December 7, 1997 – The First “Toad-In” Protest Takes Place at Walt Disney World
“Afterwards a Mr. Toad ride operator told us she was glad we didn’t lie down on the tracks or something, and assured us that she wouldn’t have run us over.”
On December 7, 1997, the first of a series of “Toad-In” protests took place at the Magic Kingdom in Walt Disney World, protesting the closing of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Although the ride was popular, and there were many protests, the planned closing occurred on September 7, 1998, with The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh taking the Wild Ride’s place.
This first protest consisted of six people standing in front of the ride wearing matching T-shirts. Although there was not a lot of media coverage, the protests grew from the simple six (who also rode the ride a couple of times that day) to a crowd of fifty people. The protests were peaceful each time they were held, with protesters merely standing in front of the ride, then experiencing the attraction a couple of times before heading home for the day. Despite this, the ride was closed; however, a movie version of the attraction is supposedly in the works.