Mickey's Toontown is situated across the Disneyland Railroad tracks from Fantasyland. Its entrance is a tunnel that opens into Fantasyland just to the left of it's a amall world. As its name suggests, Toontown is a fanciful representation of the wacky cartoon community where all of the Disney characters live. Mickey's Toontown was inspired by the Disney animated feature Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, in which humans were able to enter the world of cartoon characters.
Mickey's Toontown consists of a colorful collection of miniature buildings, all executed in exaggerated cartoon style with rounded edges and brilliant colors. Among the buildings are Mickey's and Minnie's houses, both open to inspection inside and out.
In addition to being the place where guests can be certain of finding Disney characters at any time during the day, this newest land also serves as an elaborate interactive playground where it's ok for the kids to run, climb, and let off steam.
Mickey's Toontown is rendered with masterful attention to artistic humor and detail. the colorful buildings each have a story to tell or a gag to visit upon an unsuspecting guest. there is an explosion at the Fireworks Factory every minute or so, always unannounced. Across the street, the sidewalk is littered with crates containing strange contents addressed to exotic destinations. If you pry open the top of one of the crates (easy to do), the crate will emit a noise consistent with its contents. A box of "train parts," for example, broadcasts the sound of a racing locomotive when you lift the top.
Everywhere in Mickey's Toontown are subtleties and absurdities to delight the imagination. Next to goofy's Playhouse is a goofy-shaped impact crater marking the spot where he missed his swimming pool while high diving. A sign in front of the local garage declares, "If we can't fix it, we won't."
While adults will enjoy the imaginative charm of Mickey's Toontown, it will quickly become apparent that there is not much for them to do there. Most of the attractions in Mickey's Toontown are for kids, specifically smaller children. Attractions open to adults include a dark ride drawn from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (sort of a high-tech rendition of Mr. Toad's Wild Ride) and a diminutive roller coaster.
In many ways, Mickey's Toontown is a designer playground, a fanciful cousin to Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland. What distinguishes Mickey's Toontown is that the play areas are specially designed for smaller children; it's also much cleaner than Tom Sawyer Island (that is, no dirt—though this does not guarantee a dirt-free child upon leaving the area). Finally, in the noblest Disney tradition, you must wait in line for virtually everything.
Also, be forewarned that Mickey's Toontown is not very large, especially in comparison with neighboring Fantasyland. A tolerable crowd in most of the other lands will seem like times Square on New Year's Eve in Mickey's toontown. Couple this congestion with the unfortunate fact that none of the attractions in Mickey's Toontown are engineered to handle huge crowds, and you come face-to-face with possibly the most attractive traffic jam the Disney folks have ever created.
Mickey's Toontown opens 1 hour after the rest of the park. If you're touring with younger children, hit the Fantasyland attractions during the first hour the park is open, and then head for Mickey's Toontown.
Finally, be aware that all of Toontown, including the Roger Rabbit ride, will close early before every nighttime fireworks show. It seems that rockets are launched from a building behind the land, showering Mickey's city with fiery embers, which might prove inconvenient for anyone standing below.
Also in Mickey's Toontown...
Once upon a time, Walt Disney decided he wanted to build a theme park but he did not know what would be the best location, so he turned to his most trusted partner. Not his brother Roy, but Mickey Mouse. You see, Mickey founded Toontown as a secret getaway for him and his Toon friends back in the 1930s. This would be where the Toons could sneak away from the Hollywood limelight, let down their hair (or whatever), and just be normal (for a Toon). The only human to know where Toontown was located was Walt.
Mickey suggested to Walt that Disneyland would be the perfect neighbor to his growing community set in a rural area of Orange County. The two of them worked out a deal where Walt would build a large earthen berm to shield the Toons from Disneyland visitors and the berm would also shield the visitors from the rest of Orange County. In 1993, the Toons decided that the visitors were okay so they tunneled under the berm right next to it's a small world, opened the gates and the rest is history.
In the book Designing Disney's Theme Parks: The Architecture of Reassurance, the Imagineers realized that the Toontown project "was an effort to rethink the relationship between architecture and fantasy, between animation and the theme park."
The architecture doesn't seem to contain any straight edges. When the Imagineers looked at the world that Toons lived in, they noticed that the architecture had a familiarity to it but did not mimic real physics. To reproduce this effect in three-dimensions, they borrowed an animation trick called Squash and Stretch.
Squash and Stretch is the effect that keeps the volume of a structure constant while it is "squashed and stretched" in seemingly unnatural ways. Or as former Disney animator Preston Blair explains, "When a sandbag moves through the air, it will 'stretch' in the direction of the movement. Then when its progress is arrested, it will 'squash' out." Blair adds, "If it were alive (anything can happen in a cartoon!), it would also squash from anticipating the action in which it stretches. The proper use of Squash and Stretch will strengthen an action. It is essential in creating a feeling of weight in characters." No one had ever built buildings that look fat and inflated with air with no right angles before.
One of the great strengths is the gags of Toontown. Throughout the land there are interactive items such talking mailboxes, manhole covers and water fountains. Try opening doors and boxes and you will always be surprised. This is a very playful environment for young and old alike.