Disneyland’s Toontown is not just for toddlers, tweens or teens, it’s a great place for the young-at-heart (or, as they’re better known, adults!). With the 2023 reimagining, Toontown is a place for grown-ups to play, reminisce and feel like a kid again.
“To all who come to this happy place, welcome. Disneyland is your land.” This is from Walt Disney’s speech on the opening day of Disneyland. Walt wasn’t referencing just one land of Disneyland, he meant the entire park and that it was for everyone, not just kids! But, sometimes as adults we forget the fun of just playing. How nostalgia can help in tough times. How freeing it can be to feel like a kid again. Down Main Street, through Fantasyland, past it’s a small world, is a land devoted to laughter, fun and is a place kids of all ages can play: Mickey’s Toontown.
For most adults, Mickey’s Toontown is not at the top of our must-do list when visiting Disneyland Park. But don’t let the long, winding row of strollers or the screams of delight deter you. Skip into Toontown, and get ready to play. Below, I’m sharing how the reimagined Mickey’s Toontown can make any adult have fun like a kid again.
Step Back Into the 1980s and 1990s Inside Toontown
Kids of the ’80s and ’90s will find so many classic characters and films from their childhood in Toontown. Did you rush home from school to catch Disney Afternoons? Remember being absolutely terrified of Judge Doom in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? Regularly danced around your room to albums of Disney music? Then you must visit Toontown on your next Disneyland trip!
You’ll get all the Disney Channel feels while squeezing into an acorn on Chip n Dale’s GADGETcoaster. You’ll even get to hear Gadget herself give the safety briefing.
Then, make your way back to 1988 (the release of Who Framed Roger Rabbit) and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. This ride is nuts! You’re flying around corners in Benny the Cab, losing control and spinning out regularly while tearing through Toontown to try and catch weasels. Even the Cast Members have colorful outfits.
Just be warned: All the rides in Toontown are the opposite of relaxing. Maybe visit before you eat or wait to ride until a few hours after.
Mickey’s Toontown Features Attractions with Classic Disney Characters
The newest ride inside Toontown is Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, which was one of the major additions during the 2023 reimagining. This ride is chock-full of classic Disney characters – Donald, Daisy, Minnie, Mickey, Pluto, even Clarabelle, and for whatever reason they let Goofy drive. It marks the very first time Mickey himself has had a ride-through attraction at Disneyland.
Anytime you let Goofy behind the wheel you know it’s not going to be a smooth ride! This is the one ride on my must list I didn’t get a chance to go on at Disneyland. After reading about the queue in our Fall 2023 edition of DLR Magazine I know it’s on the list when I go back.
The ride itself is really similar at Walt Disney World and Disneyland. I’ve ridden the Disney World version and it was… fine. I mean, how can you not love the scene when dancing with Daisy?!? However, what it was lacking for me was a lot of backstory, those details Disney does so well, especially in the queue.
Well, in the Disneyland version Imagineers got to dive in on backstory, filling the queue with those Disney details I just love.
Find Nostalgia-Filled Queues for Every Attraction
For so many of us, Disney equals nostalgia. Spending Friday evenings with the latest Disney Channel classic. Waiting anxiously for the latest film to come out on VHS in those giant plastic cases. Trying, and in my case failing miserably, to sing like Ariel.
There must be some Imagineers that were kids in the 1980s and ’90s involved in the Mickey’s Toontown reimagining, because the queues for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin are packed with Easter eggs adults will love!
Right when you enter the queue for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, you’re immersed in a movie theater with a concession stand and Disney-ified movie posters on the walls –– like Honey I Shrunk the Nieces featuring Minnie, High School Goofical 3 featuring characters from Goofy Movie, and The Chipmunk Trap with Chip ‘n’ Dale as the parent trapping kids. And that’s just to name a few. My favorite is TOONSIES with Mickey, Donald, Goofy and more as the tap dancing Newsies.
After you make your way through the posters, you’ll arrive in the theater lobby. Mickey and Minnie worked with the Toontown Hysterical Society to create an exhibit called Mickey Through the Ears. It starts of course with the beginning of the famous Walt quote “It was all started by a Mouse.” This may be the happiest place on earth for Mickey fans. There are movie posters, music from classic movies, and props. Oh, the props! A Steamboat Helm, the plane from Plane Crazy and a whole stage for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice can be spotted.
In contrast to the bright theater and lobby at El CapiTOON is the dark queue at Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. The queue winds you through Hollywood and Toontown during the days of Roger Rabbit. The best place for Easter eggs is once you’re near the Ink & Paint Club. There’s a wooden door and in the window, you’ll spot a familiar bouncer.
Once you go backstage, check out what classic Disney characters like Minnie, Pluto and Horace and Clarabelle Cow are performing on the Call Board. Dumbo and Timothy are even mentioned in an ad on a bulletin board. Oh, and hang out near the Exit Stage Left door to hear Donald battling it out on the piano.
Find Plenty of Charming Photo Spots
Is there a wall in a Disney park that hasn’t had a following on Instagram? Surprisingly Toontown is full of great photo spots for Instagram-loving adults, and some of these areas have less traffic than others. Even if you’re traveling solo, like I was, you can still get some good shots.
Take that purple wall at Walt Disney World: Disneyland’s Toontown has a blue fence with cartoonish details that’s a perfect backdrop. Find it between Good Boy Grocers and Minnie’s House.
Back behind Minnie’s House is a gazebo with a tea time setup worthy of Downton Abbey and a quaint spot for a sweet photo of two, or a silly photo of one.
Throughout the town area outside Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin, there are great photo opps. Pose opening the forbidden green door, or try lifting the dumbbell outside Horace Horsecollar Gym. Grab a call on the phone near the Fireworks Factory. It’s so old-fashioned, it has a cord!
Toontown is Home to Mickey and Minnie’s Houses
What’s in Minnie’s fridge? Just how big is Mickey’s desk phone? You can find out how these two famous mice live by visiting their houses in Toontown (and yes, adults are totally welcome!). While the big draw of their houses is the opportunity for a character meet and greet, even if you aren’t planning to meet them, it’s worth taking a tour through their houses.
You can take your time in Mickey’s house before heading out to the barn in the back to meet Mickey (who I call “athleisure Mickey,” since he’s wearing his classic colors but with a casual twist). Check out how Mickey’s classic look evolved to this latest version in Disneyland.
Over at Minnie’s place, you have to meet her first before exploring her bedroom, sitting room and kitchen. Disney really doesn’t want you sneaking in the back door…
This is a good place to find the characters in more classic looks, especially during Halloween and the holiday season, when they’re wearing their seasonal looks.
Have Yourself a Playful Picnic
One great way to enjoy the atmosphere of Toontown is to channel your inner Mickey and Minnie from the Runaway Railway attraction and have a picnic inside Toontown! Good Boy! Grocers has the perfect picnic pack that includes an adorable picnic basket (complete with little ant detail) and a choice of three items and one beverage.
Once you purchase your basket, you can choose the different items from giant bathtubs and displays around the grocers. Make it really special and get your picnic pack with a red and white plaid blanket, just like in the ride.
Take a Break in Toontown’s Tranquil Resting Spot
Tranquility may not be the word that comes to mind when thinking of Toontown, but down past Chip n Dale’s GADGETcoaster is an area that looks a bit like a cave.
Whether you need a break from the heat, rain or just the crowds, this is a great spot to relax. It even has a calming spa-like soundtrack. As an added bonus, there are spaces for both sun and shade, giving you a quiet place you can enjoy your Good Boy! Grocers picnic or even bring little ones for a quick nap if needed.
Do a Little Daydreaming
When Walt was a child in Marceline, Missouri, he had a tree he would daydream under. Do you think he ever dreamed of the Disney we know today? Disney parks around the world? 818 films and counting? A company employing around 220,000 people worldwide?
Inside CenTOONial Park is a tree inspired by Walt’s dreaming tree. It’s a gorgeous tree with colorful lanterns dangling in the branches. Well, maybe not for relaxing under, as it’s actually a splash pad for guests ages two to 12. However, there are nearby benches and a wall for sitting, relaxing, and maybe a little dreaming.
It’s one of the places in Toontown to make sure to visit day and night. Speaking of nighttime in Mickey’s hometown…
Don’t Miss the After Dark Amusements
At night, with all the blinking lights of El CapiTOON theater, colorful cartoon shaped building and picturesque backdrop, Toontown can feel just like you’ve climbed into a cartoon.
Now, you can’t jump into the fountain, Friends style, but with the lights and running water it can be a calming place. Restrooms are right over past the fountain in Good Boy! Grocers, if needed.
Nighttime can also be a great time for adults to fully enjoy Toontown because the area is less busy, so you don’t have to compete with little hands to play in the post office, open ACME cases or explore the building outside Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. The lines for must-do attractions inside Toontown may be shorter at night as well.
From picnics to Disney-ified posters to a Walt-inspired tree, Toontown is a happy place in Disneyland to dream, reminiscent and immerse you in a space designed to make adults feel like kids again.