Disney has revealed more photos about the ambitious reimagining of Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland that will debut in 2023, alongside the new Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride. This post shares new photos, concept art, details on the changes, and an anticipated opening date. (Updated September 14, 2022.)
For those who are unfamiliar with this project, Mickey’s Toontown closed several months ago to begin reimagining the full land. Prior to this, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway had been under construction and demolition of other areas of the land was visible from guest view.
The expanded land will reopen in 2023, alongside the new attraction, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. When Toontown reopens in 2023, it will still be home to favorite attractions such as Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, Mickey’s House, and Minnie’s House. Other attractions will be reimagined in new ways, including Gadget’s Go Coaster, Goofy’s House, and Donald’s Boat.
The full Toontown closed so that Imagineers could create all-new experiences for families that build on the legacy of Mickey’s Toontown. The beloved land will transform into a vibrant symphony of sights, sounds, and sensations. Focusing on families with young children, Mickey’s Toontown will feature new play experiences, as well as open, grassy play spaces. The land will have landscaping for both play and parental relaxation.
With a greener and more spacious Mickey’s Toontown, the land will offer more play activities and attractions than it does right now. From active to tactile play, new experiences will let children slide, spin, splash, touch, and listen.
“We are so excited to leverage Disney’s powerful brand, develop new stories and share even more magical experiences with our guests,” said D’Amaro in a quote that could apply to literally anything. “The newly reimagined Mickey’s Toontown will be a welcoming place where families and younger guests can connect and play together in fun new ways.”
One addition coming to Mickey’s Toontown is Goofy’s How-to-Play Yard, which has newly released concept art:
In the brand-new Goofy’s How-To-Play Yard, you can play in a silly sound garden. Adults can take a rest while their little ones discover all the fun and wacky sounds the garden makes. They’ll also have a chance to explore an all-new, elevated clubhouse.
Inside his house, Goofy has set up a candy-making contraption that only he could imagine.
Goofy’s neck of the woods will be dedicated to all things play, where the soft, spongy ground is the perfect place for youngsters to enjoy a fun, enclosed area. Here, Goofy encourages his son, Max, and all his friends to play the Goofy way.
Upon reopening, Mickey’s Toontown will feature more opportunities for kids to play, with new open and grassy spaces. It’ll be an area for guests to unplug and roll around on the ground or whatever.
Here you see Donald’s Boat, which has crashed in the duck pond of the Goof homestead.
Around Donald’s Duck Pond are larger-than-life spinning water lilies, balance beams and rocking toys that will keep adventurous kids busy. And for those who like a little splash in their step, a flood of fun awaits.
During the parks presentation, Disney shared a closer look inside the El CapiTOON Theater, where a special exhibit created by the Toontown Hysterical Society is celebrating all things Mickey with costumes and props from the toon world.
The exhibit features several items guests may recognize from classics including “Steamboat Willie” and “Plane Crazy.”
The attraction’s queue will also feature items from modern favorites such as “Mickey’s Christmas Carol” and iconic music releases.
These new experiences will join existing favorites like Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, Mickey’s House and Minnie’s House. Plus, other attractions will be reimagined in new and exciting ways, including Gadget’s Go Coaster.
One of the new areas coming to Mickey’s Toontown will be CenTOONial Park, the first space guests will see when they enter. This natural space will be anchored by two interactive play spaces.
At the center of CenTOONial Park will be a fountain, which will also become a center icon for Mickey’s Toontown. As its base, water tables will invite guests to play with the water and have a sensory experience. At night, the fountain will be brought to life in a unique spectacle.
A nearby dreaming tree will be inspired by the tree a young Walt Disney would daydream under in his hometown. (This seems like a stretch, but whatever.) Sculpted tree roots will provide an opportunity for children to play, crawl and explore, and undulating topography will offer rolling hills and a place to sit and dream.
When it reopens, Mickey’s Toontown will still be home to many beloved characters including Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, and more.
Speaking of its reopening, the only date Disneyland has given thus far is “early 2023.”
Our expectation is that this means Spring 2023, rather than January or February. Disneyland has no other big additions in the pipeline for next year, which means it’s likely that the company will hold off on debuting the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway until the spring break season.
It’s also possible that the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown debuts earlier, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is held off for another couple of months. This would give Disneyland the potential benefit of spreading crowds for the two debuts, and also double-dipping on visits from locals.
We’re skeptical that this is what happens. These two projects probably aren’t “big” enough to justify the drawn-out approach.
As such, our expectation is that the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway both debut at the start of March 2023. We’ll go a step further and predict that it opens on the exact same day as the 2023 Disney California Adventure Food & Wine Festival.
In the past, Disney has debuted new additions simultaneously in the two parks so one offers “counter-programming” to the other and crowds aren’t disproportionate in DCA or Disneyland. We think the same approach is highly likely here.
Accordingly, our predicted opening date for Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway and the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland is March 3, 2023.
Next, let’s take a look at the model of the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown, including the new El CapiTOON Theater:
With those background details out of the way, let’s take a look at photos of the new Mickey’s Toontown model on the show floor at the 2022 D23 Expo:
As with Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway coming to Toontown at Disneyland, we are mostly on board with these changes. About the only downside from my perspective is that the previous musical Mickey Mouse and Roger Rabbit fountains are being removed, replaced by a single, centralized play fountain.
Other than that, this should breathe new life into a land that is reasonably popular for meet and greets, but that has sort of faded in terms of its energy level. While Disney claims that this will offer more “activities and attractions than ever before” that isn’t exactly true, as Toontown used to have quite a bit more that was cut for safety reasons over the decades. With that said, these plans will definitely offer more interactivity than could be found in the prior incarnation of Mickey’s Toontown.
I can’t really speak to the active and tactile play experiences directly, but one of the conversations we’ve had with friends who have small children is that the play experiences for that age demographic are limited in the parks.
I’m very much in favor of kids having opportunities for physical activity, discovery, and interactive experiences. There’s definitely a shortage of spaces for kids to burn off energy and explore, and I’m optimistic this reimagined Mickey’s Toontown will help add a much needed option for that.
Ultimately, all of these interactive play spaces plus Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway will be solid additions without anything significant being lost. Another big attraction in Toontown should also once and for all put to rest rumors about the land being replaced by future expansion.
Moreover, we feel incredibly strongly Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin is criminally underrated, and anything that exposes more guests to Toontown and potentially that iconic attraction is good news from our perspective. Plus, more green spaces in the parks is always a good thing. We’re cautiously optimistic that all of these changes and additions will be a net positive for Disneyland and guests!
Anything in the models of the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland catch your eye? Notice any conspicuous omissions or additions beyond what Disney has officially announced? What do you think of the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown? Excited for Disney to breathe some new life into this area, or think it’s already great? Thoughts on the addition of Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway to Disneyland? Do you agree or disagree with our assessment? Any questions? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!