Did Disney foreclose on Florida’s most famous corporate icon? Is Disney condemning two rodent-infested housing projects through eminent domain? While Disney World has released a smattering of info on planned Fantasyland upgrades, it has said little about what it will tear down. However, it appears from early designs and scattered reports that Mickey and Minnie Mouse’s homes will soon be history.
But there’s more. Once the company completes Fantasyland upgrades by 2013, the Magic Kingdom will lose an entire “land” – Mickey’s Toontown Fair – as the improved Fantasyland swallows it. Only Goofy’s Barnstormer, a child-friendly coaster, will remain as Toontown Fair hauls up stakes and hightails it to the next
Disney fans hate it when something goes, and the loss of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in 1998 – replaced by Winnie the Pooh – caused an online riot. This could be bigger. While Mickey and Minnie’s house are D-ticket attractions at best, they still represent a major psychological thrill for kids. After all, Mickey doesn’t just live in Orlando in general, he actually has a house inside the Magic Kingdom. The stars are aligned.
If protests grow too strong, Disney could decide house relocation is better than revocation. Mickey has tired of city life, they could say; he now prefers a country setting. Perhaps Disney could scope out a plot of land in a tree-lined section of Hollywood Studios and eventually offer mouse-subsidized housing there.