Mad Tea Party

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Mad Tea Party
Teacup.jpg
The Mad Tea Party in Fantasyland
Magic Kingdom
Land Fantasyland
Theme Unbirthday Party
Opening date October 1, 1971
Ride duration 1.5 minutes
Based on Disney's Alice in Wonderland
FastPass + Yes

The Mad Tea Party is an attraction located in Fantasyland.

Attraction History

Although always envisioned as an attraction based on the "Unbirthday" scene from Alice in Wonderland, the original plans for the Mad Tea Party were drastically different from the final result. Early designs for the attraction called for guests to enter a "Mad Tea Party" that the Mad Hatter and March Hare were throwing. Guests would enter their tea cups (walking past giant depictions of the Cheshire Cat and the Caterpillar) and spin around a giant Unbirthday table, while the Mad Hatter and March Hare sang the "Very Merry Unbirthday" song [1]. When the Mad Tea Party opened on Disneyland's opening day however, its scale had been drastically reduced. Gone from the attraction were the Mad Hatter, March Hare and the "Unbirthday" party. Instead guests twirled around inside psychedelically colored tea cups.

Due to its popularity in Disneyland, a version of the Mad Tea Party was recreated for the opening of Walt Disney World. Opening on October 1, 1971, the attraction was an exact copy of the Disneyland attraction. Shortly after the Mad Tea Party opened however, a large canopy was added to give the ride some cover from the Florida elements [2]. Also added at this time, was a large teapot (housing the Dormouse from the film) which the teacups now rotated around [2]. After the addition of the canopy, the attraction remained unchanged until 1992 when Japanese lanterns were added [3]. At this time, the Mad Tea Party also received a new color scheme and new music. In 2010, the attraction was once again repainted [4].

Attraction Plot

The Mad Tea Party begins with guests boarding their teacup ride vehicles. Once the attraction starts, festive music begins playing, to give guests the feeling that they are at an Unbirthday Party. Although each of the turntables that the cups sit on spin at a constant speed, guests can choose the speed of their individual teacup. To do this, they spin a wheel in the center of each cup (spinning the wheel faster, increases the teacup's speed). As the cups spin around, the Dormouse from Alice in Wonderland will pop out of the large teapot in the center of the attraction from time to time. The Mad Tea Party lasts for 1 minute and 30 seconds [5], before the attraction stops spinning and guests disembark.
Concept art for the Mad Tea Party

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • The canopy over the Mad Tea Party lights up at night, giving the attraction a very different look.
  • The Doormouse only appears in the Walt Disney World and Tokyo Disneyland versions of the Mad Tea Party.
  • If you want to see an image of the Mad Tea Party before it got its canopy check out:

http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2008/05/1972_magic_kingdom_walt_disney.html

References

  1. http://jimhillmedia.com/columnists1/b/jeff_lange/archive/2005/05/27/1484.aspx
  2. 2.0 2.1 http://waltdatedworld.com/id252.htm
  3. http://www.florida-project.com/walt-disney-world-photos/magic-kingdom/fantasyland/mad-tea-party
  4. http://www.orlandoparksnews.com/2010/11/mad-tea-party-has-reopened.html
  5. http://www.wdwinfo.com/wdwinfo/guides/magickingdom/fan-teaparty.htm