August 3, 2010

What Was Investigation: the Kingdom’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride



One of the Magic Kingdom's opening day attractions, opening on October 1, 1971, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was a very unique attraction. Although it was modeled after the Disneyland attraction, it had some characteristics that set it apart from its California counterpart. The most obvious was that the Florida incarnation had two separate boarding areas. The vehicles in each boarding area were on separate tracks that followed different paths, so riders would get a slightly different ride, depending on where they boarded.


Like its counterpart at Disneyland, it was not a thrill ride, but it was not slow and quiet like most dark rides. It made sudden turns and often the vehicle would move at full speed towards an obstacle, which would move out of the way at the last second. At one point the vehicles on different tracks would head directly towards each other, giving the sense of an oncoming collision. It was a very stylized attraction and resembled a cartoon more than any other Disney ride. It contained highly ornate plywood characters and sets that were very reminiscent of the multiplane camerawork featured in many Disney films.

The two tracks of this version of the attraction didn't pass through all of the same show scenes. Thus, each track gave riders a completely different set of scenes to pass through.


pin50687  pin54587

On Track 1, riders passed through rural English countryside upon leaving Toad Hall, coming face to face with a few cows along the way. After passing through a small room with several warning signs, guests made a turn into a central plaza. Traveling around the turn, the vehicles passed a policeman signaling riders with his whistle. Guests then made a right hand turn into the courtroom as the judge declared Mr. Toad guilty. Upon making a right hand turn, the vehicles entered several jail cells.

4db81730 06edbf40 mtwrbmcbdgr


After winding through the cells, guests emerged out into a dark scene, passing by a shootout between police and gunmen (using red lights to simulate gunfire). Several of the police barriers then moved aside revealing a railroad crossing, complete with a ringing bell. The gate then moved aside, and vehicles made a right hand turn onto the "tracks". Vehicles traveled along the railroad tracks, until getting hit by a train (with riders seeing the headlight of the "locomotive"). A door then opened, revealing the "Hell" scene. Afterwards, guests went through a door back to the boarding area.

45e8be00 mtwrshootout 4e4dfb80

From the boarding area to the plaza, Track 2 passed through two scenes not seen in Track 1: Toad's trophy room, and a Gypsy camp. After rounding the plaza, instead of entering the courtroom, guests continued on and entered Winky's Tavern. The vehicles made a right hand turn and guests could see the Weasels hiding out in the Tavern among the ale barrels. Following this, guests emerged into the night countryside. Passing by a small house, the vehicles reached a railroad crossing with ringing bell. This gate moved aside, and vehicles made left hand turn onto the railroad tracks. Like on Track 1, the headlight of the locomotive was visible before the train hit the riders. The "Hell" scene on this track was a mirror image of the Track 1 "Hell" sequence.

mtwrwinky mtwrwinkys1 toad_bull_cow

Despite the ride's popularity and many protests, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride closed on September 7, 1998 and was replaced with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. This was due to the characters in Winnie The Pooh having similar characters to The Wind In The Willows, and Winnie The Pooh being a Disney-Owned product. While minor tributes to the ride can be found in Disney World, including paintings of Mr. Toad and Moley within The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and a statue of Toad in a pet cemetery outside of Haunted Mansion, traces of "The Wind in the Willows" characters within Walt Disney World are minimal.

pin49340 pin59863 pin74891

The final pin was released as a part of the final Piece of History series in Walt Disney World, and it featured the much loved attraction, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.pin46288

Pictures and Information from Widen Your World, Walt Dated World and PinPics

No comments:

Post a Comment