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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

51

Krista on May 28th, 2010 at 1:34 pm

Well, that’s not fair. They were/are all great. The 90′s at Disneyland were great. I loved Fantasmic from the day it came out. Toontown and the Roger Rabbit ride alway made sure we went there with every visit. And, Indiana Jones, I was blown away when that ride came out.
I love them all!

52

Jon from CA on May 28th, 2010 at 4:29 pm

Indy, no question!

53

Claudia on May 29th, 2010 at 12:33 am

Indy cause it’s just an incredible attraction. Fantasmic though is a wonderful show it’s so good Tokyo Disney SEA is getting one! So I would say Fantasmic.

54

Amanda on May 29th, 2010 at 12:54 am

Wow I really can’t pick one but Fantasmic is epic and bring me to tears with it’s amazing AWESOMENESS! (Yes, I know that’s not really a word, but it really should be.) I have memories as a teenager and skipping Fantasmic (may God strike me down for doing so) and going on Indiana Jones 11 times in a row with my sister. The two of us running back in line, almost to the front, as soon as we got off. We spent so much time trying to decode the messages with our AT&T decoder cards, struggling to stay in one spot without being trampled by the increasingly irritable people behind us, only to find out they were ads for AT&T. :P The addition of Toontown would have to be my absolute favorite though. It’s so whimsical and fun – ss if it fell off the storyboards and just popped into being. It’s still my favorite place in the park to visit.

55

Abraham on May 29th, 2010 at 7:08 am

INDIANA JONES! It’s my fav! I still remember how much more fire there use to be in there, not to mention the dry ice falling from the cieling. It was a cool effect! I still love it the way it is to this day! Thank you for the great memories! :)

56

Cynthia from CA on May 30th, 2010 at 12:06 am

I remember visiting during 3 out of those 5 years as a kid. I watched the disney channel religiously and would get so excited when I’d hear about the latest and greatest at the disney parks. I was so excited once I got to see the new toon town, then roger rabbit, fantasmic, but the most exciting was the year indiana jones opened! The lines were crazy long, even in the off season and yet it was so much fun doing all the interactive stuff while waiting in line. Those of us waiting in line would show eachother all the surprises and tricks (like pushing on the bamboo and the ceiling would move). We also received cards that helped decipher all those hieroglyphics so you could actally read that mysterious writing on the wall. i still have one of those cards. Great memories

57

Amber on June 19th, 2010 at 1:37 am

Toon Town was by far one of the best attractions at Disney World. I am completely devastated that this attraction is being removed from the park. I am so glad that I will be returning this August before the attraction is gone forever. I have so many wonderful memories from this attraction. I can’t believe it won’t be there when I have kids. So very very very sad.

57 Comments