Mickey's Toontown Is Getting A Big Facelift At Disneyland

Walt Disney once said that Disneyland was not a museum, and the changes at the original theme park continue to come fast and furious. Today, Josh D'Amaro, Chairman of Disney Parks, Experiences and Products, unveiled some new plans for a very big change indeed to one of the existing lands at Disneyland Park in Anaheim, California. Mickey's Toontown is going under the knife, and will be overhauled pretty extensively before being re-opened in 2023. The update to the land will coincide with the arrival of Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway, a marquee new attraction that's currently located at Disney's Hollywood Studios in the Walt Disney World Resort. 

Mickey's Toontown isn't one of the original lands from Disneyland, having been installed after the mammoth success of "Who Framed Roger Rabbit" in the summer of 1988. But the land is home to an already very well-liked attraction, Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin, and is also best known as the place where guests can — well, could, pre-pandemic — meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse in their respective houses. But very soon, Toontown will be under big construction, well beyond the addition of Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway. Today's announcement at an international theme-park expo is mostly not worth much consternation, though what's not being said is enough to make you wonder.

What Will Remain From the Old Toontown?

The key question is what from the current iteration of Mickey's Toontown is going to stay behind. It was already well-known that Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway was arriving in 2023, and since it's a big attraction featuring the two big mice themselves, of course it would be in Toontown. But D'Amaro's announcement, and the announcement linked above from the Disney Parks Blog, tacitly avoids talking about what might stick around. The description of the new Toontown leans heavily on implying more outdoor and interactive experiences: "Focusing on today's families with young children, Mickey's Toontown will feature new play experiences, as well as open, grassy play spaces for everyone to unplug."

Lucky for all of you reading out there, I have a parent with young children right here — meaning, me. (I've got two kids, the oldest of whom is just over 7.) I don't hold Toontown in such high regard that I'm up in arms about this update, though I'm feeling particularly glad that my family is making our first trip back to Disneyland over the Thanksgiving holiday, so that we can experience Toontown in any capacity before it closes entirely in March of 2022. But Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin — which has been renovated to focus less on ... Roger Rabbit — is an excellent attraction and one I hope endures past this update. For now, as captured by Scott Gustin on Twitter, Disneyland looks forward to "sharing details of this fun new space soon!" (If you think that's basically saying nothing at all ... you are correct.) I would also point out that there's plenty of "play experiences" and "open ... play spaces" for kids to let out their energy now — or, there would be if they weren't closed for understandable, pandemic-related reasons. 

Mickey's Toontown was an addition to the not-a-museum theme park. So updating it makes sense (and frankly, considering that one of its current attractions is themed to a weekday-afternoon cartoon from the early 1990s, it needs to be revised). But the details here are extremely, extremely vague, and not mentioning that Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin would survive the update could be a cause for alarm ... or nothing at all. Let's keep our fingers crossed.