Monday, April 9, 2012

Where in the World is Mr. Toad?

Anyone who has been going to Walt Disney World for a long time will remember Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Fantasyland. This ride was replaced in 1998 by The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. I have enjoyed The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh both as an adult and more recently with my children. Being a person who resists change, I have many fond memories of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.

Luckily, this ride is still up and running at Disneyland in California. Mr. Toad’s ride is based on the character from Disney’s adaptation of The Wind in the Willows which was titled The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. The ride begins as many other dark rides do in Fantasyland. Passengers board a vehicle, in this case an old fashioned car, which is named after the characters from the story. Once the vehicle turns the corner, the passengers are treated to scenes from the story. The first scene is in the library and the story continues through various near disasters and catastrophes. The twists and turns of the ride lead you through near misses of brick walls, falling objects and even an oncoming train.

This ride can be scary for young children. Although all ages are able to ride, there are a number of scenes that might scare small children. If they close their eyes, most of the fear will be avoidable.

This ride opened in both Disneyland and Walt Disney World on the opening day of the park. For Disneyland this was July 17, 1955 and for Walt Disney World it was October 1, 1971. Other than the vintage style T-shirts that are sold in Walt Disney World with images of the ride, the only other reminder that currently exists is in the cemetery of the Haunted Mansion.

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