Mickey’s Birthdayland in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World was developed to celebrate Mickey’s 60th birthday in 1988. It was intended as a fixed costume character ‘meet-and-greet’ location in order to better manage the guest interactions. It was closed in April 1990 and re-opened in May 1990 as Mickey’s Starland. In 1996 it was re-modeled again – and opened as Mickey’s Toontown Fair.
Walt Disney Imagineering was not involved with the development of Mickey’s Birthdayland.
Disneyland had a similar interest and went to Imagineering for the design. It was intended to be a much bigger themed land, but a portion of the designated land was used for the new Team Disney Anaheim building (designed by Frank Gehry). The scaled-back Toontown consists of a suburban ‘Mickeyville’ and downtown Toontown… more reminiscent of the Who framed Roger Rabbit film.
Numerous concepts were developed for the Toontown rides. Ultimately, the Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin ride was developed. Imagineer Joe Lanzisero led the overall Toontown project – Don Carson designed many of the downtown Toontown exteriors and Marcelo Vignali led the Car Toon Spin ride development.