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Disneyland’s reopens Toontown with inclusive design


Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald, Daisy, Clarabelle, Goofy, Pluto and Pete stand outside Mickey’s house within the refurbished Toontown at Disneyland.


Parkgoers at Disneyland in Anaheim, California, will finally give you the option to return to Mickey’s Toontown this weekend after a yearlong closure for refurbishment.

The cartoon-inspired land has long been a haven for Disney’s younger park guests, offering character meet-and-greets with the likes of Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto, in addition to kid-friendly coasters and play areas.

The reimagined Toontown honors the space that first opened in 1993, keeping existing structures like Mickey and Minnie’s houses in tact, albeit with a paint touch-up. But there’s also quite a bit of recent infrastructure for youths to explore — with a watch toward inclusivity.

At its core, Toontown’s revamp is all about intention. Imagineers have designed an area for all kids, crafting accessible play spaces, plus quiet areas and shady spots in order that its youngest parkgoers have a spot to exert their pent-up energy or decompress.

The redesigned land, which opens to the general public March 19, is entirely wheelchair accessible, including its slides, and is visually and auditorily approachable for youths who’re easily overwhelmed by loud or vivid sensory stimuli. Your entire land has been repainted in softer colours, and a few areas feature more subdued, spa-like musical scores.

“We wish every child to know that once they got here to this land that this land was designed for them,” said Jeffrey Shaver-Moskowitz, executive portfolio producer at Walt Disney Imagineering. “That they were seen, and that this place was welcoming to them.”

Shaver-Moskowitz said the Imagineers frolicked taking a look at kid’s museums and water play spaces to see how kids engage and developed different stations throughout the land to cater to various kinds of play patterns.

“We all know a day at Disneyland could be hectic and chaotic, running from one attraction to a different, one reservation to the following,” he said. “We wanted Toontown to not only be exciting, but in addition decompressing and relaxing and welcoming.”

With that in mind, the Imagineers have introduced more green spaces throughout the land, places to have picnics, sit and unwind, or play freely.

“We actually wanted to check out Toontown, knowing how essential it was for therefore a lot of our guests for a lot of generations growing up and the so many memories here which can be connected to the land, and be certain we do not lose any of that,” Shaver-Moskowitz said. “But, bring a number of recent magic.”

‘Pondering of each guest’

When guests enter the brand new Toontown, they are going to go through Centoonial Park. The world is anchored by a big fountain, featuring Mickey and Minnie, in addition to water tables for youths to dip their hands into, and the “dreaming tree.”

The live tree was chosen from the Disney property for its cartoonish limbs and leaves. Across the trunk are sculpted roots that children can climb over, crawl under and weave through.

“Certainly one of the fundamental play functions for little ones is learning the concepts of over, under and thru,” Shaver-Moskowitz explained during a media tour of the land earlier this month. “So you will see a few of the roots are sufficiently big for little ones to crawl under, a few of them could be used as balanced beams for little ones who’re learning to get their feet underneath them.”

(There may be a wheelchair accessible path that navigates through the roots, too.)

Centoonial Park can be situated next to the El Capitoon Theatre, home of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride. Riders are invited to the premiere of Mickey and Minnie’s latest cartoon short “Perfect Picnic.” Nevertheless, hijinks ensue and guests are whisked away for a ride on Goofy’s train, entering the cartoon world.

The El Capitoon Theatre exterior of Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway ride at Disneyland in Anaheim, California.


The trackless ride has no restrictions on height or age, allowing even the littlest Disney guest to affix in.

Continuing through the land, guests will see Goofy’s recent play yard, which wraps around Goofy’s house and contains a sound garden, full of musical bridges and melons, in addition to Fort Max, a climbable clubhouse with attached slides.

Shaver-Moskowitz said the roller slides were chosen for the space so littler guests, who often have less mobility of their legs, do not get stuck at the underside of the slide. There’s also extra space at the underside of the slides to accommodate guests who need time to get back into wheelchairs.

“We try to be certain we’re pondering of each guest in here,” he said. “Ensuring that each infant who involves play here looks like we have designed the space for them.”

Also outside is a small cordoned-off area for babies to crawl around and experience the realm safely.

Goofy stands outside his recent How-To-Play Yard at Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland.


Inside Goofy’s house are a series of games that children can play to assist Goofy cultivate honey from the beehives on his property into candy. Here, little parkgoers can sort candy by flavor and color and watch as a kinetic ball machine prompts throughout the space.

Extra care was taken to be certain that the sound of the air compressors pushing the balls around has been suppressed, said Shaver-Moskowitz, in an effort to be certain that those with sensory sensitivity won’t be overwhelmed and may still benefit from the experience with their peers.

In a separate area next to Goofy’s recent play yard is Donald’s Duck Pond, a water experience for youths. Imagineers intentionally separated this space from the play yard so that oldsters could higher monitor their children across the water elements.

Donald Duck stands outside the brand new Duck Pond at Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland.


Shaver-Moskowitz noted that the previous design of the land meant that children would occasionally run back to their parents soaking wet, having wandered into the water play place.

Donald’s Duck Pond contains a tug boat that spits out water, spinning water lilies, balance beams and rocking toys. Contained in the boat, kids can assist Huey, Dewey, Louie and Webby with a leak within the hull, turning wheels and levers to push the water outside.

Pack a picnic

The Imagineers have also revamped the food at Toontown. Latest restaurants reminiscent of Cafe Daisy and Good Boy! Grocers offer a wide selection of selections and flavors for young parkgoers and more mature palates.

Michele Gendreau, director of product optimization for food and beverage, explained that the team desired to make eating easy by creating hand-held food that could be munched on the go.

The menu at Daisy’s café features “flop over” pizzas, hot dogs and wraps. Here, adults can grab a chilly brew coffee or honey-mango sweet tea. For dessert, there are mini doughnuts covered in cinnamon sugar.

“Kids need to eat what their parents eat,” said Gendreau, highlighting kid-friendly versions of traditional pizzas.

At Good Boy! Grocers, guests can pick up grab-and-go drinks, snacks and novelties. The roadside stand offers up the “perfect picnic basket,” including up to a few snacks and a drink. Kids can select from quite a lot of options, from hummus and pickles to granola bars and apple slices.

Baskets are arrange at multiple heights to permit even the smallest guests to pick out their very own items, giving them a bit of autonomy on the subject of time for dinner.

Merchandise from Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland.


Parkgoers can scoop up picnic blankets, T-shirts, toys and other exclusive Toontown merchandise at EngineEar Souvenirs.

Moreover, meet-and-greets with fan favorite characters return to the land. Guests can take photos with Mickey Mouse, Minnie, Donald Duck, Daisy, Pluto, Clarabelle and Goofy. And for the primary time at any Disney park, Pete will make an appearance, causing mischief across the neighborhood.

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