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Mickey’s Toontown? Indiana Jones Adventure? Fantasmic!? What Was Your Favorite New Attraction or Memory Between 1991 and 1995?

posted on May 27th, 2010 by Heather Hust Rivera, Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, The Walt Disney Company


This latest post in a series counting down the weeks to the 55th anniversary focuses on the highlights between 1991 and 1995. These were huge years. A whole new land was added to Disneyland park, a gigantic attraction debuted in Adventureland, and one of the most beloved nighttime spectaculars premiered on the Rivers of America.

My favorite? While arguably not the biggest new addition to the Disneyland Resort in this five-year period, Fantasmic! is probably my favorite. The show has an epic feel to it. Fantasmic! has a rich story, includes more than 100 cast and crew members, and is one of the best shows to see all of my favorite characters in one place. The photo below is from the opening event on May 1992.
A Fantasmic Moment at Disneyland Park
In case you’ve forgotten, here’s a look back at this half decade, jam-packed with new attractions and shows:

1995Indiana Jones Adventure (TM), the thrilling off-road journey through an ancient temple, blazed its way to Disneyland park. On July 17, a time capsule was buried in the Sleeping Beauty Castle forecourt containing items that would not be revealed until the park’s 80th anniversary. The dance club Videopolis was transformed into Fantasyland Theatre, featuring the all-new stage show “The Spirit of Pocahontas.” The Disneyland Resort expanded to include the Disneyland Hotel’s next-door neighbor, the Pan Pacific Hotel, which was transformed into the Disneyland Pacific Hotel (and later Disney’s Paradise Pier Hotel).

1994Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin welcomed its first fares on the one-year anniversary of Mickey’s Toontown. This innovative dark ride featured vehicles that could be rotated in any direction or speed. One of the biggest parades in Disneyland park history debuted, as “The Lion King Celebration” showcased unique Audio-Animatronics and larger-than-life puppets along with more than 100 live performers. The park said goodbye to a longtime favorite, as the Skyway attraction connecting Fantasyland and Tomorrowland closed after 38 years of operation. 1994 also brought the spring break which saw Disneyland park go Pog Wild and Rollerblade Crazy.

1993 – The toons finally received their very own home in Mickey’s Toontown, the first all-new land added to Disneyland park in over 20 years. Featuring a gag-filled downtown inspired by the 1988 film Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the cartoon-like design was influenced by the personalities of the characters living there, with Donald taking up residence in a boat while Chip and Dale inhabited an acorn tree. With Aladdin hitting theatres in the summer, a Royal Caravan parade made its way to Main Street, U.S.A., while the Tahitian Terrace in Adventureland was replaced by a new restaurant, Aladdin’s Oasis. As Mickey Mouse celebrated his 65th birthday, the “Partners” statue featuring Walt Disney that sits in Disneyland park’s Central Plaza was also dedicated.

1992 – Mickey Mouse ignited the night for the first time with Fantasmic!, an epic battle between good and evil on the Rivers of America featuring water, pyrotechnic and laser effects. Though the show begins its 19th year this summer, it wasn’t the only entertainment of note in 1992. Coinciding with the theatrical release, a live Beauty and the Beast stage show debuted on the Videopolis stage, which ran for several years and eventually inspired the Broadway smash. Goofy also celebrated his sixtieth birthday with the larger than life parade, “The World According to Goofy,“ and opened his first restaurant as Goofy’s Kitchen debuted at the Disneyland Hotel. The park’s biggest special event was the private 60th birthday party of actress Elizabeth Taylor, featuring a performance of “Happy Birthday” led by Barry Manilow.

1991 – As the Persian Gulf War came to an end, Disneyland park honored thousands of veterans returning home from the region with a daily cavalcade from April 17 to June 17. The park also helped raise money for the U.S. Olympic Committee with Olympic Salutes, a five-mile cast member torch relay in June leading to Sleeping Beauty Castle. Elsewhere in the park, the Blue Ribbon Bakery opened its doors on Main Street, U.S.A., and those with fond memories of watching Darkwing Duck and Chip ‘n Dale Rescue Rangers after school remember the thrill of meeting their favorite stars live at Disney Afternoon Avenue. This temporary Fantasyland attraction featured the TaleSpin stage show “Plane Crazy” at Videopolis, plus redressed rides including the Rescue Rangers Raceway (Fantasyland Autopia) and the Motor Boat Cruise to Gummi Glen (of Gummi Bears fame).

©Disney/Lucasfilm Ltd.

What is your favorite attraction or memory between 1991 and 1995?

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Filed: Disney California Adventure Park, Disney History, Disneyland Park, Disneyland Resort

57 Comments

1

Beth from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 5:17 pm

It’s a toss-up between Fantasmic and Indiana Jones…I LOVE both!!!

2

Laura on May 27th, 2010 at 5:18 pm

Definitely Fantasmic! I remember seeing it for the first time as a kid after camping out for hours to get a spot right on the water. I’ll never forget it!

3

Nathan on May 27th, 2010 at 5:21 pm

all time favorite memory besides Fantasmic is the Gummi bear boats. I was very young but i remember driving through the glen and trying to not be seen by Dukey.

4

Fred from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 5:22 pm

I really love Fantasmic and Indiana Jones.

I remember really loving the Plane Crazy show as a child. And I also remember being very excited when Toontown first opened.

5

Cori on May 27th, 2010 at 5:25 pm

Indiana Jones!! …or Fantasmic… How can a person choose just one??

6

Amber from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 5:26 pm

INDIANA JONES of course!!! it is my all-time FAVORITE ride!!! i ride it multiple times a day when i go (which is about every week!) :DDD

7

Hannette on May 27th, 2010 at 5:27 pm

Indiana Jones (went on it six times in one day once, lol)! I also enjoyed going to the 10-year anniversary event.

8

lizette from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Fantasmic!! Is my favorite addition. Every time I visit the park this is a must see for me. Plus after the show you can watch the fireworks show too :)

9

Audrey on May 27th, 2010 at 5:35 pm

No contest whatsoever – Indiana Jones. Period.

10

Tiffany from WA on May 27th, 2010 at 5:38 pm

Fantasmic! without a doubt. The music is epic and the show always makes me smile. From the dancing monkeys to the cannon boom to start of the Peter Pan scene (that still never fails to make me jump!) all the way to the finale on the Mark Twain, this show is one that I love to watch and one that I miss when it’s not showing when I’m there.

11

Alicia on May 27th, 2010 at 5:43 pm

I was born in 1991, so I really can’t remember any of this, but I definitely love Indiana Jones the most!

12

Elaine on May 27th, 2010 at 5:45 pm

My son and I love Indiana Jones!!!

13

Gerrie on May 27th, 2010 at 5:53 pm

I loved the Monsanto exhibit in Tomorrowland. I would always go there first si I could get shrunk and still think of that giant eye at the end. I sure hated to see that leave.

14

Jeanie on May 27th, 2010 at 5:54 pm

Fantasmic! is a show that I can watch over and over again and every time it makes me feel like a little kid. It’s exciting, breath taking, and fun.

15

Margaret from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

The first time we rode The Indiana Jones ride, we had to stand in line for 2 and a half HOURS. The line went OUT of Adventure Land, around the corner and into Frontier Land! And you know what? It was TOTALLY worth it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! As soon as we got off the ride, all I wanted to do was ride it again!

16

Monterey from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

Ok… I have to have two! Fantasmic AND the Indianna Jones Adventure! They were both amazing.

17

Steve on May 27th, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I remember seeing Fantasmic for the first time with my 4 and 2 year old. My first thought was “Walt would be proud!”. I’ve seen in numerous times since at Disneyland and WDW. It is always one of the highlights of our semi annual trips to a Disney park!

18

Ryan on May 27th, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Hands down… Fantasmic! Still the best part of Disneyland 18years later!

19

Ken on May 27th, 2010 at 6:28 pm

While Fantasmic! is a great show, I really think that Indiana Jones was the best addition to Disneyland for that decade.

20

Logan on May 27th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

It has to be Fantasmic. This show is the living example of the magic that is Disney. Even today, having seen the show dozens and doezens of times, when Sorcer Mickey pops up at the end it brings a tear to my eye (literally… I cry every single time). I live in Portland, OR and I have bought an annual pass 3 of the last 4 years, primarily so I can come into the park when I’m in town for work or play to see the show. It is without a doubt my wife and my favorite part of our day at the Magic Kingdom.

21

mark from AZ on May 27th, 2010 at 7:06 pm

Ummm!? Definately Indiana Jones! It opened on my Birthday–March 3–along with the VHS release of Lion King! AMAZING!

22

Sophia from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

I would have to say Toon Town. I love being able to go into Mickey and Minnies house and seeing where is all started. Those two characters is what made Disney :)

23

Amy from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 7:12 pm

Fantasmic!!! For sure!!! I was ten when it opened and my parents took my brother and I to Disneyland for our combined birthdays. I fell in love with the show and now I make sure to go with family and see it in the priority seating area every year!

24

Laura on May 27th, 2010 at 7:16 pm

Hands down Indy:) One of my favorite attractions of all time!!! I remember one of my favorite moments in my life happened in line:)

25

Carl on May 27th, 2010 at 7:24 pm

Definately Fantasmic. Absolutely blew me away. Waited for two hours with my kids, they loved it. Now we just did it with our grand kids. Ah, the circle of life continues. You did good Walt. Real Good. Glad to have been a cast member.

26

Carl on May 27th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

P.S please bring back the People Mover.

27

Debbie on May 27th, 2010 at 7:28 pm

It has to be Fantasmic! Every time we have vacationed at Disneyland with our kids, we have seen the Fantasmic show at least 2 times! Although, the Indiana Jones ride is a very close second!

28

Tim on May 27th, 2010 at 7:53 pm

INDIANA JONES ALL THE WAY!!! The first day I rode this in March of 1995 there was an epic SoCal rainstorm, which as locals know, is an awesome time to go to Disneyland! That day our group rode this attraction six times, and were amazed that all six trips were different in some form or another. Since then, I am the nerd on the journey, when it goes into the dark hall, that screams “STOP THE CAAAARRRR!”, and when the ride vehicle stops I politely say “Thank you!”

29

Christine on May 27th, 2010 at 7:56 pm

OMG…I LOVE the Indiana Jones ride! That’s my favorite addition in this time period!

30

Katheryn from OR on May 27th, 2010 at 7:56 pm

Oh man, I remember the Gummi Bear boats. It’s sad that area is unused right now. To this day I still miss the Skyway gondolas. Indiana Jones was epic when it opened but is feeling a bit dated right now. I still have to ride it several times when I’m there, though. So I think my vote goes to Fantasmic! As soon as my first viewing of the show was over, I made my parents buy me the soundtrack for it. Still have it after about 18 years!

31

Tim on May 27th, 2010 at 7:57 pm

Does anyone remember, when Indiana Jones first opened, they had an overweight-adventurer in an “Indy-esque” outfit who entertained guests in the line queue named “Indiana Bob”?

32

Ray on May 27th, 2010 at 8:04 pm

The corn-dog wagon at the end of Main Street.

33

Peter on May 27th, 2010 at 8:08 pm

My favorite of these choices is the Indiana Jones ride! Still, to this date, I have not seen a better LINE to wait in. The themed queue makes it so much cooler because you are immersed into the world and feel like you are really in an adventure as you turn each corner, waiting to get to the actual ride. LOVE it!

34

Darci on May 27th, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I cant wait

35

Michael from WA on May 27th, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Indy, Roger Rabbit, Toontown, Fantasmic, and Goofys Kitchen. We experienced and loved ALL of them in 1995. Weren’t they exclusive to California at that time?, and so we had no reason to travel from Seattle to Orlando, just a 24 hour drive down the coast.

36

Denise from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 8:23 pm

Indiana Jones & the Temple of the Forbidden Eye! The AT&T give-away code cards are proudly displayed in our Disneyana portion of our entertainment den!

37

Amanda from CA on May 27th, 2010 at 8:59 pm

Whats funny is 1995 is about the time I started visiting Disneyland again after taking a few years off since my older siblings no longer wanted to go on family vacations I didn’t get to go.

38

Amanda on May 27th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I can’t believe I’m going to be the first person to say the Lion King Celebration!!!! I’m the daughter of an Imagineer, so I’ve seen a lot of Disney magic, but that parade absolutely gave me the best and most genuine Disney feeling, not only out of these five years, but ever. A few years ago the Parade of Dreams did a great job at reviving the Disney parade spirit, but was then replaced with the disappointing street party.

39

Jackie on May 27th, 2010 at 9:41 pm

Indy..DEFINITELY!! We run to that ride from the front gate every time!

40

Catherine on May 27th, 2010 at 10:12 pm

Fantasmic……all the way.

41

Jackie on May 27th, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Both are great, our first time for both was last year. When i was younger and I lived in California we would go at least twice a year but now that I live in Kansas its not that easy. But both were great!!

42

Andrea on May 28th, 2010 at 12:36 am

Its a toss up for me, I loved the Lion King Celebration, but Fantasmic is also one of my all time favorites… it was also my dad’s favorite everytime I see it I think of him!!!

43

Kristi on May 28th, 2010 at 1:14 am

I love Fantasmic. My whole family has to ride Indiana Jones when we go to Disneyland then we go see Fantasmic before we go back home.So my vote goes to Fantasmic..

44

Danielle on May 28th, 2010 at 1:30 am

Fantasmic was a GREAT show! I think Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin is a TON of FUN but Indiana Jones is STILL the first ride I head to EVERY time I go to Disneyland!!!

45

Mandy from GA on May 28th, 2010 at 8:37 am

My favorite is one not listed…Splash Mountain! That ride is amazing and my all-time favorite!

46

Bernadette from CA on May 28th, 2010 at 11:25 am

I cannot choose!!! I remember them all and they are all great memories…

47

Lisa on May 28th, 2010 at 11:26 am

Fantasmic AND Indiana Jones! I still have the “decoder” necklace and card from AT&T from the grand opening. My kids now take it with them to decipher the “secret writings” on the Indiana Jones caves. And…the first time I ever saw Fantasmic it took my breath away…literally! Now my kids LOVE IT! I’m raising a whole new generation of Disneyland lovers. Yeah!

48

Ashlee from BC on May 28th, 2010 at 11:42 am

FANTASMIC :) i was there the night in debuted in may 1992 and it is one of my best disney memories!

49

Fred from CA on May 28th, 2010 at 11:49 am

Mandy–Disneyland’s Splash Mountain opened in 1989, so it is not included in this timeline. :)

50

Jessica from CA on May 28th, 2010 at 11:53 am

Its a tough race between Fantasmic and Indiana Jones. I’d have to say lately fantasmic. I just love how much goes into this show. I have so many memories waiting for the show to start with my family when I was a kid.

57 Comments