You want to know what it’s like to step into a cartoon and hang out in the neighborhood where Mickey Mouse and his friends live? Head on over to Mickey’s Toontown and visit the homes of your favorite cartoon characters!
The origin of this area began with the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit. The huge success of that film inspired Disney to create the concept for an area called Hollywoodland which would have been behind Main Street. Coincidentally, the year that Who Framed Roger Rabbit came out was also the year of Mickey Mouse’s 60th anniversary and so Mickey’s Birthdayland was being developed at the Magic Kingdom in Florida around the same time. However, both ideas fell through after the Euro Disney Resort (later Disneyland Paris) was having financial trouble and so to save money the Imagineers combined the Hollywoodland concept with the Mickey’s Birthdayland concept to form Mickey’s Toontown which opened behind Fantasyland in 1993 and is home to Disney characters like Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy, Pluto, Chip and Dale.
There’s actually a fictional backstory to this area. Mickey Mouse first moved to this hidden suburb in Anaheim back in the 1930s to escape the hustle and bustle of Hollywood and soon his friends followed suit and settled there too. When Walt Disney was looking for a place to build his theme park, Mickey pointed him to a nearby orange grove close to Toontown, allowing Mickey and friends to easily commute between Toontown and Disneyland to greet guests after the theme park opened in 1955. It was only until 1993 that Mickey and friends decided to finally open Toontown to the public.
Places to visit in Toontown include Mickey’s House where you can do a meet and greet with the mouse himself (when he’s not busy running the park).
Then there’s Minnie’s House, which is just as lovely as Minnie Mouse herself.
Donald’s Boat (aka The Miss Daisy).
Goofy’s Playhouse which is exactly what you would expect it to be.
Chip and Dale’s Treehouse which kids can climb to see a full view of Toontown.
And don’t forget to get a bite to eat at the three food places Daisy’s Diner, Clarabelle’s Frozen Yogurt and Pluto’s Dog House. Daisy Duck sells pizza and salad, Clarabelle Cow offers her “Moo” Plate Special and sells frozen yogurt, sundaes and root beer floats and Pluto sells sandwiches and hot dogs. And all three sell drinks too, including milk, chocolate milk, juice, coffee, hot tea and hot cocoa.
Toontown is also home to Disneyland’s smallest roller coaster and the shortest at only 44 seconds: Gadget’s Go Coaster, based on the mechanical work of inventor Gadget Hackwrench of Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers fame. The ride has small cars that are child-friendly but be sure to listen to Gadget’s (Tress MacNeille) safety instructions before you let your kid loose.
Most interesting of all is Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, a dark ride based on the Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis film Who Framed Roger Rabbit in which you start out at the Toontown Cab Company and let Lenny the Cab (Benny the Cab’s twin cousin) take you on a tour of the streets of Toontown as you experience many familiar situations from the movie while narrowly avoiding trouble from the weasels.
Last but not least check out the Gag Factory, the biggest shop and souvenir hot spot in Toontown. Home to toys, clothes, décor and the Gag-O-Matic, a gag-producing robot in the center of the store. Always good for when you are in need of a laugh.
There is actually another dark ride located at Disneyland’s Hollywood Studios in Florida based on the 2013 Mickey Mouse short series called Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway that is scheduled to open in Toontown as Disneyland’s first ride-through attraction based in the Mickey Mouse universe in 2022. Heads up: it may replace the Gag Factory so get your laughs in while you can.