While no longer a ride at Walt Disney World ®, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was one of the original attractions in Magic Kingdom ® when it opened in 1971. Based off of Walt Disney’s 1949 animated movie The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, as well as the already popular ride at Disneyland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in Magic Kingdom ® lured in thousands of guests for a wild journey that ended in “Hell.” And since that alone deserves an explanation let’s take a closer look at the history of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Walt Disney World ®.
As we previously mentioned the ride opened in 1971 with Magic Kingdom ®. Its exterior was an updated version of the tournament tent style of the Disneyland’s original Fantasyland. Due to the long lines in the California version, the Florida version was designed to have a much greater capacity. In order to hold more people, the ride vehicles had two rows of seats rather than a single row and there were two different tracks, which came together in one scene.
Just like its counterpart in California, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was not a thrill ride but not a slow and quiet ride either. Guests experienced sudden turns and at times the vehicle would jolt forward at full speed towards an obstacle, which would move out of the way at the last second. There was even a part of the ride that had the two different vehicles charging towards each other before their tracks split once again.
The two tracks in the Magic Kingdom ® version of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride did not pass through the same scenes, thus giving riders an almost completely different experience.
Track 1 took riders through the library then out of Toad Hall and passed through a barnyard coming face-to-face with a few animals. Other scenes on this track included policemen and convicts in jail cells, railroad crossings and the ending “Hell” scene.
Track 2 included entirely different scenes and imagery including Toad’s trophy room, a kitchen, a Gypsy camp, Winky’s Tavern, Ratty’s house in the countryside, a railroad crossing and, just like in track 1, the “Hell” scene.
The ride closed on September 7, 1998 only to be replaced with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride fans can still find tributes to the old ride in the park including paintings of Mr. Toad and Moley in The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and a statue of Toad in a pet cemetery outside of Haunted Mansion.
Orlando, FL - 03/27/14
Photo: Alex Mateo