Last year, some of our long lost friends were brought back to the Disney Parks. Everyone from Robin Hood to Uncle Scrooge (one of my favorites) were reintroduced to guests in the parks. While this limited time magic proved to be wildly popular with guests, there was one character that is still long lost to many Disney fans.
J. Thaddeus Toad is one of the co-stars of the 1949 animated movie, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad and, at this point, a classic inside joke in the Magic Kingdom® Park. On opening day of the Magic Kingdom® Park in 1971, guests could enter the world of the movie with Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. For more than two decades, Mr. Toad continued his wild ride until 1998 when his attraction was closed in order to make way for everyone’s favorite Chubby Little Cubby.
Despite fan out-cry, it would seem that Mr. Toad harbors no ill-will towards Winnie the Pooh and his friends. When you ride The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, look up, down, around and even behind you. In Owl’s house, you’ll see a picture of Pooh and Moley and another picture of Mr. Toad handing Owl the deed to the building.
I love how they connected the stories of these two rides together, as if, even the Imagineers didn’t want Toad and his friends to leave either. They took another opportunity to mourn the loss of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride as well. As you leave the Haunted Mansion®, be sure to check out the pet cemetery; you may see a familiar face.
If you want to know more about the history of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Lou has a post from way back in 2005 that you should check out.
(On-ride photo from the collection of Kendall Foreman. Mr. Toad statue photo from the author’s personal collection.)
What long lost friends would you like to see return to the parks?
Chris grew up during the Disney renaissance of animation and took his first trip to Disney World when he was ten. Even though he has loved Disney his whole life, his obsession didn’t start until he began planning a trip for his honeymoon. Right now, his primary job (at least the one that doesn’t pay the bills) is to indoctrinate his daughter with his love of Disney while at the same time convincing his wife to move to Orlando so he can become a tour guide in the parks.