August 11, 2017

Design Detail: Toad Hall

In some ways, Imagineer Tom Morris was in a bind. He was given the difficult task by Lead Imagineer Tony Baxter to design a brand new Fantasyland for EuroDisneyland aka Disneyland Paris. How should he go about it? Design a brand new area with a totally new look? Or should he rely on the past? How could he effectively share stories with guest who spoke multiple languages and came from several different countries? This was a much more challenging job than doing the cut and paste Fantasyland that initially opened at Tokyo Disneyland.

Bringing about a shimmering new area for a park built in a city already beautiful beyond belief was tough. Adding to the difficulty was tackling the most iconic of Disney lands. Presented with a challenge none would envy (but most armchair Imagineers would die for), I believe Tom succeeded quite well!

When it came to the adventures of Mr. Toad, Tom chose to turn this classic attraction into a charming restaurant. The exterior may mirror the building found in Anaheim, but the interior is a totally original creation. And the above piece of concept art is pretty nice, wouldn't you say? 

Sprinkled throughout the majestic dining hall are portraits of the owner himself in various sporting gear. This is in addition to one particular piece of art where J. Thaddeus Toad is captured by some very famous artists. (You've got to check out this link to see his amazing changing portrait.) It's quite the place to eat those fish and chips!

But it's more much than what I can show you. If you've ever had a desire to see one overseas Magic Kingdom, I'd bypass all the others and head over to Paris. After finally completing a few years of very extsensive refurbishment, the French park easily outshines those found in Tokyo, Hong Kong, and yes, Shanghai. 

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company. Photo copyright Mark Taft.)

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