Thanks for the Wild Ride, Mr. Toad
If there is one ride.....one experience that could describe the Disney experience.....it was
Mr. Toad's wild ride. Based on the movie 'Wind in the Willows,' Mr. Toad's Wild Ride in
Disneyland was originally envisioned as an indoor rollercoaster......but that idea was
then changed into a dark ride, and what a dark ride it was. Disney cultivated all the best
ideas from all of the old carnival, state fair, and boardwalk dark rides, and made what
can only be described as the ultimate dark ride. The ride stayed all on one floor....with
a constantly turning track. As you rode through the town.....through Toad Hall...and to your
final fate, your senses were imbibed with all kinds of quirky....strange.....and interesting
scenes meant to make you scared, or laugh, or just have a combination of the two.
I'll always remember the first time that I rode the ride....and I laughed as
we 'slammed through walls' ran all around town....I knew it would be
my favorite ride. And then........the train came along. For those who
know the ride, you know that near the end, before the descent into hell,
you get 'struck' by a train. What happened was the basically you were
led into a darkened hallway, and above you was a train light, which,
as you approached, you heard the sound of the whistle coming at you.
I'll tell you, the first time I rode that ride, that scene scared me so
very much (mind you, I was a young child at the time). That first
ride endeared me to the attraction, and I made sure to ride it on every
Well, the closure of this ride caused a ton of commotion. Spearheaded by the webmaster
of www.savetoad.com, weekly 'Toad-in's' were held
in front of the attraction, and the recent discussion has been about
protesting the ride's replacement Pooh attraction.
For me, though, I loved Toad. And
now realizing that the ride is completely gone, I can say that I have many fond memories
of the ride.....and standing in line, hearing the same one to two minute
sample of music playing over and over again. It was truly a wonderful
time, and even though I often had to wait for a half hour or so to ride it,
it was still my favorite ride in the Magic Kingdom.
As stated in previous pages....its removal signifies another removal of a
part of Walt from the Magic Kingdom....and every time they do so, they
remove a bit more of the magic from Walt's park.