Associated Press: March 31, 2006
In a press release today the Walt Disney Company announced the return of a classic dark ride, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, to the Magic Kingdom theme park at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, which was in the Magic Kingdom from opening day in 1971 until its closing in 1998 to make way for The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ride, took guests through the world on C. Thaddeus Toad from the 1947 Disney cartoon The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad; which was itself derived from Kenneth Grahame’s classic novel The Wind and the Willows.
The surprising return of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride became possible due to the pressure from many loyal fans of the dark ride, and through Internet campaigns such as the Save Mr. Toad website. Walt Disney Company President/CEO Bob Iger saw bringing back Mr. Toad to Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom as an opportunity to return much of the former glory to the theme parks that had diminished due to budget cutbacks by his predecessor, former Disney President/CEO Michael Eisner.
Construction on the new Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, newly Re-Imagineered for the 21st century with state-of-the-art animatronics and effects such as fiberoptic lighting, will begin sometime in mid-April of this year, shortly after The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh runs for the last time on April 1. Pooh fans have no need to worry, as the Magic Kingdom will be getting Pooh’s Hunny Hunt, an exact copy of the ride from Tokyo Disneyland. Pooh’s Hunny Hunt will be constructed adjacent to the Pooh-themed 100 Acre Wood playground, and is expected to open on October 1, the same day that Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride will make its grand return to Walt Disney World.
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