Can ‘Mr. Toad’ And Other Park Classics Survive A 21st Century Disney?

Can Disneyland, or any Disney park in general, outlive all of its attractions? As a park-goer for decades, I’ve seen many rides come, go, and evolve. Some for the better, like ‘Star Tours.’ Some for the worse. I’m looking at you ‘Frozen Ever After’!

The Disney Insider speculated on the eventual fate of Disneyland’s ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.’ That got me thinking about a bothersome reality. There’s the postulation that all Disney parks will have to change as time, fads, and technology evolves.

Minor changes can be welcome. The empty spider section of Magic Kingdom’s ‘Haunted Mansion’ is one that needed a redo. What we got was that cool M.C. Escher staircase scene. Then we also got the too-human and out-of-place Constance in the attic. To me, she just doesn’t fit in with Marc Davis’s designs.

The question I must pose is this: Would the Disneyland of 1955 work today? Probably not. Even the rides of that time were remodeled, if not demolished, and rebuilt within a small period.

Walt was all about progress. He was hindered in the early days of the park by money and resources. His idea was always to move forward, “Progress is impossible without change.”

I agree that any theme park will need to progress to stay relevant. However, at what point does a Disney park lose its proverbial “soul”?

If the ‘Haunted Manion’ were gutted and replaced with loads of projection effects and lifelike animatronics, a part of my childhood would forever vanish. The charm of that ride isn’t in the effects. It’s in the atmosphere—the narration. The simple effects give it an otherworldly life.

I’ve delayed the topic enough, but what is the case for ‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’? Toad hasn’t been a staple in Disney’s films or shows. The adaptation he appears in is a cute novelty tied to the far superior retelling of ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.’

However, Toady’s ride is a beast all of its own. It’s chaotic and fun. It harkens back to Disney’s early days before rides were toned down. How many other Disney attractions emphasize the fact that you’ve died and have gone to Hell?

Sure, it’s perhaps too intense for today’s parkgoers … somehow. Would you rather have it replaced with a dull storybook retelling of another, more recent, Disney property? We’ve all been on those rides. They’re a bore.

For more info on Mr. Toad and his ride’s untimely demise at Walt Disney World, check out Yesterworld’s video below.

What do you think of Disney erasing the past? What rides do you think need a renovation or total replacement? Let us know in the comments.

[Source: The Disney Insider]


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