Today, we’ll journey via motorcar to “Nowhere in Particular” on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride at Disneyland park. One of the original 1955 Opening Day “dark ride” attractions in Fantasyland, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is unique to Disneyland Resort.
The attraction takes guests on a wild speed race through the English countryside, wreaking havoc on the town along the way. We love a good joyride as much as the next toad, but the attraction moves quite quickly, racing past some of the finer details. So, let’s look at some of the easily missed hidden humor and subtle British influence on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
Approaching the grand manor known as Toad Hall, the home of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, the English influence is unmistakable. A 19th century-inspired English weathervane tops one of the gables, and just above the entrance stands a stone statue of a dapper Mr. Toad himself
, elegantly holding a cup of tea.
The motorcars themselves feature the names of various characters from the “Wind in the Willows” segment of the 1949 Disney feature film that inspired the attraction, “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad.” Fittingly, the steering wheels are placed on the right side of the vehicle as they would be in England. Motorcar names include: Mr. Toad, MacBadger, Moley, Ratty, Weasel, Winky and Cyril.
As guests dash through the wharf scene, look out for the famous Tower Bridge, an iconic London landmark. Careful observers can even spot the tiny lights of vehicles moving across.
The next room, the village square, contains two important details. First, in an upstairs window, the distinctive silhouette of Sherlock Holmes is faintly visible, a subtle ode to the British detective. Second, in an alcove to the right of the window stands a statue of a woman representing justice, holding a sword in one hand and scales in the other. The statue humorously foreshadows Mr. Toad’s fate at the end of the attraction and the impending consequences of his joyride.
Just around the corner, as the statue of justice predicted, a judge wearing traditional English jurisprudence robes and a curly gray wig hands down the sentence.
We hope you enjoyed this inside look into the wacky world of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, and remember the motto emblazoned on Mr. Toad’s crest: Toadi Acceleratio Semper Absurda (A Speeding Toad is Always Absurd!)
I also forgot to mention, I ALWAYS wear a Mr. Toad’s WILD RIDE t-shirt EVERY time i go to the resort. it is undoubtedly a MUST DO. It is not a complete DISNEYLAND experience without a visit to the ancestral Toad Hall.
FINALLY! An article on my all time favorite and #1 attraction at Disneyland! This is an underestimated experience as most guests don’t even know who Mr. Toad is. so sad. I think J Thaddeus Toad Esq. needs a lot more recognition, and more presence in the park. I rode this attraction 81 times in 1 day back in 2008. Then I was able to do it 59 times in a row a few years later! I always repeat the safety spiel, even know it by heart! It is never a boring experience. The orchestral music, the attention to detail in the queue and actual ride itself is incredible. I was challenged by a cast member to find Winky’s real name in the pub. Still searching as of this reply. Other than that, you ask me ANYTHING about Mr. Toad and I’ll have an answer. THANK YOU for writing an article on Mr. J Thaddeus Toad Esq.’s WILD RIDE. I hope to see or read more about Mr. Toad in the future.
The Sherlock Holmes silhouette is an homage to Basil Rathbone, the movie’s narrator who played Sherlock Holmes in many films.
Actually, the statue of Mr. Toad is holding a monocle, not a cup of tea.
Good catch, Fred. Apparently I didn’t have my monocle when looking up!