Save Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!

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Disney's Demons

We continue to haunt Disney, like a couple of red plastic demons.

Uncommon Toad Ins

The Ride may be gone, but Toad's fans are alive and well.

There are over 600 Save Toad shirts out there, and people are still wearing them to the parks.

Below are the accounts of both the most recent Toad In,
which coincided with the grand opening of the Pooh ride,
as well as several personal Uncommon Toad Ins.

(Click here to read about the first four documented Toad Ins.)
(Click here to read about the second four documented Toad Ins.)
(Click here to read about the final "official" Toad In.)
(Click here to read about some Uncommon Toad Ins.)

There are no more "official" Toad Ins scheduled.
If you'd like to tell us about your own personal Uncommon Toad In,
please feel free to contact JT.

June 20, 1999 - Pooh's Grand Opening Day

[Written by JT, based on contributions from
special guest reporters Steve Preskitt and Rob Olsan]

As you might know, I am no longer returning to Walt Disney World, not just because they closed Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, but because I believe that the level of quality has dropped so much from its heyday that it simply is not worth my money or time any more. It's mostly just exercising my rights as a consumer, but I suppose it's also sort of a personal boycott thing.

For the last few years, it's been like watching a dear friend slowly wasting away. The ride closings/mutilations (Toad, Horizons, Figment, World of Motion, Tiki Room, etc.), over-commercialization (the Downtown Disney strip mall, the McDonald's restaurants on property, Innoventions looking like an old Best Buy store, etc.), opening of new parks with much less than what was advertised (Animal Kingdom) while poorly maintaining the existing parks (especially Epcot) and a general lack of Big Picture vision (no new monorails, no attempt to make Blizzard Beach an immersive experience, lackluster new attractions, etc.) have all contributed to this decision.

Anyway, because of that, I obviously wasn't able to attend this post-final Toad In. The following is based on the accounts of special guest reporters Rob and Steve. (That's them in the Toad car over there on the right with the all postcards.)

The Toad In was scheduled at High Noon in Town Square. This time the ratio of Disney employees to civilians participating in the Toad In was about even! The Disney suits might not care much about the "magic" any more, but it's great to see that not everyone in the company has lost hope.

The event was similar to previous Toad Ins, with the standard explanations of just why exactly Mickey is killing Mr. Toad. (Steve reports "preaching the Toad gospel to a receptive crowd of about 50 on the ferryboat," to which the crowd responded, "Oh, you're doing that Toad thing we saw on the news last night!". Kick ass.)

They then proceded to take photos at the Toad car in the photo shop, one of the last pieces of Toadliness still in the Magic Kingdom. Rob took an online picture (at left) at the Kodak exhibit and was pleased by the irony of taking up their hard drive space with Toad propaganda. Unfortunately, they were unable to take the traditional post-Toad In spin on the Ride.

While Steve described the proceedings as "low-key", Disney security (plain-clothes and otherwise) was still out in force, ready to wrestle anyone to the ground, should the need have arisen. Rob scoped out the area beforehand and tried to listen in on their conversation. He heard them muttering something about "they're back at noon", but they did not approach the protesters during the Toad In. Hounds were not released.

No media was in attendance (the $45 entrance fee tends to keep them away), but since our story had already gone out on the Associated Press wire, I guess it doesn't make much difference.

Steve and Rob did pay a visit to the new Pooh ride and took photos of the missing pieces (!) on the attraction's signage, which Steve reports have been missing since May. You'd think they could at least have things looking nice for the Attraction That Killed Toad's grand opening. Great show, again, Disney!

Speaking of the mound of Pooh, John O'Hare was kind enough to pass along a photo (right) of Toad's appearance in the Pooh ride. This is a picture on the wall of Owl's house. You'll note that Toad is handing the deed to Toad Hall over to Owl. That's how he got into trouble in the first place!

As a side note, it seems that even Disney doesn't have many stock images of Mr. Toad. The badges the employees wore when they closed The Ride had our own How Bowers' artwork on them and the image of Toad in the Pooh ride is just a slightly modified version of the cover art for The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. It's also used in our banner, since it's just about the only Toad clip art available. I'll bet us Toad fans have done a more thorough job documenting The Ride than Disney has!

Thanks to everyone who participated and helped us remind Disney that we have not forgotten what they have done and that everything is not just peachy simply because the Pooh ride has opened.
June 20 Photos: Toad car photo courtesy of Rob Olsan. Rob's solo photo courtesy of Kodak. Toad and Owl photo courtesy of John O'Hare.
June 7, 1999

[Special guest reporter: Peter Stepniewicz]

I was in full Toad regalia [at the Pooh ride today]. I had the shirt, the button, and a backpack full of fliers. The CM's working the ride didn't have any response, but I had many discussions throughout the day with many Toad admirers all over WDW.

We had just entered MGM for the afternoon. There were a bunch of characters, including Pooh, doing the "meet and greet". My friend got her picture taken with one of the Toy Soldiers. I was ready to walk away when he saw my shirt. Immediately the Toy Soldier pointed at my shirt, and expressed the deepest lament possible for a character who isn't allowed to speak. I understood fully. He next turned to the CM who was watching over a few of the characters and pointed out my shirt to her. She also expressed regret over the whole situation, and we had a little discussion. Just as we were about to leave, the Toy Soldier offered me a hug. I gladly accepted.

More proof that the CM's are on our side.
June 7 Photos: Coming soon!
October 25, 1998

[Special guest reporters Patt Sheahan and Judith V. Wood]

Patt says: We did not hear one positive comment about the shutting of MTWR. Our first interaction was with a couple on the bus from the Swan to the Magic Kingdom. They wanted to know where we got the t-shirts and I told them. Then my nephew was stopped by a long-haired hippie type dude, inquiring where he'd gotten the shirt. This was before the turnstiles of the MK.

The girl who passed me through the turnstile slapped her hands over her mouth and her eyes got real big when she read my shirt. "That is sooooo BAD!!!" "That's TERRIBLE!!" I asked if she'd never seen one before and she hadn't. She went on to say that her thoughts were that Toad was there when the MK opened and it should have stayed there.

We were asked in lines about the shirts and MTWR. One family was shocked to hear it had been closed (they didn't know) .... they had two small boys with them, probably 6 and 4, and they were totally bummed.

A teen-aged girl asked me why Mickey was killing Toad. I told her, and she said, "Oh ... I thought maybe there was something more ...." That was the most negative comment we heard.

While waiting to board my mother onto Peter Pan (Mom travels the Kingdom in a wheelchair, she's mobile, but not VERY), the older man working it looked at our t-shirts, sighed, shrugged and said, "Don't ask ME ....." He went on to tell us that he had worked Toad the last day, and had previously trained people to work Toad. He applauded us as we got on Peter Pan!

We three Toadies had our picture taken in front of the walled up area -- and you can still see the facade of Toad Hall, but no sign anymore -- giving a certain one-finger salute ... mainly hidden against our faces like we were scratching .... much to the amusement of a CM who was sweeping near-by. He laughed out loud.

So, out of the people who questioned us or talked to us about Toad, we had 100% support for Toad. The only comment made pro-Pooh was someone who had been disappointed Toad was closed, but finished with a sigh, "Well, *maybe* Pooh will be nice, too ..."

Judith adds: We were amazed at the number of people who asked about it and expressed their upset and concern. One British lady nearly cried when I told her it was closed--said she'd first visited 20 years ago and Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was the first thing she'd gone on and was looking forward to doing it this time.
October 25 Photo: Photo courtesy of Patt Sheahan.
September 4, 1998

[Special guest reporter: Tom Somerville]

Kathy and I (and our two dogs) gathered together in our Ford Explorer, and ventured North to that magical land of Disney, in commemoration of our last ride aboard the gleeful cars of Mr. Toad and his Wild Ride. Needless to say, this was NOT going to be a joyous event, but more of a funeral pre-procession.

Sadly..the "wait" sign read only 10 minutes. Are there NO real believers left in this world of childlike (child loved) things???

We did see a full car load (four clean cut adults) exit their auto in tears (really). And...thanks to Gordon's teachings, we did ride twice: once from each side (I never even thought that each side was different...Gordo insisted they were...well...again he's right!)

Shot a full roll of 24 during the rides. The attendant (he'd probably kill me to think I've titled him that...the "Guest Services Representative in Command of the #1 Entertainment Event in the Magic Kingdom, aka "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride") even stopped the entire sequence of travel events, to take our picture in our last car, on our last spin around such hallowed grounds (I mean...this kid was so cool to do that).

We took some photos of the "time sign", and the major Mr. Toad marquee, and then solemnly walked our very sweaty bodies thru the crowd and, like Mr. Toad, into oblivion.

We did pause a moment though, and heaved our thoughts, coupled with yours, upon the invisible executive creatures/decision makers that have decided to end this event. And...I must add...took the liberty of wishing it would happen to "It's a Small World" right in front of our very eyes...poof! GONE FOREVER!

But, woe is us, it still operates, with all its irritating music!!!!!
September 4 Photos: All photos courtesy of Tom Somerville.

(Click here to read about the first four documented Toad Ins.)
(Click here to read about the second four documented Toad Ins.)
(Click here to read about the final "official" Toad In.)
(Click here to read about some Uncommon Toad Ins.)

See the Shirt
Save Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!
See the Button
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!
Electronic Toad Hall
Fame & Fortune
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!
The Toad Timeline
Team Toad's View
More Toad than Toad
Friends of Toad
The Toad Ins
Miscellaneous Toad
Uncommon Toad Ins
The Final Chapter
See the Postcards
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