Monday, October 16, 2023

Disneyland's Toontown - 30th Anniversary

Today we have yet another "anniversary" post.  My other anniversary posts from earlier this year include, the 45th anniversary of The New Matterhorn, the 45th anniversary of Knott's Montezooma's Revenge, and the 40th anniversary of Knott's Camp Snoopy.

This year, Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland is celebrating it's 30th anniversary.  I have to admit that Toontown is my absolute least favorite "land."  With the exception of Roger Rabbit's Cartoon Spin (which didn't open until one year later), I have always considered the area a waste of very valuable real estate.  However, I had saved this Los Angeles Times article from when the land first opened, so I thought I would share it here, along with a few other souvenirs.

The article is dated January 21, 1993.  It mentions that the "Roger Rabbit ride" will be opening "this summer," but it didn't actually open until January of 1994.  Pictured below is the "Jolly Trolley" attraction, which closed after only 10 years of operation.

The article also mentions some of the other new "attractions," such as Goofy's Bounce House (which closed after 15 years), and Chip 'n Dale's Acorn Crawl (which closed after only 5 short years).  And the author talks about how Disney wasn't exactly breaking new ground here, since Knott's had built their children's area (Camp Snoopy), 10 years earlier.  It isn't mentioned, but Magic Mountain had a children's area (The Wizard's Village/Bugs Bunny World), even before that.  And Sea World had also opened their children's area (Cap'n Kids World), many years earlier.

The Motor Boat Cruise, Mission to Mars, and the Fantasyland Autopia, all received shout-outs in the article, but unfortunately it was because they were all being closed for good.  The reason given was, to relocate the employees on those attractions to Toontown, in order to "minimize additional operating costs" for the park.  Sad!

I think I have only ever bought one "Toontown" related souvenir, at the park itself, and that was the pinback button at the top of this post.  However, I did buy a can of Coke at my local grocery store, which commemorated the opening of the new land.

I made a huge mistake by not opening the can and draining the contents, prior to storing it away on a top kitchen shelf for years.  I had forgotten the urban legend, about how if you drop a nail into a glass of Coke, it will eventually dissolve it. Well, the contents of this can eventually ate a hole through the side of it, and leaked all over that top shelf.  I did not realize this had happened, until many years later, so there was a thick sticky mess to clean up, once it was discovered.  Coke actually contains "phosphoric acid," which etches the enamel on our teeth, and makes them more porous, so I'm assuming that was the specific ingredient responsible for eating through the can.

I did a search on ebay, and was surprised to see these other Toontown-themed cans were also available.  I don't remember seeing these in the grocery store, back in the day.  This first one is a Diet Coke can, which featured Roger Rabbit.

This can of Sprite, featured Donald and his boat.

And this last design, featuring Goofy and his "Bounce House," was on cans of Diet Sprite.

This final item is not from Disneyland in Anaheim, but from Tokyo Disneyland.  I bought this during a visit to the Disney parks in Japan.  They sell a series of miniature attraction vehicles, which are just about the size of a Match Box® vehicle.  I should have put a coin next to the vehicle, to show just how small it is!

The box lists the scale as 1/77.

The manufacturer of the "Disney Vehicle Collection," is Tomy®.  The sticker on the box shows a price of 750 yen, which at today's rate of exchange, would be about $5.00 in U.S. currency.  I'm guessing if they sold these in the U.S. parks, they would charge more than that.  I never found the price of food, souvenirs, or even admission at the Tokyo Disney parks, to be as inflated as they are in the U.S. Disney parks.  But then Disney does not own those two parks.  They are owned by a Japanese company, The Oriental Land Company.

I'm not completely sure, but I think the little "universal symbol" on the far left means, "Do Not Feed This To Pac-Man, Or He Will Cry."

And speaking of Tokyo's Toontown, if anyone is interested in seeing how the Japanese decorate Tokyo Disneyland's Toontown for Halloween and Christmas, you can click below, for some of my older posts.

Halloween in Tokyo Disneyland's Toontown

More Halloween in Tokyo Disneyland's Toontown

Christmas in Tokyo Disneyland's Toontown 

Happy anniversary, to Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland.  While I have never cared for the land very much, at least Disney finally decided to add another attraction (Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway) to the area, just this year.  It's too bad it took them 30 years to do it!  Oh, and when I finally saw Toontown for the very first time (one year later, in January of 1994), I took quite a few photos.  I will be including those in a 30-year "Vintage Disneyland Trip Report," this January.  So stay tuned......or "toon-ed," if you will.

****Post Update - 10-27-23****

I just found a few more Toontown-related items, in my personal collection!

This first one is a "game piece" from a contest.  These were given out when you had your film developed at Thrifty drugstores.  They were included inside the film processing envelopes, when you returned to pick up your photos.  The contest was also sponsored by Kodak.

These were "sealed," so you had to "tear open" that center square, to reveal the game piece inside.  Then, you had to match the character and the color of the Castle, with the image that was displayed on the counter of the Thrifty photo processing department.

The rules were printed on the back, along with a list of the prizes.  The top prize was a trip for four to Disneyland.

Another one of the prizes, was this Craig 'N Co. Rock 'N Toontown CD.  I had to look up this performer, since I had never heard of Craig 'N Co.  His name is Craig Taubman, and it looks like he made multiple appearances on The Disney Channel, back in the nineties.

This is not my CD, but I found a few of them listed on ebay.  You can own a copy for as low as $5.95!  There was also an ebay listing for two "intact" Thrifty game pieces, for $24.99.

The other items I recently found, are these Toontown postcards.

Both postcards were stamped on the back, with a special postmark commemorating Disneyland's 40th anniversary.  On July 17, 1995, the U.S. Postal System set up a temporary station in the old Disneyland parking lot, and were stamping the special postmark onto any item with U.S. postage affixed to it.

I remember the postal workers were trying very hard to place the "N" in the word "Station" just barely onto the stamp, so that way most of the postmark would be on the actual item.  It looks like they completely missed with that first postcard, and just barely touched the stamp on this second one.