Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Clarabelle, Goofy, Pluto, and Pete stand next to Mickey’s house in Disneyland’s renovated Toontown.
Park-goers at Disneyland in Anaheim, California can return to Mickey’s Toontown this weekend after being closed for a year for renovations.
The cartoon-inspired destination offers meet-and-greets with longtime Disney park guests like Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto, as well as kid-friendly coasters and playgrounds.
The reimagined Toontown honors the space that first opened in 1993, keeping existing structures like Mickey and Minnie’s houses in tact, albeit with a paint treatment. There are also new infrastructures for children to explore, with a focus on inclusiveness.
Basically, Toontown’s renewal is all about intention. Imagineers designed a space for all children, creating accessible play areas, as well as quiet areas and shaded areas, so that even the smallest parkers have somewhere to let off steam or decompress.
The redesigned space, which opens to the public on March 19, is fully wheelchair accessible, including slides, and visually and auditorily accessible for children who are easily affected by loud or bright sensory stimuli. The whole place is painted in soft colors and in some places there is a slow, spa-like musical score.
“We want every child to know when they come here that this place was made for them,” said Jeffrey Shaver-Moskowitz, executive producer of Portfolio. Walt Disney Imagination. “They showed up and this place welcomed them.”
According to Shaver-Moskowitz, the Imagineers spent time looking at children’s museums and water playgrounds to see how children can engage and develop different stations throughout the land to meet different play styles.
“We know that a day at Disneyland can be difficult and chaotic, going from one attraction to another, from one reservation to another,” he said. “We wanted Toontown to be not only fun, but also decompressing, relaxing and welcoming.”
With this in mind, Imagineers included green spaces on the ground, places to picnic, sit and relax or play freely.
“We wanted to enjoy Toontown because knowing how important it is to many of our guests’ growing up generations and how important it is to the many memories associated with the place, we’re sure we haven’t lost any of that. it is,” Shaver-Moskowitz said. “But bring many new spells.”
“Thinking of every guest”
As guests enter the new Toontown, they pass through Centoonial Park. This area features a large fountain featuring Mickey and Minnie, as well as water tables for children to dip their hands in and a “dream tree”.
The living tree was chosen from a Disney property for its cartoon-like limbs and leaves. Around the trunk are sculpted roots that kids can climb up, run under, and weave through.
“One of the primary functions of play for little ones is to learn the concepts of over, under and under,” explained Shaver-Moskowitz during a media tour of the site earlier this month. “So you’ll see some of the roots are big enough for little ones to get under, and some of them can be used as balance beams for little ones learning to get their feet under them.”
(There is a wheelchair accessible path that runs through the roots.)
Centonial Park is also located near the El Capitún Theater, home of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad. Riders are invited to the premiere of Mickey and Minnie’s latest cartoon, The Perfect Picnic. However, surprises happen, and guests are sent to enter the world of cartoons and ride Goofy’s train.
An exterior view of the El Capitan Theater of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.
There are no height or age restrictions on the free ride, allowing even the youngest Disney guest to join in.
Continuing on the land, guests will see Goofy’s new playground, which surrounds Goofy’s house and features a sound garden filled with musical bridges and melons, as well as a climbable Fort Max Club with slides.
According to Shaver-Moskowitz, the roller slides were chosen for space so that guests who often have less mobility in their legs are not stuck at the bottom of the slide. There is also more space at the bottom of the slides to accommodate guests who need time to get into their wheelchairs.
“We try to make sure we think about every guest here,” he said. “Making sure every little kid that comes here to play feels like we’ve designed a space for them.”
There is also a small fenced area outside for babies to run around and experience a safe area.
Goofy stands in front of his new How to Play yard at Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland.
Goofy’s House has a series of games that kids can play to help Goofy turn honey from the beehives on his property into candy. Here, little parkers can sort candies by flavor and color and watch the kinetic ball machine launch across the space.
Extra care was taken to ensure that the sound of the air compressors pushing the balloons is muffled, Shaver-Moskowitz said, to make sure people with sensory sensitivities aren’t overwhelmed and can still enjoy their experience. peers.
In a separate area next to Goofy’s new playground is Donald’s Duck Pond, a water experience for kids. The designers deliberately separated this space from the playground so that parents could better supervise their children around the water features.
Donald Duck stands next to the new duck pond in Disneyland’s Mickey Townhouse.
As Shaver-Moskowitz points out, the previous design of the place meant that children would wander around the water play area and occasionally run into their parents getting wet.
Donald’s Duck Pond features a tow boat, spinning water lilies, balance beams and swings. Inside the boat, kids can help Huey, Dewey, Louie, and Webby turn the wheels and handles to get the water out and help the leaks in the hull.
Pack a picnic
Imagineers also revamped the food in Toontown. New restaurants like Cafe Daisy and Good Boy! Grocery stores offer a wide variety of choices and flavors for young parkers and mature palates alike.
Michel Gendreau, director of product optimization for food and beverage, explained that the team wanted to make eating easier by creating handheld food that can be eaten on the go.
Pizzas, hot dogs and wraps are on the menu at Daisy’s Cafe. Here, adults can get cold brew coffee or honey-mango sweet tea. For dessert, there are mini donuts covered in cinnamon sugar.
“Kids want to eat what their parents eat,” Gendro said, noting the kid-friendly versions of traditional pizza.
Good boy! Food vendors, guests can grab takeaway drinks, snacks and news. A roadside stand offers a “perfect picnic basket” including three snacks and a drink. Kids can choose from a variety of options, from hummus and pickles to granola bars and apple chunks.
The baskets are set at several heights, allowing even the smallest guests to pick their own items, giving them a bit of autonomy when it comes to mealtime.
Mickey’s Toontown merchandise at Disneyland.
Park visitors can pick up picnic blankets, T-shirts, toys and other exclusive Toontown merchandise at EngineEar Souvenirs.
In addition, fans will meet their favorite characters and return to the country. Guests can take pictures with Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald Duck, Daisy, Pluto, Clarabelle and Goofy. For the first time ever at any Disney park, Pete makes an appearance, wreaking havoc around the neighborhood.