The Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling: Mickey’s Toontown at Disneyland Park

Erin Glover

by , Director, Publicity, Walt Disney Animation Studios

“All we ever intended for him or expected of him was that he should continue to make people chuckle with him and at him.” – Walt Disney

Eighty-five years ago today, a legendary mouse popped out of Walt Disney’s mind and onto the screen. Since his debut in “Steamboat Willie” at the Colony Theatre on November 18, 1928, Mickey Mouse has captured the hearts of millions, generation after generation. In honor of Mickey’s special day, this “Magic of Disney Parks Storytelling” is devoted to his home at Disneyland park, Mickey’s Toontown.
Mickey's Toontown at Disneyland Park

The long-time home of Mickey, Minnie and friends invites guests to enter a cartoon world that looks as if it has just leapt off an animator’s sketchpad. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a single straight line throughout the entire land – just like a cartoon! According to legend, Mickey’s Toontown existed long before 1993, when it became an official land at Disneyland park. As the story goes, after Mickey Mouse became a star in 1928, he found the perfect home in a quiet residential Toon suburb away from the hustle of Hollywood. As one would expect, Mickey’s friends also decided they would enjoy this secluded neighborhood and moved in as well! Because of his popularity, Mickey knew he and his friends would continue to film cartoons, so rather than commute to Hollywood, he constructed a small movie barn behind his house so he and all his friends could continue to make their cartoons without leaving their burg!

It is believed that when Walt Disney was looking for the area to build his “amusement enterprise” in the early 1950’s, Mickey Mouse suggested the fields of orange groves surrounding his neighborhood. The only request he had was that Mickey’s Toontown was to be kept secret. They agreed, and Disneyland opened nearby on July 17, 1955. Mickey, Minnie and other Disney characters could say hello to all the families visiting and then retreat back to their homes as soon as the park closed for the day.

Years later, in 1990, the residents of Mickey’s Toontown gathered and made a very important decision. They decided that they wanted to open the gates to their secret hideaway to non-Toon guests. Since 1993, guests of all ages have been able to visit Mickey’s House and meet Mickey Mouse himself in his barn, climb through Chip ‘n’ Dale Treehouse and zip through streets of Toontown on Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin!

Help us celebrate 85 years of Mickey Mouse by leaving your favorite memories of him in the comments below.


  • My favorite Mickey memory is everything having to do with Mickey because he’s amazing! 🙂

  • How come Goofy decided to get rid of his bounce house, and Chip and Dale their slide and accorn room? I miss those 🙁

  • I remember the Toontown trolly, with its slow up and down moving as if it was part of a cartoon. (But slow enough that the people riding it wouldn’t feel as such.) The fountains that played music when you press the buttons around the base of it. (And squirt water too!) Goofy’s Bounce house, Chip and Dale’s ball pit. So many things gone to the wayside thanks to different reasons. *sigh. My favorite memory of Mickey is when I was younger. I was one of many infatuated with the Big cheese and gave many presents to him. One time I actually got to wear his Sorcerer’s cap! Of course he had to hold it otherwise it’d eat my head.

  • My favorite Mickey memory is when my twins met him at his house last year. They were 6 months old and it was their first time meeting him or any character. Mickey made little noises and wiggled his nose and I think that is when my daughter fell in love with him. She now has a Mickey doll that she takes EVERYWHERE with her and can’t sleep without. Happy birthday Mickey!

  • My favorite Mickey memory…watching my toddler run up and give him the biggest bear hug ever at Character Spot in Epcot. Second favorite- greeting him in the 1980s while he walked around Magic Kingdom. Hard to believe the crowds ever allowed for that casual encounter!

  • Erin, what an endearing and all around fantastic story about Toontown and Mickey. Thanks for it! The Storytelling blog posts are some of my very favorite. As for my favorite Mickey memory, there are many to choose from… I suppose a prime one is Mickey’s work in the Sorceror’s Apprentice. He meant to help, but look what happened! And as SA was the transformational point in making Mickey what he is today, it’s great to remember that part of Mickey’s life on this anniversary of his. ºoº

  • I will always think of Mickey shooting fireworks out of his gloves as he and Minnie wished Disneyland goodnight in the Sing along songs Park edition VHS 🙂

  • I hope everyone remembers that it’s Minnie’s birthday too!! She was also in Steamboat Willie!

    • Good point, Ashley! We can’t forget Minnie 🙂

  • Wasn’t there a Mickey’s house at Walt Disney World too? I remember going as a child, and when I went this summer I couldn’t find it… 🙁

  • I’ll never forget the time many times I got to visit mickey mouse at wdw backstage before his magic show.. He really is quite the host.

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