What Is The Mr. Toad Controversy? | Ride Controversy Explained
Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is an original Disneyland attraction that is wildly popular and to some, controversial!
We'll dive into the main reasons why some guests consider Mr. Toad's Wild Ride to be controversial as well as some background into the ride's history.
Questions We'll Answer About Mr. Toad's Wild Ride:
- Why Is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride Controversial?
Why Is Mr. Toad's Wild Ride Controversial?
Bars & Alcohol
One of the primary reasons Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is considered "controversial" is because it's one of the only rides at Disney where you'll travel through a bar and see alcohol.
While attractions like Pirates of the Caribbean also show characters indulging in alcoholic beverages, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride is geared more towards children which is the cause for more ire than Pirates.
The ride scene through the bar is very brief on Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, but it does play a prominent part in the story of Mr. Toad and his journey, so removing the scene would be a bit odd.
Such a blunt showcase of alcohol and bars on a children's ride might seem out of place for Disney, but the ride has been around for over 65 years when the attraction was more popular for people of all ages.
When Mr. Toad's Wild Ride was first incepted, Fantasyland wasn't as heavily aimed towards children as it is today!
Some see the use of alcohol in this ride scene as controversial, though it has been largely problematic throughout the ride's life and remains to be one of the most popular attractions at Disneyland.
A Visit To The Underworld
The other major reason some guests find Mr. Toad's Wild Ride controversial is that the ride famously takes you through "hell".
Spoiler warning for Mr. Toad's Wild Ride!
The last two ride scenes consist of your car taking a wrong turn onto some train tracks, getting hit by a train, and then arriving in a dark, fiery cave. You quickly learn this cave might just be the underworld after coming face to face with some demons who resemble the devil.
If this sounds quite intense - it's a very tame experience given the age of the ride and attempts to be more family-friendly. The entire ride experience is very fun and these two scenes aren't scary at all.
For most first-time riders it's a bit difficult to comprehend the madness that's occurring and because the ride is over 60 years old, the train crash and underworld aren't as realistic as modern-day rides.
Getting hit by a train and then arriving in the underworld sounds like an experience you wouldn't expect to find at Disney which is why some consider Mr. Toad to be a controversial attraction.
However, families still pile onto the attraction each year making it one of the most popular rides in the Fantasyland area of Disneyland.
Most of this "controversy" has spun out from a vocal minority of guests, but overall the elements of the ride are family-friendly and a great way to experience what Walt Disney himself would appeal to kids and adults alike 65+ years ago.