ANAHEIM, Calif. — Kids dipped their hands in and played with the water squirters in the new Mickey and Minnie Mouse Fountain.
Families sat on and around red and white picnic blankets while their children did cartwheels in one of the artificial turf parks.
Other children can be seen sitting and spinning in flower-shaped cups before sliding down colorful slides. Meanwhile, Daisy Duck greeted guests outside her eponymous cafe, while Minnie Mouse posed for pictures with guests at her home.
After more than a year of renovations to the joyful home of Mickey and Minnie Mouse and the rest of the Disney gang, Disneyland reopened Toontown with a new look on Sunday.
“It’s amazing to see kids on this land for the first time,” Walt Disney Imagineering creative producer Elliott Rosenbaum said during a media preview on Saturday. “It was designed and built by a lot of adults, we did a lot of research upfront about the family and the kids in our lives, and then we went to the design room and thought about all the things we wanted to bring to Toontown. So seeing our of our target audience like what we think is great.”
Ryan Wineinger-Schattl, senior creative director at Walt Disney Imagineering, sees children running around and parents smiling and pressing their hearts to their chests.
“We are creative scientists,” Wineinger-Schattl said. “Given how we think about and design what we think young families and kids want, to be here and do it well is fantastic, really exciting.”
Toontown originally debuted in 1993 as a themed area at Disneyland, inspired by the 1988 film “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”
At the northernmost end of Disneyland, this area — sandwiched between the Small World and Fantasyland theaters — is said to be where cartoon characters and other members of the Disney gang live.
Visitors can find, explore, and meet Mickey at Mickey and Minnie’s (stand-alone) house, Goofy’s House, and Donald’s boat. There are mainly attractions and rides suitable for children, such as Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin and Gadget’s Go Coaster.
While the area and attractions still draw crowds before the revamp, they need updating for 21st century guests.
Toontown closed last March as part of a major land transformation, including transforming the area into an inclusive place for all children and families.
The redesigned Toontown looks more open, interactive and expansive.
Visitors walking under the Disneyland Railroad Tunnel will notice the manicured man-made park space of CenTOONial Park, where children can crawl and climb under the prominent roots of Disney’s “Dream Tree.”
There is a Mickey and Minnie Mouse fountain where kids can dip their hands in and play in and around the water.
There are no curbs, making it easier for wheelchair users and others to navigate the land.
Goofy’s Home has been transformed into a how-to yard with interactive activities like a candy-making contraption.
Nearby is a play area where children and adults can run around and slide down colorful slides.
Donald’s boat has been redesigned with a spinning lily pad, balance beam and rocking toys.
Of course, the land’s Mickey Mouse-themed ride — Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railroad — debuted in January as part of Disneyland’s 100th-anniversary celebrations for the launch of The Walt Disney Company.
Disney even brought out Pete, one of their original 100-year-old characters, to take pictures and greet nearby guests.
Disneyland president Ken Potrock said the new Toontown will offer visitors a multi-layered experience.
Toontown “is our new standard,” he said.