Park of the Week: Efteling

Disney sets the closing date for Mickey's Toontown Fair at Walt Disney World

December 10, 2010, 1:49 PM · We now have an official closing date for Mickey's Toontown Fair at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The land's last day will be February 11, 2011. So if you want to see Mickey's House on the east coast, or ride Goofy's Barnstormer, you'd better do it before then.

Mickey and the gang will remain in the park for meet and greets after Feb. 11, of course, eventually settling into a new location on Main Street. And the roller coaster will return as part of the new circus-themed Dumbo mini-land within the Magic Kingdom's new Fantasyland, which is scheduled to debut in 2013.

Model of the new Fantasyland
Scale model of the new Dumbo section of the Magic Kingdom's Fantasyland expansion. Photo courtesy Disney.

(Of course, if you're in the Orlando area and simply must have a Vekoma Junior Coaster to ride before then, there's always the Flight of the Hippogriff over at Universal Orlando's Wizarding World of Harry Potter.)

On the west coast, Disney's making construction changes, too. The giant CALIFORNIA letters in front of Disney California Adventure go away on January 4, 2011, so get there before then if you want a photo.

L is for LaurieR is for RobertN is for Natalie
And Brian is ticked that there's no 'B' in California

The next day, Disney begins construction on the front plaza of that park, which will ultimately result in a new front gate that will look very much like the front of Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida.

Replies (5)

December 10, 2010 at 4:16 PM · Two Dumbo's? Great idea. That attraction draws inconceivable lines and needs the extra capacity.

However, why bring back the Barnstormer? Did kids really enjoy it that much, or does Disney just not want to fork out the dough for a new design?

December 10, 2010 at 4:54 PM · Dumbo's target age is, what, two to five? The Barnstormer gets, maybe, four to eight or nine?

So the younger child goes on Dumbo, and the older sibling to the Barnstormer (or whatever it ends up getting called). Parents are happy 'cause neither child has to go on anything too "baby" or "scary." Brilliant, I say.

Bring on the Dueling Dumbos!

December 10, 2010 at 11:07 PM · I am interested to see what Disney does with the Exposition Hall for the new Mickey/Minnie meet 'n' greet. Will they just slam in something cheap, or will they give the iconic mouse a beautiful new home. I hope for the latter, of course.

As for Toontown, I said my farewells during my May visit, and I am looking forward to the changes. I always thought the area was a bit of a sore thumb, despite having many nice little touches. For some reason it never seemed to rise above the feeling that it was just an afterthought.

December 11, 2010 at 12:05 AM · Well, that might be because the land *was* an afterthought. The young'uns might not know this, but what became Mickey's Toontown Fair was intended to be a one-year, temporary exhibit called Mickey's Birthdayland, to celebrate Mickey Mouse's 60th birthday... in 1988.

The "land" was built with temporary structures - glorified tents, really - at the nadir of Walt Disney Imagineering's influence within the company. But people liked it, and when the year-long 60th birthday celebration ended, Disney renamed the place "Mickey's Starland" and scripted a series of live-action shows for it featuring characters from the Disney Afternoon cartoon series of the 1990s.

(TV toons rapping - yes, we're all ashamed that any of us thought that clever back then. But no one will fess us to being one of ones who did.)

Anyway, in 1996, with an eye toward the success of Toontown at Disneyland, Disney World renamed the land Mickey's Toontown Fair, and we ended up with what we have today.

I say, good riddance, and I eagerly await seeing what a resurgent Imagineering team can do with some time and a decent budget in reimagining this section of the park.

December 11, 2010 at 8:47 AM · I wish they would have just redone Toontown because, lets face it, where does Mickey live now when he visits the east coast? We need his house, wherever that is! Personally, I would have liked to have seen a Roger Rabbit like attraction with the fab five vs. Pete and Mortimer Mouse.

As for the letters leaving DCA, it makes me sad because I enjoy their Iconic status. Maybe move them somewhere else....

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