while visiting the Mickey’s Toontown.
While the land was packed and the lines were long, people seemed to be in very good spirits. And how could they not? With so much joy and laughter happening in the reopened land, it was very hard not to smile at all the shared happiness. This continued on throughout the day.
Keep Moving Forward
The reopening of Mickey’s Toontown brought an infusion of happiness into Disneyland this weekend as guests of all ages played and enjoyed this new land. As things move forward, this land will only get better. While walking through the land, it would be easy to focus on some of the things that were still in process. Cast members patiently shared that some things were still being worked on. It could be very easy to look around and start pointing out things that weren’t perfect in the land from a physical standpoint. However, to do that would be to miss the bigger picture of what was done so very right and what is so exciting about this reimagined version of Mickey’s Toontown. This is now a place where families can go to play and kids can unwind (as can their parents). This is a play for play and for fun for all. While leaning against a rail watching kids roll down a hill and climb on the exposed roots of the dreaming tree a quote by Walt Disney popped into mind. Many people have heard it. Walt Disney is sharing about where the idea came about for Disneyland. He said:
Well, it came about when my daughters were very young, and Saturday was always Daddy’s Day with the two daughters. So we’d start out and try to go some place with, you know, different things and I’d take them to the merry-go-round and I took them different places. And as I’d sit there while they rode the merry-go-round, did all these things, sit on a bench, you know, eating peanuts, I felt that there should be something built, some kind of an amusement enterprise built where that the parents and the children could have fun together.—Walt Disney in a 1963 interview with the CBC
Mickey’s Toontown continues that dream that Walt Disney had for a place where “parents and the children could have fun together.” This is the place to come together, to play, to have fun, and to experience Disney magic in a new interactive, immersive, and inclusive way that all can enjoy together.
Mickey’s Toontown Opening Day Photos
What do you think of the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown? Have you visited it in person yet? What is your favorite thing in this land? Share your thoughts and opinions in the comments below!