Mickey’s Toontown Fair in 1996

The first “new land” added to Magic Kingdom since it opened was Mickey’s Birthdayland in 1988 (or so says the Wikipedia). It was renamed to Mickey’s Starland in 1990. Something I had never read was that it supposedly was briefly known as Mickey’s Toyland in 1995 (again, from the Wikipedia — this is the first time I’ve read that). I think I only saw it as Starland during my family trips in the summer of ’94 and ’95.

It began a large refurbishment to become Mickey’s Toontown Fair in 1996. I remember a promotional photo that was released showing Mickey, Goofy and Donald hard at work:

NOT MY PHOTO. Sorry. The watermark is added by WordPress.

This version made the land a bit more similar to Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland, though it was missing the Roger Rabbit references and most of the “town” part. It did, at least, add Mickey’s house, Donald’s boat, and a few others elements.

According to this sign, the grand opening was expected October 1996:

Coming soon sign on August 27, 1996.

Because of this sign, I believe all the photos I have from this August 1996 visit should be considered Mickey’s Starland. I suppose this means some of the buildings were already there, or they were opened before the grand opening. I’m too lazy to go look anything up.

Here’s a map:

Map of Toontown Fair on August 26, 1996.

Going with the “fair” theme, there was the big tent with character meet and greets:

Toontown Fair tent on August 27, 1996.

You can see how they were able to keep the tent when this area became Storybook Circus.

Some of the nicer elements at the time where the buildings that were, more or less, brought over from the other Toontown(s). Pete has his garage:

Pete’s Garage on August 27, 1996.

Donald had his boat, the Miss Daisy:

Donald’s Boat on August 27, 1996.

Minnie had her house:

Minnie’s house on August 27, 1996.

And there was even a simple version of the Toontown Park:

Toontown Park on August 27, 1996.

The train station depot was rather bland, though.

Toontown Fair Station on August 26, 1999.

Compare that to what Disneyland’s Toontown looked like, the Florida version was sparse and barren. But, at least it was a step up from the earlier encarnations.

And you could meet characters…

Hall of Fame sign on August 27, 1996.

I’m, uh, not sure what “Practice your hugs” was all about.

When I visited in 1997, the rest of the land was ready, including the Barnstormer roller coaster. But it’s nice to have an in-progress look at one of the lesser lands ever built in a castle park.

Until next time…