‘The only attraction in history to entice riders with the prospect of donning the persona of a crazed amphibian, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is a true anormality. Of Disneyland’s original 1955 “Fantasyland Three” dark rides, Mr. Toad has only been constructed twice – half the number of incarnations Peter Pan’s Flight and Snow White’s Adventures have received. And overall, it is not too surprising – while Snow and Pan told something like their original stories, Mr. Toad spun off on a weird alternate reality that relied on your familiarity with a not-heavily-publicized postwar short feature to even understand the basic elements of what was going on.
‘Toad was always the most basic of the Fantasyland dark rides, even in 1955. While a number of characters appeared “in the round” at Snow White and Peter Pan, Toad featured entirely two dimensional characters. Depth in the sets was achieved through basic forced perspective and the spacing out of cut-out painted flats. Characters were often animated using the most basic methods, and there were not too many. What Toad depended on to be effective was the speed of the car, the twistiness of the track, and some basic simple effects like placing rubber lifters in the path of the car to simulate an uneven surface. This is still what makes Toad work today.
‘Of course, the attraction’s piece de resistance was its’ sinister and utterly absurd climax. Anybody of an impressionable age who has raced down that dark tunnel towards the oncoming “train” will never forget the terror of that scene, nor the surprise following when the cars deposited you in Hell to be accosted by rubber demons. This concept seems to account for much of the reason a dark ride was even attempted of Mr. Toad to begin with.
‘Is it possible that humans are simply hardwired in a way which, inevitably, certain tactile experiences are lasting because they’re essentially, innately appealing? Although much of the brilliance of Country Bears and America Sings, for example, is in their structure, they work because they are innovative variations on the time honored tradition of the proscenium arch. So, apparently, sitting still and moving your head from side to side to an effort to keep up with a show is innately appealing to the primordial ooze which we crawled out of. So, apparently, is sitting in a tiny car rattling down a dark rail waiting in mortal terror for the next bend in the track.
‘Dark Rides have been popular for well over 100 years now, and possibly because they, moreso than the roller coaster or omnimover or anything else, most recall the dream state and the irrationality of our own collective unconscious. Great dark rides feel like the whole thing is totally out of control. Is this why Mr. Toad works so well? Toad emphasizes the method of conveyance as the justification for the content, and the irrationality of the twists in the track are not because that’s what dark rides do, but because you’re a totally out of control amphibian riding a hot ticket to Hell. Form dictates content dictates form. And it increasingly seems like any way you cut it, Toad is a masterwork of a dark ride.’ — Passport to Dreams Old & New
‘Passengers begin their journey by crashing into a library, where MacBadger is seen teetering atop a ladder with a stack of books. They then crash through the fireplace, where fiberoptic effects simulate the scattering of embers on the floor. Narrowly avoiding a falling suit of armor, the passengers break through a set of doors to find the interior hallway of Toad Hall in disarray, as weasels swing from chandeliers. Guests then enter the dining room, where Mr. Mole is eating at a dinner table and gets knocked aside.
‘Upon leaving Toad Hall, guests travel through the countryside, passing Mr. Rat’s house, aggravating policemen and terrifying a farmer and his sheep. Making a right turn, guests head for the docks and get the impression that their car will plunge into the river, but quickly make a sharp turn in a different direction and enter a warehouse full of barrels and crates containing explosives. Guests crash through a brick wall as the warehouse’s contents explode. They then head out into the streets of London, narrowly avoid a collision with a delivery truck, and enter Winkie’s Pub, where Mr.Winkie the bartender holds two beer mugs. He ducks down, leaving the mugs spinning in the air.
‘Passengers then enter the town square, where the cars wreak further havoc on the citizens. A working fountain featuring Toad and Cyril Proudbottom stands in the center of the town. Behind this statue is one of Lady Justice peeking out from under her blindfold. Next, guests enter a jury-less courtroom, where the riders are proclaimed guilty by a judge (based on the film’s prosecutor for the Crown). The cars then enter what is presumed to be a dark prison cell before abruptly turning right and landing on railroad tracks. The vehicles bounce along the tracks in the dark before colliding head-on with an oncoming train.
‘Passengers then arrive at the ride’s final scene: a tongue-in-cheek depiction of Hell not inspired by any scene in the movie or book. The entire room is heated, and the scenery features small devils who bounce up and down. Passengers also see a demon who resembles the Judge from the courtroom scene. Near the end of the scene, a towering green dragon emerges and attempts to burn the riders to a crisp. A glowing light is seen in the back of its throat and choking, coughing noises are heard while the motorcar speeds away. Granted a reprieve, the passengers eventually “escape” to the ride’s loading and unloading area, where they disembark.’ — Walt Dated World
Disneyland version #1
Disneyland version #2
Disneyworld version (1971 – 1998, Track 1)
Disneyworld version (1971 – 1998, Track 2)
Welcome to Virtual Toad
‘When Walt Disney World announced plans to close Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride in 1998, Spencer Cook of Clearwater, Fla., was among the protesters. But the ride, based on a Disney film version of The Wind in the Willows, was scuttled in favor of one featuring Winnie the Pooh.
‘There’s a large online fandom for “extinct” Disney rides, as reflected by such sites as yesterland.com. Mr. Cook, 37, was not content with simply penning tributes or posting photographs, however. Instead, he is recreating the ride itself through 3-D animation at the site Virtual Toad. The site includes a fully interactive Virtual Toad QTVR Walking Tour, which, as of early 2012, covers roughly 1/5 of the ride, and is scheduled for completion in 2016.
‘Mr. Cook has spent five years on the project so far. He is a freelance TV producer, not an artist or computer expert, and he has nearly completed the first two of what will eventually be more than 20 rooms. He is working from memory as well as personal photos and video clips of the ride, a manic trip in a turn-of-the-century car. ”It’s about nostalgia and historical preservation,” he said.’ — NYT
The Hidden Mickeys in Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
‘A Hidden Mickey is a representation of Mickey Mouse that has been inserted subtly into the design of a ride, attraction, or other location in a Disney theme park, Disney properties, movie or other Disney product. The most common Hidden Mickey is a formation of three circles that may be perceived as the silhouette of the head and ears of Mickey Mouse, often referred to by Disney aficionados as a “Classic Mickey”. Over time, the term Hidden Mickey has come to refer to a range of possibilities from a more complete representation of Mickey Mouse (such as Mickey mixed in with a crowd or in the background), or a representation of another character. Mickeys may be painted, made up of objects (such as rocks, or three plates on a table), or be references such as someone wearing Mickey Mouse Club ears in a painting. Hidden Mickeys can take on many sizes and forms.’ — Wiki
In line outside after you pass under an archway, you are facing the carrousel, just after you pass the window/doorway that shows you the inside line, look up, hanging from the corner of the roof is a pinecone looking thing. It’s texture is made up of overlapping circles, and the top row along with one from the 2nd row form a hidden Mickey. It’s pretty easy to see. There is also one hanging near the main door.
REPORTED: mathew 27 MAR 99
The Mickey outside the arch on Mr. Toad’s Wild is just a pinecone and is too common to be a Mickey. They can be found all over the park!
WISHFUL THINKING: Gregory Holcomb 21 APR 99
Mickey Mouse’s shadow in Toad Hall’s leaded window. In the lobby on the ceiling.
REPORTED: Robbie 31 AUG 96
Yup It could be……
CONFIRMED: Ambular & Lauren 04 MAR 97
In the line, if you look up in the rafters right before you go through the turn style, you will notice three red berries in the shape of a Hidden Mickey.
REPORTED: Andy & Farrah 30 JAN 97
There are some rafters with berries drawn on them. The rafters are located just after the boarding area of the ride. Look carefully at some of the berries, and some are in groups of 3 and form a Mickey face
CONFIRMED: Jack B 13 JUL 98
Outside in line, half way, in the bushes on the left side a Hidden Mickey is cut out of the end of the hedge.
REPORTED: KT Baker SHANGO-GRADNIT’97 15 JUN 97
I saw a cut out in a bush by the line in Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
CONFIRMED: Erica 27 OCT 98
In the bush on the left there is really a Hidden Mickey cut out.
CONFIRMED: Marla 28 OCT 98
While waiting in line, inside the building, is a picture of Mr. Toad. He is large… and to the right of the cast member sitting down loading the ride. This large painting on the wall shows a Hidden Mickey in Mr. Toad’s face. His eyes look like Mickey’s ears and nose bridge looks like the top of a Mickey “hat”. So I guess this would really be a Hidden Mickey Hat!
REPORTED: DP 28 MAR 98
While waiting in line outside, you walk by the large leaded-glass window in front of the ride. The Mr. Toad statue is there, waving. Look above the statue towards the ceiling. There are two curtains arranged in such a manner as to form a Mickey head. The large circular curtain in the middle is the head, and the bunched up curtain to the sides of the head is the ears. When you go inside, look at the curtains from the back. There is no logical reason for that large circular curtain to be hanging there in the middle; in fact, it appears as if the center curtain was added AFTER the side curtains. This is deliberate, and is, in my opinion, a Hidden Mickey.
REPORTED: Pianoman 28 OCT 98
While standing in line in the cue, once inside, you pass by a statue of Mr. Toad. Look deep into his eyes… you’ll see two Hidden Mickey’s. They are Mr. Toad’s pupils!
REPORTED: Shawnee 07 FEB 06
I was in line for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and while I waited I was inside right by the Mr. Toad statue the one by the window and you could touch if you want to, but I was looking at it then I realized I was looking at a Hidden Mickey. If you look in the eyes of the statue, the white highlight in the pupil is painted clear as day as a Hidden Mickey.
CONFIRMED: Nick Nygard 21 FEB 06
When you enter Toad hall there is a shield above the door. On the shield there is a car. The has the shape of Mickey’s head.
REPORTED: David and Brian MaWhinney 26 APR 98
In the ride, there is a halogram of a Mickey head on the door. You will see the Mickey only in the dusk hours of the day. When you enter the ride you go through a set of doors and then you turn and come back out again. When you turn to go throught the second set of doors as you pass through them look in the lower right hand side of the right door. There in the corner is a small Mickey head put there by the imagineers during construction. This was one of the two that the imagineers placed in the park. I was shown this one from Mickey one of the cast members at the park. Have fun finding this one it is great!
REPORTED: Julimo 13 NOV 00
After you pass the toad statue on your left, you will make a u-turn to the right. Just as you get to the turnstile, look at the crew member running the ride. There is a flower bouquet to the right of the crew member. There are three white flowers in the middle of the bouquet in the shape of a Mickey head.
REPORTED: TWINS 17 AUG 96
CONFIRMED: FRIENDS 07 SEP 96
LOST: Ambular & Lauren 04 MAR 97
In Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride after you pass through the first room, you enter a small area where there’s a statue of armor that will fall towards you. On each elbow, the armor is shaped like a sideways Mickey head!
REPORTED: Sara 24 JUN 02
As the ride starts you can see a shadow of Mickey on either the left or right hand corner of the window. I want to double check this in “Mouse Tales: A Behind-The-Ears Look at Disneyland” because I know it’s a real one. I just wanted to let you know in case you see it before I find it
REPORTED: Michael Campisi 10 MAR 96
The Mickey is on the left stained glass window as you go out through the fireplace its in the lower right hand side and painted in a purplish color
CONFIRMED: Tod Rees 26 MAY 96
CONFIRMED: Meg 17 JUN 96
CONFIRMED: FRIENDS 07 SEP 96
There is a tiny shadow of Mickey in Toad Hall. You can see him as you burst through the leaded-glass window. He is near the center, close to the sill.
CONFIRMED: Maeve C. 01 FEB 97
CONFIRMED: Candace and Eric 07 AUG 98
CONFIRMED: raul bustamante 11 AUG 00
After you pass that falling knight in armor at the beginning you go through a door into a hall of weasels. Its on that door (the left of the 2 swinging doors), in the “glass” part, very bottom left: a perfect shadow profile of that mouse. He’s very faded and small. I was shown it by a cast member after the ride broke and the lights were on.
CONFIRMED: bill 14 DEC 00
CONFIRMED: anon 08 OCT 01
CONFIRMED: Jason 27 JAN 02
This is my new favorite Hidden Mickey. I’d been looking and looking for the Mickey on the window at the beginning, and I finally found him. The ride then broke down, and my brother and I had to walk back out the way we came. I was able to take a closer look, and it is awesome!
CONFIRMED: Jaycub 11 JUN 02
There is a sillouette of Walt Disney holding or shaking Mickey’s hand. It can only be seen with the aid of a flashlight.
REPORTED: CHAR BERTEAUX IV 05 MAY 97
On the second door is a hidden Mickey
REPORTED: Cheryl 21 MAR 99
After you go throught the fireplace and then U-turn, there are pictures along both walls…. the second picture on the left side has a hidden Mickey at the top of the picture frame….. it’s upside down.
REPORTED: Paul 20 FEB 97
I thought I saw a Mickey in the train headlights just before it runs you down and you go to hell. There is one large light(the head)and two smaller ones above it (the ears).
REPORTED: Andrew Johnson 30 NOV 01
On the Fantasyland Mr. Toad Ride there may be a hidden Mickey on the train that is about to hit you. I can’t be sure though.
CONFIRMED: Collin Craghead 28 APR 02
If you are standing by Mr.Toads Wild ride, facing Its a Small World, walk slowly towards it and concentrate on the clock. As it opens, peek on the inside of the left door to see a pale outline of Mickey.
REPORTED: anon 27 FEB 99
Disney computers select Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride as next theme park attraction suited for film profit expansion
‘With the benefit of a freshly installed CPU that allows it to ignore narrative up to 10 times faster, the Disney supercomputer tasked with analyzing existing studio properties for further franchising opportunities and additional quotients of family fun has selected Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride as the next theme park attraction to be compressed into a feature film profit generator. The long-running driving simulacrum—which involves placing humans in a conveyance that turns at sharp angles among sets decorated with representations of woodland animals—is itself an adaptation of Disney’s 1949 film The Adventures Of Ichabod And Mr. Toad, meaning another film already represents up to three established areas of potential sales. Much less profitably and therefore importantly, both ride and film are in turn adaptations of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind In The Willows—a bound lump of paper which was used to pacify children, before creating entertainment became the work of spreadsheets and software—that is nevertheless still of interest to certain niche quadrants of nostalgic collectors and “readers.”
‘Mirroring the film’s risk-averse blend of live action and CGI, this latest output will take shape with the help of various flesh-pods—chief among them director Pete Candeland, who has previously used his appendages to create music videos for the similarly animated facsimiles in Gorillaz. And while the script has yet to be processed, according to the available data, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride will be an adaptation of the theme park attraction and not the obsolete book, thanks to an automatic override designed to prevent potential hangs like “story.”’ — Sean O’Neal, A.V. Club
Second to lastly
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Trailer
Evacuation from Mr Toad’s Wild Ride
Select music from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Little Big Planet 2: Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride by AaronDBaron
‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Magic Kingdom Archives’
Daveland’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Photo Page
Philip’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Photos
‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride Before & After the 1983 Remodel
‘An up-close look at some of the figures from “Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride”‘
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride @ Walt Dated World
‘We Tried to Save Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’
‘Bring back Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!!!’ page @ Facebook
‘The Original Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’ @ Yesterland
‘Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride props resurface as Walt Disney World collectibles’
Props from Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride’
Mr Toad’s Wild Ride mix-‘tape’ feat. Sun Ra, Popol Vuh, a.o.
p.s. Hey. ** Michael karo, Hi, Michael! Thanks for the two thoughts, man. ** Wolf, Wowlf! Will do: ‘Paterson’. I’m already on the hunt. Shit, that’s a fucking amazing thing to have booked plane flights to. Amazing! Envy in quadruplicate-plus. Love, me. ** Jamie, Morning of mornings, Jamie. I would definitely watch ‘Happiness’ if you get that chance, yes. With luck, we’ll be finished with the grading today. Might stretch into tomorrow. Then, apart from gathering/figuring out the credits, preparing the English subtitles, and finding/choosing a music track to play over the end credits, we have pretty much a break until the end of August — although we will be talking about the next film we want to make and making notes re: a script — when we return to high gear and do the aforementioned and, finally, three or so weeks of intensive sound editing and mixing. Then the film will be totally finished. One of the obvious amazing things about Tokyo is that bright and bold colors are everywhere you look. They know their visual shit there. Weather: yesterday was ultra-gross. Purportedly, the temperature will drop 10 degrees today. It’s still too early in the day to tell if that forecast was accurate, but, oh, please, let it have been. I’m now determined to make today dangerously delicious. I’ll figure out a way. You too, okay? Two to tango, etc. Chicago deep dish pizza love, Dennis. ** David Ehrenstein, Ah, not a Solondz fan. I kind of figured. ** Steevee, Well, you’re talking naturally about the US re: Solondz’s films’ status. I can’t speak for other counties, but in France his films are still respected, anticipated, and treated as event-like. I presume in the States he’s in that longish awkward phase of his work between being thought of as an ‘exciting new thing’ and a ‘legendary auteur’. Happens to a lot of the most interesting directors. And musicians, writers, artists, etc. I’m very glad you’re feeling better today. Well, yeah, as someone whose life was undoubtedly saved and completely shaped by writing, I hear you on that one. People who speak in huge generalities like that critic you mentioned drive me out of my mind. When someone says something like ‘all male critics’ or declare that women viewers are inherently excluded from violent work, etc., I just can’t take them seriously. Lazy thinking is a right, but I don’t find it admirable at all. ** Josh Glass, Hi. Welcome. I just saw an email from you in my box this morning. I’ll get back to you hopefully tonight. I’m kind of swamped with a project at the moment and slower than even usual. But, yes, thank you! I’ll get back to you asap. ** Sypha, Hi. I’m a Solondz fan, so I encourage further viewing, of course. ** Bill, Hi. I just saw ‘Wiener Dog’ finally the other day. It’s very good. Well, I hope my encouragement towards the fire piece can be a kind of bee in your bonnet thing or a devil on your shoulder type of deal maybe. Holy shit, really, that Rhino is still there?! That’s insane. Wow. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Cool, deal! It was so hot and wet there yesterday. More wet than hot, which is even worse maybe. But I think, knock on wood, that today is going to be a nice person. Well, the grading went fine. The thing with the producer was a little weird, which is turning out to be a usual thing. Mostly he was okay and positive, but we’ve made an apparently unusual (but hardly radical) decision about how to grade the light in most of the daytime/outdoor scenes, and he, as he does, immediately assumed that was a naive, uninformed decision rather than a careful, thoughtful, deliberate decision, so there was some time spent trying to make him understand we know what we’re doing, and, in any case, we’re leaving the gradings in those scenes as they are whether he thinks it’s weird or not. But generally it was fine. And the work went well. And, as I told Jamie, we might even finish the grading today, although that could be optimistic. And your day? Was there loveliness? ** Jeff J, Welcome back, man. And very late happy birthday wishes. I will put the International Surgical Museum on my dream agenda. Zac went to university in Chicago. I wonder if he’s been to that place. I’ll ask him today. I quite liked ‘Wiener Dog’. It’s imperfect but replete with excellence if you like his thing/work. It would be difficult to talk about that color decision you mentioned without explaining how the film is structured/composed overall, and the p.s. plus my limited pre-grading p.s. time at the moment, make that undoable here. But I will at some point, and thank you for asking, man. We got a decision on the TV show finally last week. I’ve been asked to stay mum about it until certain things are in place in a few weeks. But you can read between the lines and probably conjecture successfully, if you like. News soon. Good to see you, Jeff! What’s up at the moment with you? ** S., Hey. Yeah, but I mean a former guy’s gotta make a living too, I guess. You actually seem like one of the last people in the world that needs hoes. Hate movies, whoa! ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. I like Kusama and her work. Who couldn’t, really? Her work has just become too ubiquitous and inescapable for me at the moment. It has become such a brand, cherry-picked and watered down and licensed to advertise stuff. The Kusama motif has practically become a font, not unlike what happened to Keith Haring’s work, and I’m just kind of personally tired of all of that. At the same time, her huge success is obviously a great thing for her. I guess I look forward to when her work recedes into just being a very good, singular artist’s work again. I remember when it was. ** Okay. Let’s see … some years back, there was a book published called ‘Seven Wonders of the World’, or something like that, and, for it, certain artists and others, including me, were asked to pick their choices for the Seven Wonders of the World. And Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was very prominently among mine. It’s one of the most genius things in the world, I think. And this post won’t convey that at all, not in the slightest, but I decided to pay homage, however inadequately, to it today. See you tomorrow.