As the story goes, Toontown was always in this location and Walt felt bad for making Mickey and the gang always come down to Burbank, so he built Disneyland in front of it to make it easier for the gang to get to work. But in 1993, Mickey decided to open the gates to the guests of Disneyland so they could come and visit everyone in their homes and the downtown district.
Our first two ToonTown Disneyland Diamonds come from the same attraction, Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin.Our first one can be seen as you enter the building to your right. Don’t worry if you walk past it the first time, you can also see it when you are waiting to load. The Toontown Cab Co. has a great collection of other toons license plates hanging on the wall. See if you can figure who they might have belonged to?Some are pretty easy but for those of you who might not get them all here is a break down for you.
2N TOWN – Toontown
BB WOLF – Big Bad Wolf
MR TOAD – Mr. Toad
1DRLND – Wonderland
1D N PTR – Wendy & Peter Pan
IM L8 – I’m late!
CAP 10 HK – Captain Hook
L MERM8 – Little Mermaid
101 DLMN – 101 Dalmatians
FAN T C – Fantasy
RS2CAT – The Aristocats
ZPD2DA – “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah”
3 LIL PIGS – The 3 little pigs
For the other Car Toon Spin Diamond we head outside. As Toontown was being designed, Roger’s attraction already had the unique concept of merging the tea cups with a dark ride so the Imagineers had to create a full 360˚ environment along the track, but originally there was going to be a lot more track! In this early concept art for Toontown, if you look closely you can see some of the Lenny cabs on the second floor of the attraction out along an overhang. This concept had only been done for the Alice in Wonderland attraction, but that was due to lack of space. Car Toon Spin was going to do it to add more excitement and a chance to see Toontown from a very different perspective. The reason why the second story was cut has never made it to the public, but it had to have made it pretty far into the planning stages because next time you are in Toontown, take a look up and you will notice some extra space.Our last Mickey’s Toontown Diamond is actually a two-fer, in our first look at Disneyland Diamonds we talked about the Windows of Main Street and how they are tributes to Walt Disney Imagineers and others who helped make Disneyland what it is today. When Mickey’s Toontown was being built the folks at WDI (Walt Disney Imagineering) felt there were two tributes missing and decided to rectify that in Toontown.
The first is a window for the man that started it all, Walt Disney. This small window in the corner of Toontown Bank is a call back to Walt’s original venture into animation at the Laugh-O-gram Films in Kansas City, Missouri that lasted from 1921-1923.The other tribute is not just to one person, but to a whole company. Walt Disney Imagineering, or WDI, has a full tribute, but don’t look for any windows for this one! In 1952, Walt Disney wanted to build a theme park where parents and kids could play together and in order to do that, he needed people to help create that park. That’s when WED Enterprises (acronym for Walter Elias Disney) was founded. This company was Walt’s and Walt’s alone. He would hand-pick animators, artists and craftsman to help design Disneyland. In 1986, WED Enterprises became Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI for short) to help people outside of Disney understand who these amazing people were that create such magical things and give a direct tie to Walt Disney himself.
So now that I have gone through the history of WDI, lets take a look at the tribute the company created for itself in Mickey’s Toontown.This tribute is on the hills backdrop behind the gate between the restrooms and Minnie Mouse’s house. It may take a few times to look at it, but once you see it you will never forget it.
From Toontown we move to Tomorrowland.
Our main correspondent for Walt Disney World and the Orlando area and a heck of a paleontologist if he does say so himself.