The big news should be: An entire land within Disney’s World’s Magic Kingdom – Mickey’s Toontown Fair – is slated to close on Feb. 11, 2011. But the big news is: When Toontown Fair shuts its doors, Disney will permanently shut down Mickey Mouse’s house, as well as Minnie Mouse’s house. Yes, Mickey Mouse and his girlfriend/fiancée will be tossed unceremoniously onto the streets, and Disney will presumably destroy their homes. Disney has not officially said the homes will be razed, but the closing has been announced and “the new site for Mickey’s home” was not part of the info. It was not, in fact, mentioned at all.
Thomas Smith, Disney Parks Social Media Director, recently announced the change in his Disney blog. But the blog focused only on the things that will be relocated. Guests, for example, will greet Mickey, Minnie, and the Disney princesses at the Town Square Exposition Center located directly inside the front gates at the beginning of Main Street USA. But where will Mickey sleep after he’s done greeting guests? No mention of that.
Smith notes that the current expansion will double the size of Fantasyland, and that it’s “the largest expansion in Magic Kingdom history.” It does not mention the fact that the expansion takes land from Toontown Fair, or that it includes land that once supported the Magic Kingdom’s largest attraction, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.
Mickey’s Toontown Fair
Mickey’s Birthdayland debuted in 1988 as a new, yet temporary, section to celebrate
Mickey’s 60th birthday. But it sucked up some of the crowds and kids liked it, so Disney made it slightly more permanent in 1990 as Mickey’s Starland. In 1996, it became Toontown – the place where Disney’s cartoon characters lived.
Admittedly, the company never committed to a long-term lease for the land, though it lasted 12 years. But now kids the world over know that Mickey lives in the Magic Kingdom; and that he has a house; and that they can visit it when in Orlando. It’s a bit like hearing that the North Pole shut down and Santa’s looking for an apartment in Hawaii.
Will there be an uproar akin to the fuss raised when Disney shut Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride? In deference to fans who protested that loss, the park included a picture of Mr. Toad on the ride that took its place, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and a small tombstone featuring the jaunty amphibian in a pet cemetery near The Haunted Mansion.
It’s doubtful, however, that a Mickey Mouse tombstone is planned. Perhaps a Habitat for Humanity home might be warranted elsewhere on Disney property, however.